Fans of Disney Infinity received some bad news this week as the media company announced the shut-down of its games division. Newzoo reports a boom in eSports awareness and the growth of the industry, but Capcom’s focus on eSports seems to have harmed the sales of its latest Street Fighter launch.
Disney Closes Games Business
This week, Disney announced that it would be ending its self-published console games business altogether and shutting down its critically acclaimed Disney Infinity line. According to Ars Technica, the decision results in a $147 million write-off largely due to Infinity. Disney also attributed lower results for Infinity as the reason behind a 8% decrease in Consumer Products & Interactive Media revenue and income. Disney Infinity was originally launched in 2014 as a response to Activision’s billion-dollar Skylanders franchise.
eSports Awareness Skyrockets
Marketing data company Newzoo estimates that eSports awareness will exceed a global audience of 1 billion people in 2016. Sports Illustrated reported that the firm also projects eSports viewership will grow by over 60 million people this year and eSport revenue will climb to $1 billion by 2019. According to GamesIndustry, Newzoo also found that the average awareness of eSports increased from 53.7% in 2015 to 65.7% in 2016 among gamers. The firm attributes the industry’s growth primarily to an increase in mainstream media involvement, locally and internationally organized events, and invested efforts by publishers.
Streetfighter V Sales Misses the Mark
Capcom revealed its annual financial statements, showing that Street Fighter V has fallen short of its sales projections by 30%. The Daily Dot notes that the game sold 1.4 million copies on PC and PS4 since its launch in February. Despite being very popular in the esports scene, the lack of single-player content lost the interest of many casual players. Forbes adds that the game’s problematic launch may also have contributed to lower sales, in addition to the possible alienation of newer players in favor of competitive gamers.