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Disney tries to revive its digital gaming with 'Disney Infinity'

The entertainment giant is said to have spent $100 million on a new video game project that lets players design their own landscapes and use their own characters from Disney movies and TV shows.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
Disney Infinity is Disney's new digital gaming project. Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

Disney is looking to boost its digital unit, and to do so it has reportedly thrown more than $100 million toward a new project called "Disney Infinity," according to The Wall Street Journal. This comes after abysmal earnings and hundreds of layoffs over the past couple of years.

The project will feature video games from many of Disney's TV shows and major movies like "Cars," "Pirates of the Caribbean," and "The Incredibles." The games will work similarly to a choose-your-own-adventure scenario. They are designed for players to be able to create their own Disney-esque landscapes and bring in various characters via purchase. Disney will also sell collectible toys based on the game's characters.

"If 'Infinity' does well, it bodes very well for the bottom line of this unit," Disney CEO Robert Iger said to analysts in February, according to the Journal. "If it doesn't do well, the opposite will be the case."

Disney put most of its Internet properties into Disney Interactive Media Group in 2008 by merging video games, online, and mobile. According to the Journal, Disney Interactive has since experienced $1.41 billion in losses, along with layoffs, the closing of video game-production studios, and canceled projects.

Apparently, the hope now is that Disney Infinity will help revive the struggling interactive division. Disney Infinity will become available on Sunday in the U.S. and Tuesday in Europe.