Disney knows how children play – Infinity and Beyond

Disney is launching its Infinity videogame on august 18th.

Infinity uses collectible figurines that will synchronize with the game, allowing the player to interact with a wide range of characters from Disney and Pixar .

Players will be able to choose from and play with characters from movies/franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean , The Incredibles , Monsters University , The Lone Ranger , Cars  and others (all under the same roof).

Infinity characters - All mixed up
Infinity characters – All mixed up

From what I read , when Avalanche, the videogame developer pitched the idea of Infinity to Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer at Pixar) he initially rejected it. In his view, it did not seem coherent to mix different movies, characters and worlds. In his own words:

“They wanted to combine all the Pixar characters together in one game and one world. That’s always been taboo for us. Because, look, every Pixar movie we create is a unique world and our characters live in it. They have their own rules and all that. Mr. Incredible cannot go over into the Cars world, because there are no humans in that world. He cannot walk into Andy’s room, because it is a different style and look and just a different world.”

But children don´t care about coherency. They don´t relate to neat and tidy creative boundaries or rules. They simply (and rightly) just want to play and let their imaginations roam free.

This is true of any child. They will mix cars and lego and playmobil and teddy bears and they will create a unique and wonderfully incongruous world.

And its strange to me why Lasseter (which probably is the ultimate embodiment of the Peter Pan syndrome) had such trouble to visualize this initially.

This whole premise (kids play with everything irrespective of typology of toy) was a key factor in defining and bringing to live the characters in the Toy Story film. As we all remember, we saw cowboys, astronauts, pigs, dinosaurs and slinky dogs all interact in the same storyline.

From what I gather, there are two main reasons why this videogame has a big chance of succeeding (providing the pricing is reasonable

1. Because during the design and implementation phases those in charge have understood that children don´t need to/want to differentiate typologies of toys - they just combine them and play 

2. Because the game is made up of real physical toy figurines which can enhance the experience of the game by stretching it far and beyond the digital gaming platform - play (and don´t plug) as well as plug and play


So in the end Disney proves once again that, despite some hiccups along the way,  they still know their end customer and still make the effort to place themselves in their little shoes to fuel their minds.

Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource – the minds of our children.

Walt Disney

Take care amigos,