While my household is still in mourning over the untimely demise of Disney Infinity, the former movie studio and now cultural monopoly has this week unveiled a new video game that, if Disney is your thing, is very much catering towards your things.
Here’s the trailer for Disney Dreamlight Valley, showing off a game — described by the developers as a “life-sim adventure” — that’s as inspired by Animal Crossing as it is The Sims:
That’s the good news! This multiverse shit is exactly what Disney fans are into, which explains the success of everything from Kingdom Hearts to (initially) Disney Infinity to…well, Disneyland itself. I showed this trailer to my wife and daughter this morning and they lost their minds, one for the casual crossovers between films, the other because it looked like Animal Crossing, only with Anna selfies.
And I gotta admit, for what this is shooting for — not a video game, but an exercise in the exploration of a fandom — it looks cool as hell. Do I want to play a fishing minigame? Eh, I could take it or leave it. Do I want to go fishing with Goofy? Yes. Here’s more from the game’s official pitch:
We’re particularly proud of the game’s expansive, engrossing, story-driven campaign. The Disney and Pixar characters you meet have their own unique individualised story arcs and friendship goals, both of which you can fulfil through exploration, gift-giving, and other fun activities where you’ll get to know your friends in new ways.
Your days will be filled with everything from whipping up delectable Disney-themed desserts in your village restaurant alongside Remy from Disney and Pixar’s Ratatouille, using your latest catch from your time at the fishing hole with Goofy, as well as vegetables you planted and harvested from Wall-E’s garden patch.
As you help your new friends, you will gradually begin to remove the night thorns around Dreamlight Valley with the power of your inner magic resulting in new areas with new characters opening up for you to explore.
Best of all, we’ll be regularly updating the game with more content, including activities that coincide with new Disney and Pixar movies and events.
Now for the not-so-great news: this is a free-to-play game being developed by mobile specialists Gameloft, meaning that various stuff you’ve seen in that trailer above is going to be locked away behind purchases.
While early reports say there’s “fairly non-aggressive monetisation” to be found, the jury is obviously going to be out on that whole thing until people have had a chance to sit down and play it when it’s properly out in 2023 (though there’ll be an early access version available later this year).
As for platforms, it’ll be coming to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC, Mac, Switch and the App Store.