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Epic Mickey

Game site 1Up.com is reporting on an ambitious new “steampunk” Mickey Mouse game in development, codenamed Epic Mickey. Warren Spector (video game superstar behind System Shock, Deus Ex) and Disney’s Junction Point Studios are working on this secret project, in development for Nintendo’s Wii. Artists Tony Pulham, Gary Glover and Fred Gambino are said to be doing development art (click thumbnails above for larger images). For more art and info, click here.

(Thanks, Saturnome)

  • MattSullivan

    Hate steampunk. Hate it. It’s lazy genre-ism. It’s for people who can’t decide whether to set a film in the past or the future, and so to blur the lines and pile one element on top of another, hoping it’ll look cool.


  • Really? I absolutely love it! Can’t get enough of it.

    You know what was Meh? The new Fantastic Mr. Fox trailer. I don’t know, didn’t do it for me.

  • Inkan1969

    What are they going to call it? “Steampunk Willie”?

  • The artwork is quite slick, I’ll give it that. Personally I’d rather have “Kingdom Hearts 3” for the Wii, but I’m interested in seeing where this ends up.

  • Hulk

    I stopped playing video games when I was 12 but I’d play this one. A post-apocalyptic Disneyworld? The story possibilities are endless. I’m just suprised Disney is allowing this.

  • Chuck

    I’m with Matt Sullivan. The Disney brand is un-rebellious by defenition. Slapping a bunch of stitches and rags and dials and knobs and chainsaws and screwdrivers and any other spooky detritus on top of Donald Duck is hardly an original artistic statment, and the fact that it comes from Disney itself proves that it isn’t a statement at all- just another desperate attempt to stay relevant by bastardizing its old characters, rather than try to be original and invent SOMETHING NEW. You want to create something darker, for a more mature audience? Try to invent some new characters. A new mythology. Make something original, for Walt’s sake! Here’s a tip, Disney- let Mickey be Mickey.

  • TheGunheart

    The reason I’m not impressed is that I don’t see how exactly this relates to Disney’s works. As far as I can tell, it’s just a bunch horrible rickety abominations wearing parts of Disney rides.

  • tgentry

    I dislike steampunk as well. Kudos to whoever first came up with the idea and style, but everyone else is basically just regurgitating the same thing. Just too precious and quaint for my tastes.

    And why make this for the Wii of all systems? What’s the point of creating beautiful game art if you’re going to be showing it off on the worst gaming system out there? No hope for this one.

  • Mike Russo

    This looks horrible.

    But I’m sure the teens who are anti-Disney by default are going to eat this garbage up.

  • Brian

    I’m very choosy about both my animation and my videogames, and this sounds like an intriguing concept. A lot depends on execution, and particularly in videogames that’s hard to determine from early art. I’ll definitely be taking a look when this comes out.

  • I never was a fan of Kingdom Hearts, it just never interested me. This, however looks very interesting. And since it’s being done by the guy behind System Shock and Deus Ex, it has potential.

    Hey Jerry, I like that you guys are posting more about video games. I’m just wondering how familiar you are with games these days?

  • Gobo

    I’m fascinated that Disney would allow their interactive studio to deconstruct them like this. One look at the robot bug with a Sneezy head and a Magic Teacup on its back and Mickey hands would send any Disney suit into horrified shock, I’d think. I guess that’s the point.

  • Take note this is probably all early concept art and has probably ended up leaked because they aren’t going to use any of it. If this game turns out anything like the ‘..of Illusion’ Mickey Mouse games on the old Sega consoles, I’m right there.

  • TheGunheart

    I know what you mean, Mike. All the forums I’ve been to are simply drooling over how “dark” it looks, and how it’s so awesome to see Disney characters “subverted”, but it really just looks like a parody for some college humor site.

    Turns out the story is supposed to be about “old, forgotten Disney characters getting their revenge on Mickey Mouse”. Revenge? Is that the only plot they can think of?

  • Hal

    First off – the overt commercialism of Disney’s modern empire manifest as a decaying warped version of its former self inhabited by vicious creatures lurking beneath rotting cute facades seems a subversive artistic statement if there ever was one.

    Secondly – there’s been no OFFICIAL announcement yet, so the assumption this is actually or exclusively STEAMPUNK doesn’t have legs. The development of a game usually incorporates a huge creative process, much like a film. For all we know these are simply a handful of artists who pushed in that direction, or its one “world” in a larger concept.

    Having said that – feel compelled to discuss some points in this post…

    tgentry: Why the Wii? Because it is one of the largest gaming markets FOR KIDS outside the other Nintendo console, DS (most Next-Gen systems are targeted to the 18-35 demo).

    TheGunheart/Chuck: Its concept art, the fact that one of the most innovative developers (Spector) out there is developing this game suggests there could be meat on those bones. Those 7 Dwarf beasts emerging from the sea to grab classic characters and the Monstroso with theme parks on its back seem to be about as cynical a depiction of Disney’s current state as anything I’ve seen. If these weren’t for a game, I’d consider them outright satire using Disney imagery.

    Inkan1969: That’s perfect actually…

    MattSullivan: Fair enough on the aesthetic criticism, but there’s no reason why the genre couldn’t WORK – cogs moving, reflective metal tubes, atmospheric smoke, decaying chunks falling to the ground – there’s a lot of potential for BG animation in an environment like this.

    I’m giving this the benefit of the doubt – Spector has actually pushed the gaming medium so I doubt this will simply be a cash grab – it could be a fascinating fun cash grab.

  • Platy

    News today in gaming sites pointed more details about the gameplay and … a little part about the story that you guys may find … very interesting

    “The story CVG describes had better be the real story. “We’ve also been told that it’ll be based around very old and/or forgotten Disney characters who are out to get their revenge on Mickey,” according to the site, “presumably because they’re jealous of all his fame and fortune.” Lending credence to this storyline is the fact that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit can be seen on the rocket in the above artwork.”

    the “above artwork” : http://www.joystiq.com/photos/epic-mickey-concept-art/2174617/

  • matt

    I hope it’s not Wii-exclusive. I have a Wii as well, but if it has nice art like that it’d be a crime not to see it in HD.

  • The Wii can pull of some impressive graphics, it just depends on if the developers take the time to do it right for once. Very few have.

    But this idea is weird. Lets just do KH3.

  • Brian Kidd

    The KINGDOM HEARTS games were odd, but charming and fun. However, this isn’t Square/Enix and is for the Wii. While it’s impossible to judge the final game based on development art, the two points I’ve mentioned make me wary.

  • Wilt Lily

    I’m afraid of change and new ideas confuse me, so I think I’ll be in my pillow fort hugging my DVDs of classic Disney cartoons of the 1800’s when this comes out, waiting out the storm.

    The tears are already flowing!

  • I’f cool with the buildings but those other things were disgusting

  • Redkanary

    “Turns out the story is supposed to be about “old, forgotten Disney characters getting their revenge on Mickey Mouse”.

    I’d love to see an evil version of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit as the Big Bad. With Horace and Clarabelle as henchpersons, maybe?

  • If the plot is supposed to be about forgotten characters excating revenge, why of all the several characters ACTUALLY forgotten by most, they choose to put sneezy and dopey’s heads on those thingS!
    this better be excutedwell, otherwise, thumbs down :(

  • FigmentJedi

    A lot of concept art points towards the Phantom Blot being a key villain in this. Perhaps he’s manipulating everyone against Mickey.

  • I don’t like it. Kingdom Heatrs work because it kept the charm and magic of the Disney Characters. This doesn’t. It just seems a attempt to make everything dark and edgy, because people think dark and edgy is cool with the kids. I say no.

  • mat

    Looks like it will give kids nightmares! I’m not letting my nephew near this one at all! More info on the story, You are chosen by mickey to “repaint” the landscape back to the way it was before. It looks like you will have to restore donald, goofy and the others back to thier classic selfs with a magic paintbrush.

  • Tom Heres

    By and large, sequels stink. New ideas are at least new. Let’s see where they go with this and we can all judge it then.

  • @ Wilt Lily LMAO! Right on!

  • Jose Manuel!

    poor walt poor uncle walt!

    anyways I always wanted to know your opinion about Kingdom hearts Jerry!

  • I thought Kingdom Hearts was really neat, and although I do not play video games (except DDR), I was excited by the chance to explore the different “worlds” based on the environments in various classic Disney films–which was always a fantasy of mine as a kid. I think those images (above) look fantastic. I don’t care if Disney develops other takes on the classic Disney characters. The originals will always exist, and be there for us and our kids (and their kids, etc.) to enjoy.

  • Mac

    This is intriguing. I’d like to know the whole story here, so I’m looking forward to finding out more, rather than making assumptions based on the concept art. The image of the beach possibly gives clues about “the forgotten characters” which may be appearing. I can spot, multiple clones of Horace Horsecollar, Eli Squinch (from the comics), Peter Pig (Donald’s co star in Wise Little Hen), the cow from Steamboat Willie and early 30’s Minnie. A Lantz era model sheet seems to have provided the reference for the pic of Oswald on the rocket sketch.

    Even if Mickey ends up being somehow re-imagined here, I wouldn’t get too upset. Nothing’s as bad as turning him (as well as Donald, Goofy and the rest) into ugly, patronising, CG Dora Explorer wannabes.

  • Warren Spector is just a producer, he’s not a game designer. I don’t know what that hubbub is all about. He didn’t design System Shock, and granted he was a “director” on the first Deus Ex, the lead designer was Harvey Smith, who has designed more than a few games on an actual designer credit.

    Anyways, this Disney stuff is bunk, yawn.

  • This is both a revolutionary and a risky step for Disney. Mickey is always been a happy type of Disney character. I’m sure this will change the way we see Mickey Mouse and friends. But I don’t know if i can really see this type of Disney game out. It’s just so weird. Anyways hopefully the design and game will be good.

  • I remember hearing something like this on a different website, I thought it was a joke. Turns out its really a real deal, as much as I am not into Disney stuff I might give this a go because its looks rather interesting for once. I might review this game on my blog if it comes out.

  • Steampunk Willie

    For those who don’t care for steampunk look at it this way, it’s a DARK disney game. That itself makes this project interesting, I look forward to the game’s future.

  • Failure from the start, they should hire SQUARE ENIX. Period. They´re the best weavers of magic for the past 20 years.