The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles is one of those industry trade shows that most people don’t quite understand. It’s a pretty big show for an entertainment segment that annually pulls in more revenue than the recording industry or all the Hollywood film studios combined. For fans it’s a chance to see and play the next wave of games. For the companies, it’s an opportunity to gauge reaction to their latest offerings. And for the media it’s three days of trying to figure out how much of the hype has a basis in reality.
For LaughingPlace.com, E3 is viewed as a window on what is coming next from Disney. The Walt Disney Company not only has their own in-house brand, Disney Interactive, but also actively licenses their many entertainment properties. While it would be easy enough to head to their prominent booth to sample their latest titles, this would not guarantee that one was seeing everything Disney had to offer.
For E3 in 2014, Disney predictably pulled out the stops in promoting their commitment to the popular Disney Infinity line. This year the biggest promotional push was for an extensive set of Marvel figures that are scheduled to join the Infinity universe as Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes. Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and even Spider-Man will now be able to interact with each other in two initial adventures, as well as with other iconic Disney characters in Toybox mode. Disney Infinity 2,0: Marvel Super Heroes is set for release on September 23, 2014.
In addition, new Disney characters were introduced, as well. Merida from Brave and Maleficent from, er, Maleficent were shown to the public at the Disney Interactive booth. This Maleficent featured the pale white face of Angelina Jolie’s live action evil fairy, as opposed to the familiar green face of the animated classic Sleeping Beauty.
Of note to many gamers was a seemingly minor accessory that was spotted at E3’s Disney Infinity preview. Darkwing Duck’s Ratcatcher motorcycle is the first fully realized object from the Disney Afternoon franchise to appear in Disney Infinity. While there have been references to the popular block of animated TV series from the 1990s, the Ratcatcher is the first interactive item in the game. Many fans of the Disney Afternoon, with its collection of richly delineated characters and settings, have been clamoring to see them join the Disney Infinity universe.
In addition to Disney Infinity, the Disney Interactive booth also featured an entirely new game, Fantasia: Music Evolved. Developed by Harmonix for the Xbox it is, obviously, a music-based game that is scheduled for release on October 21, 2014. Described as a successor to Disney’s animated classics Fantasia and Fantasia 2000, the game allows players to interact with music while gaining expertise and animating more extensive music and arrangements.
The initial musical selections draw from classical music, classic rock, and contemporary hits. The compositions scheduled for release in October are:
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain;
Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik;
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Winter);
Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite;
Dvorak: From the New World;
Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody;
Elton John: Rocket Man;
The Who: The Real Me;
David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust;
Depeche Mode: Enjoy the Silence;
The Police: Message in a Bottle;
White Stripes: Seven Nation Army;
Peter Gabriel: In Your Eyes;
Galang 05: M.I.A.;
Cee Lo Green: Forget You;
Fun: Some Nights; Kimbra: Settle Down;
Gorillaz: Feel Good, Inc.;
Bruno Mars: Locked Out of Heaven;
Nicki Minaj: Super Bass;
Drake (featuring Rihanna): Take Care.