Warren Spector bids farewell to the studio behind Epic Mickey

largeSome sad news for all you Epic Mickey fans. Word has gotten out that Disney is officially closing Junction Point Studios. According to Disney, chairman Bob Iger says the company is looking to restructure its interactive division after experiencing $1.6 billion dollars in losses over that past six years.

“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. 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.”

Studio co-founder Warren Spector released an official statement on his personal Facebook account. Giving thanks to fans and his team for all their support over the past seven years.

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. 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.

But now it’s time to… (Man, I almost said, “now it’s time to say goodbye to all our fa-mi-ly…” Which would have led me right to “M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E!”). Let’s just say, now it’s time to move on to the next adventure. I honestly don’t know what that will be yet, so don’t ask. (And while we’re on the subject of asking, if you’re a journalist, don’t bother – all press inquiries go to Brian Nelson and Carrie Davis over at Disney.)

Anyway, 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. 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. 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.

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!

I, personally, never got a chance to play any of the Epic Mickey titles. This is due to the fact that I had already gotten rid of my Wii by the time the games had come out. In fact, I have a few friends who are big Warren Spector fans that didn’t play the game simply because it was only available on the Wii.

In any case, it is still sad to see a studio go under. I am sure that Warren Spector and the good people of Junction Point Studios will have a bright future ahead of them. Stay tuned for more news!

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