Yesterday, Disney Interactive Studios confirmed reports that, after eight years of operation, Junction Point Studios (Disney Epic Mickey) was to be closed. While studio head Warren Spector is no doubt upset about this turn of events, it sounds as though he’s come to accept it and is looking forward to new adventures.
In a public address on Facebook, Spector began:
“Yes, it’s true. The Junction Point journey is over. To all those who’ve asked, or want to ask, I’m sad but excited for the future.”
“JPS had a good eight year run,” Spector continued. “I got to work with some amazing people on some amazing projects. I’ve had some of the most magical times of my life, fulfilling several life-long dreams. I’ve gotten to know Disney fans and Disney cast members, gotten hands on with Disney’s history, walked where Walt walked… ‘Magical’ really is the only word.”
While he “honestly” doesn’t know what the future holds for him at the moment, Spector is still proud of the work that he and his team at Junction Point produced, despite criticisms:
“I’ll always look back on the last eight years with nothing but pride,” Spector wrote. “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.”
While creating two very high profile Disney games starring one of the most famous and recognisable characters of all time was important and a milestone for Spector, the re-introduction of the long lost Oswald the Lucky Rabbit character into prominent Disney lore seems to be an especially high achievement for the developer:
“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. 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. We did that. Junction Point.”
Spector signed off his address by saying how grateful he is for all of the opportunities that Disney and Pixar afforded him, as well as chances to speak with Disney fans around the world, while paying special thanks to his team at Junction Point.
“I’ll see all of you in the future!” Spector concludes.
We certainly hope so, Warren.
What have been some of your favourite games that Warren Spector worked on? Deus Ex? The Wing Commander series? System Shock or Thief? The Ultima titles he designed? What did you think of the Disney Epic Mickey titles?
Source: Warren Spector on Facebook