Avalanche raised from the dead by Warner Bros.

January 25, 2017 | 10:31

Tags: #avalanche #cars #disney-infinity #disney-pixar #john-blackburn

Companies: #avalance-software #disney #warner-bros

Avalanche Software, the studio behind Disney Infinity shuttered in May last year, has been given a new lease of life under new owner Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment - and will, interestingly, still be working on Disney properties.

Best known for its work on the Disney Infinity franchise, an open-world game series in which players buy plastic figurines embedded with near-field communications (NFC) hardware to unlock characters, levels, and abilities in exactly the same way as the Skylanders franchise and Nintendo's Amiibo range, Avalanche Studios was formally closed in May last year. At the time, Disney positioned it as an exit from the games industry and stated that the Infinity franchise was to receive two further expansion packs in 2016 before being permanently shut down.

Avalanche's closure resulted in the loss of 300 jobs and was, Disney's financial filings revealed, responsible for a large chunk of an overall $147 million charge relating to the company's exiting of the self-published games market. Now, though, the studio will live on, thanks to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Lead by John Blackburn, who was the chief executive under Disney's ownership, Avalanche is to continue developing games using its Octane engine beginning with a tie-in around Cars 3 - a Disney-Pixar franchise.

'Disney-Pixar’s Cars is one of the world’s most beloved and recognised franchises, and we’re thrilled to be taking the story further and faster than ever before through a new console experience based on the upcoming, action-packed Cars 3,' claimed Disney's Kyle Laughlin, politically not mentioning his company's earlier closure of the studio responsible for the game. 'We are excited to once again be working with the Avalanche team, who have a deep understanding of the Disney-Pixar DNA, and a history of translating our stories into great gaming experiences.'

While Avalanche may be back and working on Disney properties, the move doesn't appear to represent a volte-face on the company's part: There are no plans at present to resurrect the Disney Infinity franchise, nor to begin self-publishing games again.
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