Disney to Unveil New “Gaming Initiative” Called Infinity on Jan. 15

On Jan. 15, Disney Interactive will “unveil a new gaming initiative” called Infinity, according to invitations sent to the press this week.

disney infinityThe event looks like a pretty big deal, judging by the invitation alone. The thick card stock features a hologram flipping back-and-forth between the Disney Infinity logo and a 3-D view of the Magic Kingdom.

You can also tell it’s important based on the speakers. Presentations will be made by both John Pleasants, the co-president of Disney Interactive, and John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of the Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. Lasseter is also the principal creative adviser for Walt Disney Imagineering.

The event will take place in Hollywood, Calif., at El Capitan Theatre, a fully restored 1926 movie house owned by the Walt Disney Company.

The unveiling of Infinity could be tied to an unannounced gaming initiative code-named “Toy Box.” Very few details are known about the secret project, but according to the New York Times, Toy Box is a console game that has “extensive mobile and online applications in which various Pixar and Disney characters will interact with one another for the first time.”

For years, Disney has aspired to do something big in the gaming space. But despite making several large investments, it has failed to gain much traction. Those investments include six console-based development studios, and in 2010, it purchased its way into social gaming with the $563 million Playdom acquisition. It also owns and manages a virtual world for children, called Club Penguin. More recently, it has been pushing into the free-to-play market around the world through smaller acquisitions and partnerships.

Despite some successes, especially on mobile with hits like Where’s My Water?, the Interactive division continues to drag down earnings. During the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 29, interactive revenue for the year decreased 14 percent to $845 million, and the unit reported a loss of of $216 million.

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