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Marvel Characters’ Superpowers Are Perfect for Gaming, Says Disney Infinity 2.0 Exec

Executive producer John Vignocchi tells TheWrap he expects the hybrid toy-video game company to exceed last year’s $500 million revenue haul

Last year, the Disney Infinity hybrid toy-videogame made bank for its parent company to the tune of half a billion dollars in revenue, and next week’s 2.0 version might top the three million Starter Packs that the original game did.

That’s because “Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Edition (2.0 Edition)” features, well, superheroes. Not only are comic book characters extremely popular across film and TV, their inherent abilities make them perfect for gaming, Infinity executive producer John Vignocchi told TheWrap.

See video: ‘Disney Infinity 2.0’ Trailer Released, Featuring The Avengers

For the original version, the top-seller add-on toys — which unlock the corresponding characters for in-game play — for Disney were from “The Incredibles,” and Vignocchi credits the playable superhuman abilities of the super family for the specific boon.

Since the “Incredibles” surge, the girls from “Frozen” have also dominated Infinity sales. “We’ve been air-shipping Elsa for months,” Vignocchi revealed.

Also read: Disney Infinity’s Next Move? Look to its Marvel, Lucasfilm Acquisitions

In the upcoming 2.0 version, more than 20 Marvel characters across three Play-Sets (“Avengers,” “Spider-Man,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”) will be available, with the story lines having been penned by Marvel scribe, Brian Michael Bendis.

That roster of playable characters includes all of the “key strategic brands” that the comic book company wanted represented, Vignocchi went on to say, with 2.0 offering the following at next week’s launch: Loki, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Green Goblin, Spider-Man, Venom, Nick Fury, Iron Fist, Nova, Ronan, Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax, and Groot.

Also read: TNT Scores Cable Premiere for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ Four More Marvel Movies

In terms of the fall 2014 release, Vignocchi said that it has been a long time coming: “We began discussions with Marvel as early as 2011.” Instead of rushing into a deal, they took their time to get it right. “The easy thing would have been to slam a couple of the Marvel characters in after the acquisition,” the producer explained.

The Marvel characters’ inclusion was announced in April. Disney acquired the company in 2009.

Also read: Disney Interactive Unveils ‘Infinity’ Gaming Platform

Aside from fantastic powers, another thing that Disney Infinity relies on is its dearth of user-generated content. In the game‘s Toy Box mode, players can create environments and stories that other gamers can download, which they did to the tune of more than 15 million Toy Boxes over the game‘s freshman run.

That option to create content is actually so popular online that Disney has dedicated a weekly YouTube web series — which is co-hosted by Vignocchi — to highlighting users’ Toy Box inventions, and the media giant has hired five former creative community members to make downloadable content full-time.

Also read: Longtime Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi Dead at 85

Like most videogames, Disney Infinity is not just for kids — although this one surely skews a little on the younger side.

The company initially predicted that they’d have six to 12-year-olds playing the game, with a 70 percent male demo. Instead, the breakdown is closer to just 55 percent male, and Disney has found that teens and adults are also partaking, Vignocchi told TheWrap.

“From a demographic standpoint … we are very surprised at who is playing Disney Infinity,” he admitted.

“Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes Edition (2.0 Edition)” will be available on Sept. 23 for the PlayStation4 and PlayStation3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system and Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii UTM system from Nintendo, PC and iOS tablets and smartphones.