Epic Mickey: The Power of Two will utilize about 800 people to bring the multitude of its console-specific versions to market. It will be launched in September on the PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PS3, in addition to special versions on the Wii and 3DS.
Epic Mickey for the Wii was the best selling single platform release in Disney’s history. The sequel will emphasize co-operative play, with players taking control of both Mickey Mouse and former antagonist Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Warren Spector, head of Junction Point, told Eurogamer that the army of developers is distributed worldwide, and are coordinating as a “virtual team.” Epic Mickey: The Power of Two has developers working in the UK, Bulgaria, China, Canada, and Utah and California in the United States. “It’s interesting. I’ve never worked this way before. We’re just one big, big team,” Spector said. Spector was also insistent that the international spread of the team was not exploitative.
“It’s not outsourcing. I’ve got to be clear about that. It’s not that we said, okay, there are a bunch of artists in Shanghai, go build us barrels and trees. We have people in the UK actually building levels for us, under our direction. We talk to them every day. We drive all the creative, but we have an enormous virtual team,” he said.
International companies working on the sequel include Virtuous, based in Shanghai; DreamRift, the developers behind Monster Tale who are working on the 3DS version titled Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion; and Blitz Games, the UK-based team which will make the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions. The 800-man team includes the 160 people working at Junction Point, all international companies, marketing teams, publishers, testers, cinematic and storyboarding teams, and voice talent teams.
“We do a lot of phone calls at very odd times, and a lot of Skype-ing, and a lot of email and a lot of transferring of incredibly large files back and forth, that’s for sure,” Spector said.