Junction Point Studios, the outfit responsible for Epic Mickey on the Wii and its multi-platform sequel, subtitled The Power Of Two, is no more. In the wake of poor sales of Epic Mickey 2, the release of which was followed by an enforced, indefinitely extended vacation for the studio’s employees, Disney has opted to shut Austin, TX based Junction Point down as part of ongoing refocusing of its interactive entertainment foci.
Founded by Wing Commander alumnus and Deus Ex creator Warren Spector, along with Art Min (formerly of Ion Storm), Junction Point’s brief history was somewhat rocky. Following its release in 2010, Junction Point’s original offering of Epic Mickey sold decently and received fairly good scores from most outlets, although the game’s camera proved a sticking point for many a reviewer. Sales of the first Epic Mickey peaked at around 1.3 million, which was decent enough for a Wii title, but not spectacular.
The follow-up, Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two, however, is widely regarded as a flop. Barely breaking 270,000 copies sold across all platforms for which it had been made available, Epic Mickey 2 received a fair amount of critical heat due to issues from the first game going unaddressed in the sequel. The game ended up netting Metacritic ratings of 56-64 out of 100 across its various versions.
The closure of Junction Point is the latest in a string of blows for the videogame industry in Austin. Zynga, BioWare, and Starhawk‘s Lightbox have all seen rough times regarding their Austin offices, and Vigil, the studio behind the Darksiders franchise, was dissolved (and mostly absorbed by Crytek) following THQ’s recent bankruptcy.