At a recent press event in London dedicated to the upcoming Disney Infinity Play Set expansion, Marvel Battlegrounds, we had the chance to sit down with Ryan Rothenberger, Senior Producer on Disney Infinity, and talk about what the future has in store for the game. With the recent Disney Infinity Next online broadcast confirming that rather than a full on Disney Infinity 4.0 release in 2016, we're instead going to be treated to four brand new co-op Play Set expansions for Disney Infinity 3.0 - one each for Star Wars, Pixar and Disney, with Marvel Battlegrounds covering the super-hero quota - we were eager to ask a few questions about what might be in store, and what form those expansions might take. Luckily, Rothberger was happy to spill at least a few beans to give us a hint at what to expect.
One of the things that makes Marvel Battlegrounds stand out from the other Disney Infinity Play Set expansions is that it only comes with the one figure - "The First Avenger" Captain America - rather than the two the Play Sets have previously come with. Up until now, every single Play Set has come with two figures, so Marvel Battlegrounds is a bit of a diversion from the norm, with the Play Set weighing in at a lower pricepoint in the US (although it's looking set to cost pretty much the same as the others over here).
Wondering if this was a sign of things to come going forwards, we decided to pick Rothberger's brain about whether one figure, one Play Set piece was the new normal - and it turns out, that could well be the case. As he explains: "For Play Sets like Battlegrounds, that's going to be the case [that it only comes with one figure]. As we move forward through this year, we're still going to explore whether we'll do the one character thing, but as it stands right now, it's looking pretty promising that we'll do one character and a Play Set piece".
Of course, while that's interesting enough in and of itself, that does also raise a lot of questions about how co-op's going to work in the Play Sets going forward, as traditionally, Disney Infinity has (somewhat ironically) placed a number of barriers on who can play in which Play Set. For the vast majority of Play Sets out there, the rule is that only a character from that franchise can play in that Play Set - so not only can Stitch not take on Darth Vader in the Star Wars Play Sets, but Lightning McQueen also can't head inside Riley's mind in Inside Out. If future Disney Infinity Play Sets are going to ditch the two character approach in favour of one, that can only really mean one thing - the boundaries are about to be lifted, and soon, every "franchise" character could well be able to play in every same-franchise Play Set - at least within broad pillars.
We've already seen this with the Star Wars Play Sets, as any Star Wars character can play in any Star Wars Play Set, and Battlegrounds does the same, letting any Marvel character join in the action. Could this mean that any Pixar character will be able to play in the upcoming Pixar Play Set, which is widely expected to be based on the upcoming Finding Dory film? Could any Disney character jump in to the as yet unannounced Disney Play Set? It's certainly looking likely - and if so, it can only be a good thing for the fans, adding extra value to figures, and creating plenty of new co-op dream teams!