Closed by Disney following last year's cancellation of toys-to-life game Disney Infinity, developer Avalanche Studios is back in business today, re-opened under new owner Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Its first project is a game based on Disney-Pixar's Cars 3.
Studio closures are an unfortunately common occurrence in the video game business. Studios closing then reopening under completely different ownership, not so much. But that's what looks to have happened to Avalanche Software. The studio is up and running once again, with CEO John Blackburn back at the helm. A Warner Bros. representative told Kotaku that a "substantial chunk" of the studio's staff at the time of Disney's closure was back on board, forming a team well over 100 strong.
Warner Bros. also acquired Avalanche Software's Octane engine, which powered the Disney Infinity series. The engine will be used to create the video game tie-in for Cars 3.
"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," said Kyle Laughlin, Senior Vice President of games, apps & labs, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media said via official announcement. "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."
What does this move mean for the future of Disney Infinity? Not much. A source close to the situation tells Kotaku that while Disney is pleased to be working with the team at Avalanche Studios once more on Cars 3, the partnership is not part of an effort to bring Disney Infinity back to life.
At least we get to see a 22-year-old game studio get a new lease on life. Cars 3 is due out later this year.