Skylanders is a toys-to-life action-adventure video game that was published by Activision for years. It had a unique concept – playable characters are unlocked in the game when a player puts their toy action figures on the special advice called Portal of Power. The device “awakens” the toy characters in the game, which can be used for gameplay. The game was a success all over the charts around the world but massively dropped down in sales and popularity with the release of the most recent game.
Even though the Skylanders franchise has seen a decline in popularity, it cannot be seen as a “dead game” Activision CEO Bobby Kotick expressed a desire for reviving the Skylanders franchise multiple times. Nothing concrete is known as of this moment, but due to the franchise’s popularity in the past, anything is possible.
In this article, we will discuss if this once successful and popular franchise is truly dead, and if is it coming back. We will analyze this topic thoroughly and present you with our opinion is if this game truly is dead. If you are interested in the Skylanders topic, stay with us until the end of the article.
Is Skylanders a Dead Game?
If we want to really analyze this topic properly, first we need to look into why this franchise got so popular in the first place. Skylanders was unique when it came out, and no one really encountered this kind of game premise. The innovative gadgets and cool gameplay is something that attracted the players and the inclusion and connection of the Spyro, the Dragon, which was already a really popular character amongst the gamers.
The inclusion of cool toys and a gadget called Portal of Power, allows players to connect their toys with their consoles, unlock the characters in-game and revivify the toys they purchase. The first game of the franchise was released in 2011, and it was called Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure. It was an instant success and a top-selling console and handheld video game worldwide in 2012.
It was released on all big gaming platforms, and the critics gave Skylanders favorable reviews. The game allowed for the player to control thirty different Skylanders, player characters in the game, and gamers needed to buy Skylander toys to unlock new in-game characters over the Portal of Power.
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure was a game that revived the Spyro franchise, which even with great popularity, released some questionable games before 2011. The executive producer of the game Jeff Poffenbarger stated that the game was more focused on the younger audiences who never met Spyro before – what they did not predict is that the adults would love it too.
According to Activision’s executives, over 30,000,000 Skylanders were sold all over the world, which prompted the development of the game’s sequel. The sky was the limit for the Skylanders franchise and every single game received critical acclaim. However, the massive decline in toy sales prompted Activision to discontinue the production of the new toys and Skylander games.
From dozens of millions of toys sold all over the world, Skylander’s marketability and popularity decreased to abysmal 66,000 toys, after the release of Skylanders: Imaginators game in 2016. Activision canceled the development of the new games, and, even though the franchise was available in other forms, like comic books and Netflix TV show that were quite popular, the interest in the toy-to-life games declined massively.
The reason for that is simple – in the case of Skylanders, toy collecting was not efficient anymore, and the younger focus group of the game, transferred to online games like Minecraft, Overwatch, Fortnite, and more. The toy’s prices were too much for the gamers, and while some toys were sold for $40, even though that is pricey as well, the rare figurines were going up to $400 and $500.
This “hobby” was not sufficient enough for players, especially young ones who are living off their parent’s money. Skylanders hit the “wall” and Activision lacked in new innovative aspects and features to the franchise to keep the ball rolling. The company canceled all development of the Skylanders games in 2017 and even canceled the production of a popular Netflix TV show, Skylanders Academy.
Players who bought toys for years and collected them were left with useless figurines, which without new Skylanders games did not have any value. Most critics and fans thought that the Skylanders franchise is truly dead.
Is Skylanders Coming Back?
What is the state of this once prolific franchise today? Well, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick expressed a desire for reviving the Skylanders franchise, however, since then, we did not get any concrete answers to this more often than not asked question. However, an original developer of the Skylanders franchise posted on Twitter all the projects they worked on in past years and teased a new project where fans could guess which is it.
With that said, that does not mean it would truly be a Skylanders game but a new possible Crash Bandicoot and Spyro game, which we already saw released in recent years. I don’t know about the Skylanders franchise being dead, but I will say if Toys For Bob developers truly release a new and seventh installment of the Skylanders franchise, old and new fans will come back, and welcome the unique franchise that at one point was as popular as Call of Duty.