Announcements, sneak peeks, and special surprises came flying from Disney Interactive’s Hall D23 presentation by the boat-load… or should we say, the “ship load,” as in space ships from a galaxy far, far away. As expected, Star Wars was the main event (again), as Disney Interactive president Jimmy Pitaro introduced Electronic Art’s (EA) blockbuster new game Star Wars Battlefront, the exclusive new Star Wars Battle Pod arcade experience, and the galactic Lucasfilm infusion into the hotly anticipated Disney Infinity 3.0.
Star Wars Battlefront racked up a string of awards at the recent Gamescon, including Best of Gameson, Best Console Game for Sony Playstation, Best PC Game, and Best Online Multiplayer Game. Pitaro called it one of the most highly anticipated games in the history of The Walt Disney Company as he introduced Justin McCully, general manager of EA’s Star Wars unit. Explaining the process of creating the game, McCully explained the team’s unprecedented access. “Lucasflm opened their archives and let us use the props and matte paintings and behind-the-scene polaroids from the films,” he said. “We got to use the actual models of the Star Wars ships from your childhood.”
We’ll portray the events that created the Battlefield of Jakku
One of the most exciting parts of the game is that a portion of the visuals was captured onsite during the filming of J.J. Abram’s upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “We were onsite in Abu Dhabi to capture the desert battle of Jakku,” McCully said. “We’ll portray the events that created the Battlefield of Jakku.” You can live out your dog-fight fantasies with Fighter Squadron Mode, or shoot the enemy in Blast Mode. Experience the Walker assault, ride a speeder-bike, hold off waves of Imperial forces, or become your favorite hero or villain. Star Wars Battlefront is out in November on PS4, Microsoft Xbox, and on Origin for PC.
Riding a multi-year wave of success, Disney Infinity 3.0 has added in characters from the complete Star Wars saga and from the TV animated series, including Anakin and Ahsoka. John Blackburn, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Infinity, and John Vignocchi, vice president of production, introduced all the new characters. The big surprise, though, was having co-stars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley of Star Wars: The Force Awakens appear onstage to give away their character figures, Finn and Rey, for the upcoming Play Set based on the film. The newest version of Disney Infinity also includes characters from Pixar’s Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, along with new Marvel characters.
Disney’s massively popular Kingdom Hearts game, which has sold 21 million units so far, announced the newest characters to invade the game—the gang from Big Hero 6! Shinji Hashimoto, Larry Sparks, and Kaori Takasue flew in from Japan to make the announcement—accompanied by Baymax.
And the announcements didn’t stop. We heard about Disney’s latest gaming initiative, Playmation; Disney Magic Kingdoms mobile games; the Star Wars Pod for arcade play; and special awards and giveaways, including a brand-new Mickey Mouse figurine for the Disney Infinity game platform. Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition’s ultimate unlock was unveiled during the presentation. Players who unlock all of the Disney Infinity figures in the game’s Hall of Heroes will unlock the Keyblade from the SQUARE ENIX KINGDOM HEARTS franchise.
Fans loved each new announcement and new character—from Baymax, Star Wars, and Marvel, to Pixar, the Magic Kingdom, and even the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. Disney Interactive truly is shooting for the stars… and it looks like the Force is definitely on their side.