You may have heard of Skylanders. Every damn kid on the face of the earth wants the game and loves it. And, honestly, what's a child not to love? Toys come to life in a video game. That's a pretty cool idea. Activision Blizzard has capitalized on the franchise, turning Skylanders into a blockbuster hit. However, new games are on the way trying to replicate the success. Disney Infinity also scans plastic figures into a virtual world, but with iconic Disney characters. Should Activision be worried? Could Skylanders be beaten at its own game?
"Skylanders seems to represent an area of the industry that's seeing less representation these days. Other than some Nintendo games and Disney's Infinity, the kids market isn't getting a lot of attention. There aren't as many games being created for that demographic. Do you think that's something that helps Skylanders stand out?
It's funny the way you articulated the question, because you just described all the reasons why people used to say we shouldn't get into the kids market. It literally used to be 'people are getting out of the kids market, and the Wii is faltering, so why are you guys getting into the kids market?' when I would defend our decision to make Skylanders. Now you are reversing it and saying it's an unfair advantage. I think Skylanders is successful not because it is a kids game without a lot of competition, because to your point, a lot of kids games - no matter how thin the competition - haven't succeeded of late. Skylanders is successful because it's a really magical idea and it's brilliantly executed. We have created a really compelling new genre that brings toys and games together, and a new play pattern for kids that brings interactive play and analog play together in a really fresh way. The games continue to innovate and... we are going to have to deliver really compelling ideas each and every year."
This quote comes from an interview between GamesIndustry and Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Blizzard. I agree with Hirshberg. Skylanders has grown into something special and it isn't going anywhere anytime soon. With Skylanders Swap Force launching this autumn, the franchise's fire will burn on for a while.
What do you think about Skylanders? Dumb? Genius? Sound off in the comments.