October 22, 2012
Activision Banking On Giant Sales From New Skylanders Game
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online
Its predecessor was one of the hottest selling software titles of 2011, and now Activision Blizzard is reportedly counting on big things from Skylanders: Giants, the second entry in a unique franchise that combines playing video games and collecting toys, this holiday season.
Giants, the sequel to what the developers called "the best-selling kids title in 2011 and best-selling game of 2012 year to date" in a recent statement, was released for the Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 on Sunday.
The original Skylanders sold more than 286 million units of game packs, toys and accessories since its release last year, according to Malathi Nayak of Reuters, Activision Blizzard reports that Giants has already been included on Toys R Us, Toy Insider and Time To Play most-wanted holiday toy lists.
"It's really gratifying that in less than a year, we've seen Skylanders go from being an intriguing untested new IP to becoming one of the hottest kids franchises in the world. And it has been universally acclaimed by parents, kids and critics alike," Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, said in a statement Sunday.
"Skylanders is more than just a new piece of interactive entertainment, but a genuinely new kind of thinking in interactive entertainment," he added. "The response of the fans has been incredible, and the only way we can return the favor is with a sequel like Skylanders Giants. This game is all about big: big creatures, big worlds, bigger ideas. We're very excited to see Skylanders Giants finally hit the shelves."
Obviously, Activision is talking big about the game, but can it live up to the hype?
"Though 'Skylanders Giants' doesn't change a lot from the original in terms of general gameplay and might cost an arm or a leg when it comes to collecting the deluxe Giant figures, it's still got way more heart than most of the rushed kids' products out there. These 'Giants' stand tall amidst the pack," TechNewsDaily Gaming Contributor Robert Workman said in an October 19 review, in which he awarded the game a 3/4 rating.
As with the original, the game interacts with physical toys. When placed on a small electronic portal (included with the original game or available in Giants' $75 starter pack, according to Workman), the characters that the toys depict become playable within the game world. Purchasing the game without the portal will set consumers back $60, while Nayak said that additional figurines can be purchased for between $10 and $15.
Interested gamers of all ages, or parents looking to purchase the game for their youngsters, might also be interested to learn that, per GamingBolt.com, Activision has partnered with Target to make exclusive character packs available at the Minnesota-based retail giant.
"To celebrate the launch, Activision is partnering with popular American electronic retail chain Target for the exclusive Granite Crusher character, along with an upcoming holiday limited-time only LightCore Triple Pack (which will become available in Target on November 27th)," writer Ravi Sinha said.
Sinha describes the Granite Crusher as "a deco character with increased power and level caps, who embodies a unique granite identity with blue crystals, as seen on the toy and in the game" and noting that the Lightcore Triple Pack comes with three characters, Prism Break, Eruptor and Drobot.
The former will cost $14.99, while the latter will be $11.99, according to GamingBolt.com.