The Warren Spector-led studio behind “Epic Mickey” joins the long list of game developers that couldn’t survive a rough 2012.
Junction Point, the eight-year-old Austin, TX studio founded by Warren Spector and Art Min has closed its doors according to an official statement from parent company Disney.
It was with much sadness that we informed our teams today of changes to our Games organization, which include the closure of Junction Point Studios. These changes are part of our ongoing effort to address the fast-evolving gaming platforms and marketplace and to align resources against our key priorities. We’re extremely grateful to Warren Spector and the Junction Point team for their creative contributions to Disney with Disney Epic Mickey and Disney Epic Mickey 2.
“Epic Mickey 2,” the multiplatform pairing of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit wasn’t the hit that Disney and Junction Point Studios hoped it would be. After amassing Metacritic scores around the low-to-mid 60’s, Disney decided to pull the plug on the developer, whose only other title at this point was 2010’s much better received “Epic Mickey.”
You have to wonder how much of the closure was down to poor sales of the sequel and how much involved Disney’s increasing squeamishness about the console space. When they acquired LucasArts, Disney was very clear that they wanted to focus their efforts on mobile and social gaming, particularly in light of high-profile failures like the combat raceer “Split/Second.”
Spector, a lifelong Disney fan (and something of an expert on the company’s characters and history) looks to no longer have a place with the Mouse House. In an official statement, a Disney spokesman said “he will not be staying with Disney.”
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