I love Skylanders. i think it’s one of the bravest, boldest and wallet unfriendly properties Activision’s released in a long time. The genius marriage of video games and toys has my own kids whining at me for new Skylanders all the time, and the imminent release of Skylanders Giants is only going to make my wallet feel worse. It’s done better than Activision was expecting.
"When you launch any new IP you always hope it’s going to be big," Activision’s product specialist Noah Kircher-Allen said to Videogamer. "We had very high hopes for it, but it far exceeded our expectations as far as how hot it was. As far as toys to software, it was maybe two or three times what we thought it was going to be. It was a lot higher than we anticipated."
Skylanders was released to acclaim and high sales – but those sales started dipping after Christmas. somehow, they just picked right up.
"Once people bought the software and started playing around with the game, they realised that they wanted to expand their experience, and that’s what sent them back into stores," he continued. "And they were also seeing the value proposition in gaining additional toys."
As I’ve said previously, it’s not just the toys that have made Skylanders a success – it’s the fact that the game, by Star Control developer toys for Bob is actually a fun, addictive game.
"There are a few different ingredients,” he said. "The game is fantastic – even without the toys it would be a good game. The second piece is the magic of it all. When you’re appealing to the age groups that we’re really targeting, anything magical resonates quite well. And lastly, it made sense. It would be one thing if the toys didn’t have such an interactive role in the game, and the fact that they can actually save game data and become these interactive figures, that also resonates quite well. So it wasn’t just activating a character in the game – it made sense to have this toy and bring it to life inside the game."
A sequel, Skylanders: Giants, is due later this year – and could be followed by a film or TV series. Based on revenue, Skylanders was the number one console game between January 30 and April 2012 – so it’s really been printing money for Activision.
Last Updated: June 26, 2012