To Alter the Balance of Power in Video Games, Disney Calls on Marvel's Avengers

"Disney Infinity" ranked 10th among 2013’s top video games. Adding Marvel's Avengers could push the franchise to new heights.

Tim Beyers
Tim Beyers
Apr 22, 2014 at 7:15PM
Consumer Goods

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is accelerating efforts to use acquired brands in different areas of its business. The latest move? Adding Marvel's Avengers to the Disney Infinity video game world. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.

For those who don't know, Infinity in many ways resembles Skylanders. Real-world figurines you can buy either activate or enhance avatars in the game. According to NPD, Disney Infinity ranked as last year's 10th-best selling game.

A terrific performance, right? No doubt, especially when the list also includes Mojang's multiplatform megahit Minecraft and two titles in the Call of Duty franchise. Despite that, Disney Infinity 1.0 didn't earn enough to prevent the House of Mouse from cutting 700 jobs at Disney Interactive, the division responsible for producing branded video games. Version 2.0 will get Marvel's Avengers and could arrive as soon as August, according to reporting by GameSpot.

The addition comes as Disney is marketing its acquired brands more aggressively. Consider "Marvel Universe Live!," a traveling arena show in which audiences are thrust into the middle of the battle of good vs. evil, with Marvel heroes and villains as the centerpiece.

Over at Lucasfilm, Disney months ago began efforts to produce a new version of Star Wars: Battlefront to be released next year. The House of Mouse has also commissioned a new free-to-play combat game titled Star Wars: Attack Squadrons, which remains in beta as of this writing.

The message? Whether it's calling in an attack on the Death Star or assembling Marvel's Avengers, when it comes to playing around, Disney couldn't be more serious.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. What do you think of Disney's gaming efforts?  Will calling in Marvel's Avengers boost Infinity sales? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Disney stock at current prices.