It's always a bummer to hear a studio is shutting down, so it's nice to know that the folks of Avalanche Software are landing on their feet. Now that Disney has decided to shutter their toys-to-screen series, Disney Infinity, it looks like members of the former developer have reunited to create a brand new studio.
Disney Infinity, like Skylanders and Lego Dimensions, found a good amount of success on the home console market, giving folks nifty toys to collect that could then be transported into their video games. The Avalanche Software squad crafted a pretty rad game out of the concept, too, so it should come as no surprise that they'll continue to focus on innovative new gaming opportunities moving forward.
The folks over at Polygon are calling this new venture "mixed-reality gaming," as it will blend the world of video games with whatever room your home console is set up in. News came down from castAR earlier this week that a new studio had been formed called castAR Salt Lake City and, yep, it's comprised of former Avalanche Software employees. That just goes to show that if you do good work and make a quality product, your chances of landing on your feet are only heightened. It's kind of a bummer that Disney Infinity didn't launch into the stratosphere like other toys-to-screen titles, but that's certainly not from lack of trying on the part of the developers.
According to the initial report, this new studio will increase the workforce of castAR twofold, so they've obviously got some big plans moving forward. It's not clear how many folks from Avalanche made the transition, but we've got our fingers crossed that developers will move quickly to snap up anyone who is not now flying under the castAR banner.
President and COO of castAR Steve Parkis made a comment pertaining to the formation of the new studio, echoing the fact that the Avalanche team offered games and items that were of the "highest levels of quality." According to Parkis, bringing that kind of talent on board is merely the next logical step in "launching a dynamic platform" they believe will introduce "awe-inspiring mixed reality" experiences to the living room.
Disney all but backed out of the big gaming business several years back, so we were a bit surprised to see something as ambitious as Disney Infinity come along. They took a good crack at it, but apparently the performance wasn't strong enough to keep the train running. But, Disney's loss looks to be castAR's gain. We're looking forward to hearing what the new team at castAR Salt Lake City has coming down the pipe, as everything Parkis has said up to this point seems pretty ambitious.