The whole toys to game trend seems to be dead no or at the very least on its last breath. Earlier this year Disney put the ax to their popular and fun Infinity series with series 3.0 being the last. Nintendo’s Amiibos seem to be slowing down (thought the company continues to support them), and when I go to my local stores I see a lot of Skylanders and Lego Dimension stock on the shelves. In fact on Black Friday both Dimensions and Skylanders were heavily discounted with seemingly no one touching them.
On top of all of that it would appear that Activision won’t be putting out a 2017 Skylanders which is probably a smart move by them. Franchise fatigue happens quite a bit, especially from yearly franchises. Activision is already seeing this with their juggernaut Call of Duty as sales have been declining, and Ubi Soft is no longer putting out yearly Assassin’s Creed games.
Those games are mainly bought by 20 and 30 somethings, people with disposable income, you know who doesn’t really have disposable income? Kids and parents so having a yearly franchise where the base game cost $80 and the figures cost upwards of $10 just doesn’t seem like a logical business model. When Skylanders first game out I thought it was a novel idea and bought them for my son for Christmas. It got him a game to play, plus the added bonus of Stocking stuffers. However, the next year there was a new release and then the next another new release and quite frankly I wasn’t going to be buying it. Sure, I spend money on games, but I have other things to pay for too, like bills and food, so an $80 game then $10 figures isn’t something in my budget, and I know I’m not alone.
What Activision should have done was keep the same portal going, and just updated it so they could add new figures, and since people are buying the figures have them come with a code for new levels via DLC, but this is Activision we’re talking about, the same game maker that charges you $50 for a season pass sight unseen.
For more on the end of Skylanders check out the video from Liam Roberts of Unseen 64 below.