Reports of the closing of Junction Point were confirmed recently by Disney. The developer had appeared to be on hiatus since the release of Epic Mickey 2 in November 2012.
“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,” said Disney in a statement. “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.”
The release of Epic Mickey 2, which is reported to have sold less than half of its predecessor despite releasing on numerous systems, sealed the fate of the studio. While the series had a mixed critical reception, Warren Spector looks back fondly with what his team had done.
“Whatever you think of me, or Junction Point, or Disney or the Disney Epic Mickey games – yes, I know we polarized people! – I’ll always look back on the last eight years with nothing but pride,” wrote Spector. “Rarely have I worked with a team more dedicated or harder working. Never have I been part of a game – of anything, really – that touched people at as deep or personal a level as the Epic Mickey games. That’s priceless.”
“I said to myself as Junction Point embarked on the Epic Mickey journey that, worst case, we’d be ‘a footnote in Disney history.’ Looking back on it, I think we did far better than that,” he added. “With Mickey Mouse as our hero, we introduced a mainstream audience to some cool ‘core game’ concepts . . . and, most especially, we restored Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to a place of prominence.”
“I’ll always be grateful to Disney for that opportunity, to the folks who helped out along the way in Glendale, on the studio lot in Burbank, at the parks in Anaheim and Orlando and Paris, at Disney offices around the world and at Pixar. (You know who you are!) I’m grateful to the Disney fans, bloggers and historians who embraced me, the team and our work – that was huge. And, most especially, I’ll always be grateful to the folks — the family — at Junction Point who did all the real work. I’ll see all of you in the future!” Spector concluded.