Six years ago, Disney purchased video game developer Junction Point Studios. Since then, the two have released two installments of Epic Mickey as a way to introduce a new generation to some of the historic variations of Mickey Mouse.
It was announced yesterday that Disney has decided to shut down Junction Point.
Junction Point is run by founder Warren Spector, a well regarded developer of games who has been in the business since the early 1980s. Spector addressed the closing of the studio on his Facebook page.
“I said to myself as Junction Point embarked on the Epic Mickeyjourney that, worst case, we’d be ‘a footnote in Disney history.’ Looking back on it, I think we did far better than that,” he wrote. “With Mickey Mouse as our hero, we introduced a mainstream audience to some cool ‘core game’ concepts … and, most especially, we restored Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to a place of prominence.”
“Whatever you think of me,” he continued,“or Junction Point, or Disney or the Disney Epic Mickeygames – yes, I know we polarized people! – I’ll always look back on the last eight years with nothing but pride.”
Epic Mickey started out strong when first released, scoring several positive reviews and selling 1.3 million copies in its first month. A sequel to the game, while praised for improvements, was nevertheless considered a disappointment from a sales point of view.
Disney, which has been under pressure to turn a profit at its interactive division, acknowledged the closure of Junction Point, though a spokesman didn’t say how many jobs were in jeopardy. He said theEpic Mickey franchise might live on, though there were no plans for sequels to the game.