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Disney confirms multiple rumors today of the closure of Austin, TX based studio – Junction Point Studios

By David Tadros

Several popular gaming websites (GameSpot, IGN, GiantBomb, Wired) have posted on Disney’s decision to close Junction Point Studios, the studio founded by game industry legend – Warren Spector – and the studio behind the Epic Mickey franchise.

At first, the news was simply speculation on twitter feeds, but today Disney released it’s official statement on the matter.

“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.”

It may come as no surprise to many, due to the recent lackluster sales of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, as well as Disney’s recent announcement of Infinity.  With the closing of Junction Point, a Disney representative confirmed to that Warren Spector will also be leaving Disney.

Why this matters.

So you’re probably wondering why I am reporting on this.  Well, as one of the nearly two million people who purchased the original Wii exclusive Epic Mickey, it saddens me to see the studio fail for two reasons.  One, Epic Mickey 2 was a huge improvement over it’s predecessor.  The platforming was spot on for the majority of the game, and the controls and handling far acceded anything that was seen in the original Epic Mickey.  The ability to play the game on multiple platforms was a serious plus that, honestly, should have given the title a better footing.  The only area the game really lacked in was it’s story.  Two, with the great improvements from Epic Mickey to Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, I was really expecting the third installment to really blow me away.  It was speculated that it would have been a next gen. title and seeing as far as Junction Point Studios has come, it would have been great to see where they would have taken the franchise.  Unfortunately, more people are out of work, another gaming studio has completely shut down, and the world will never see what Warren Spector had in store for Epic Mickey 3.  It’s a shame, but going from almost 2 million units as a Wii exclusive, down to just over 250,000 units as a multi-platform title, I’m sure they may have seen this coming.  Best of luck to those who have lost their jobs.