Junction Point Studios eight year run is over. Warren Spector’s studio is done. Word has come in that the rumors are true. Disney did shut down the developer recently and it was only just confirmed January 29, 2013. Go ahead and shed a tear if you want, or don’t. It’s up to you, really, and your emotional reaction would probably be based on whether or not you enjoyed the Epic Mickey games.
Though Junction Point was founded in 2005, it didn’t really start doing anything until Disney acquired it in 2007. It’s at that point that Disney Epic Mickey development began. The title was released in 2010 on the Wii to much hype, but fell short of expectations due to the team’s decision to play it safe when it came to moral decisions, occasionally awkward controls and an absolutely atrocious camera. True fact – Epic Mickey is only the third game to ever make me feel motion sick. (Super Mario Galaxy and Me and My Katamari are the other two.) It received average reviews, think around 70/100, which led to Disney and Junction Point deciding a sequel was a good idea.
Which brings us to Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. In all likelihood, this is the game that killed Junction Point. The game not only failed to fix the problems encountered in the original Epic Mickey, it compounded them by practically requiring two people to always be playing at once. There were areas that couldn’t be reached, switches that couldn’t be flipped and bosses that couldn’t be fought without Oswald’s assistance and the AI for him in a single player game was dreadful. While the original game easily cleared one million units sold by the time 2010 ended. Epic Mickey 2 was released in 2012 and only managed to sell around 270,000 units by the end of the year. When you factor in that the original’s sales were only on the Wii and the sequel’s sales figures took into account Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 sales, well, that’s just bad news. The fact that the reviews for the sequel were in around 60/100 didn’t help.
So, it seems Disney did the only thing it thought it could – close Junction Point. Our condolences to the staff. Hopefully, they’ll find new, secure jobs with another developer.