If you’re disappointed with the way that the toys to life genre of video games has worked out, with Disney Infinity catering to a specific audience and Skylanders painting a very different picture of the Spyro world, you’re not alone. Among those who share that sentiment are three prominent veterans of the video game industry, whose work you may be familiar with. The three of them have formed a startup company, called Jumo and are putting together their first game. Keiichi Yano, who worked on Gitaroo Man and Elite Beat Agents, is the chief executive officer. Chris Esaki, one of the developers behind Microsoft’s Gears of War series, is the chief creative officer. Rounding out the team as their chief strategy officer is Akio Fuiji, who served as Namco’s president for some time andwhile back before they merged with Bandai.
A major point that Yano made is that “Traditional toy companies don’t understand gaming”. That statement may be a hit or miss depending on what company you’re looking at, but in the context that Yano said it, it holds fairly true; toys to life, as a genre, may make up a huge segment of the gaming market right now, but it also represents a ton of missed potential. One of the team’s goals with Infinite Arms is to create better toys than the standard fare for the genre, which are typically basic and unarticulated. The toys on offer with Infinite Arms will offer tons of customization, thus the name. They will also be fairly high quality, according to the team.
As for the game itself, in a fairly unconventional choice for the genre, will be a mobile affair. The game itself is a quick and dirty battle arena, though it’s of somewhat high quality. The team did mention that there will be a consistent world and storyline, which will be revealed through episodic content. Customizable characters shoot, slash, burn and beat each other in various settings. The game sports fairly good graphics and gameplay. It will be free to play and completely devoid of the usual micro-transactions, which will be replaced by toy and toy part purchases. Users will be able to test a character or part in the game, then order it from within the game itself if they find it to their liking. The team has expressed a desire to put out “fast toys”, to keep pace with the speed of updates that mobile gamers are typically used to. There was no word on a release date or initial pricing for the toys on offer, although, you can check out the promo video below for a glimpse of the toys and the action.