On Sunday, the final morning of the all-things Disney convention, the D23 Expo, video games took the spotlight. And then “Star Wars” dominated it.
Actors Daisy Ridley and John Boyega from “Star Wars: Episode 7 -- The Force Awakens” were the special guests during a 90-minute presentation on Disney’s upcoming video game slate. Ridley and Boyega were on hand to introduce figures from the family-focused “Disney Infinity 3.0" that are made in the likeness of their “Star Wars” characters, Rey and Finn, respectively.
Boyega learned that his character Finn has the “most powerful weapon in the game,” which was alluded to by John Blackburn, senior vice president/general manager of “Disney Infinity.” Ridley, meanwhile, was simply pleased her character was able to kick some butt in the title.
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“I’m not what you call a classic gamer,” she told an audience of about 5,000, “but I just played it backstage and even I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can do it.’”
The two then further won over the crowd by signing the figures and giving them away to two children in the audience. “Disney Infinity 3.0" will release on Aug. 30. An add-on for the game modeled after “The Force Awakens” will release in December to tie in with the upcoming J.J. Abrams-directed film.
That wasn’t the only “Star Wars” news at the panel. Footage from Electronic Arts’ DICE-developed “Star Wars: Battlefront” was shown, and Sony announced that it will this holiday season release a Darth Vader-branded PlayStation 4.
The latest “Battlefront” clips showed a dogfight above a planet, with TIE fighters and X-wings battling for air superiority.
The mission, one of nine multiplayer modes in “Battlefront,” centered on rebel fighters trying to prevent an Imperial transport from leaving the air space. Screens switched from first-person to cockpit views, and then the famed Millennium Falcon arrived just as the battle was at its most dire.
Earlier in the panel, Electronic Arts' Justin McCully, who is overseeing the development of “Star Wars” titles for the company, showed concept art for an upcoming downloadable mission centered on “The Force Awakens.” The content will focus on the Battle of Jakku, which leads to a battle-scarred landscape in “The Force Awakens.” The art showed downed X-wings and nearly destroyed Imperial starships.
Aside from the appearance of the cast members from “The Force Awakens,” the largest cheers of the morning were reserved for “Kingdom Hearts III.” No release date was given, but series executive producer Shinji Hashimoto did unveil, via an interpreter, that “Big Hero 6" will be found in the role-playing game that mixes and matches Disney worlds and characters.
The “Big Hero 6" robot Baymax will figure heavily into “Kingdom Hearts III.” The game will pick up where the film left off, with the original Baymax trapped in a portal. Villains, said Hashimoto will use the “power of darkness” to manipulate him. Concept art showed Baymax in battle with a giant, purple-ish robot creature with a claw-like arm.
Initially announced at E3 in 2013, “Kingdom Hearts III” returns Sora, Riku, Donald Duck and Goofy to center stage in the crossover action RPG franchise that kicked off with the initial “Kingdom Hearts" PlayStation 2 game in 2002.
Disney also teased an upcoming mobile game called “Disney Magic Kingdoms.” The game will allow players to create their own Disney theme parks of sorts. Footage showed Mickey Mouse running out of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, which was soon overtaken by Maleficent.
It won’t be based solely on content creation, said Disney Interactive executive Scott Humphries, as players will have to unravel a plot by Disney’s famed villains.