Activision CEO Bobby Kotick confirmed during the publisher’s Q3 2013 that a new Call of Duty title and Skylanders title will be coming next year. It’s unknown at this point who is developing the next instalment of the immensely popular Call of Duty franchise. Rumours have been going round that suggest Sledgehammer is working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4.
“Despite short-term uncertainties, as we look forward to 2014, we have a very strong product pipeline. We expect multiple new releases across our major franchises, including the first Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls, along with the PS4 version of Diablo III and significant and exciting new content for World of Warcraft. We also expect to launch new Call of Duty and Skylanders titles and a major new potential franchise with Bungie’s Destiny.”
A new Wii U bundle featuring Activision Publishing Inc.’s Skylanders SWAP Force starter pack delivers an amazing amount of value for people looking for a great video game deal. The bundle launches Nov. 15 at a suggested retail price of $299.99 and includes everything needed to start the new adventure plus an assortment of Skylanders extras that will satisfy current fans and newcomers alike.
“There are so many great elements to this Skylanders SWAP Force Wii U bundle that we almost couldn’t cram them all into the box,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “This amazing deal provides a huge amount of entertainment for kids and their families to play together.”
The bundle comes with:
- a white Wii U Basic system
- a Skylanders SWAP Force starter pack that includes:
- Skylanders SWAP Force Wii U software
- a Portal of Power
- three Skylanders figures, including Ninja Stealth Elf (one of the Core Skylanders) and two SWAP Force characters: Blast-Zone and an exclusive color shift Washbuckler
- a collector poster, trading cards and sticker sheets
- a Nintendo Land game disc
The third installment of the award-winning toys-to-life Skylanders franchise, Skylanders SWAP Force lets players mix and match the top and bottom halves of up to 16 SWAP Force figures that are available for purchase and transform them into more than 250 unique characters. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of 100+ characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants. The Wii U version of the game stands apart, with touch-screen interfaces on the Wii U GamePad controller and the ability to play the entire game on the GamePad while someone else watches TV. A portable version of Skylanders SWAP Force is available on Nintendo 3DS.
This week’s UK sales charts are now in courtesy of GFK Chart Track. Nintendo exclusive Sonic Lost World for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS has entered the individual formats chart at number fifteen and number twenty-eight respectively. The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD has slipped from number twelve to number eighteen. Pokemon X & Y have dropped from number one and number two positions to number five and six. The highest new entry this week is Skylanders Swap Force for the original Wii which entered at number seven.
- (03) 360 GRAND THEFT AUTO V (TAKE 2)
- (04) 360 FIFA 14 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
- (05) PS3 GRAND THEFT AUTO V (TAKE 2)
- (06) PS3 FIFA 14 (ELECTRONIC ARTS)
- (01) 3DS POKÉMON X (NINTENDO)
- (02) 3DS POKÉMON Y (NINTENDO)
- (NE) WII SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
- (NE) 360 SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE (ACTIVISION BLIZZARD)
- (07) PS3 BEYOND TWO SOULS (SONY COMPUTER ENT.)
- (09) 360 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION (MICROSOFT)
In the latest Nintendo Minute, Kit and Krysta give gamers an up-close preview of the new Skylanders Swapforce game on Wii U. The duo demonstrate players’ ability to swap halves of various Skylanders, and they have a large assortment of the characters on display. Activision is thoroughly supporting Nintendo consoles with the game. In addition to the Wii U edition, the company has released an exclusive pack of three unique characters available only for 3DS. Yesterday’s launch of the game was celebrated by Toys ‘R’ Us, which held a special launch event at select stores during which gamers were able to obtain Limited Edition versions of some of the Skylanders figures.
Toy and game retailer Toys ‘R’ Us has announced that it will host a launch event on Day One of the Skylanders Swap Force release. The special event will feature Limited Edition Swap Force including Legendary versions of Night Shift, Grip Creeper, and Zoo Lou, among other figures, and it will take place on Sunday, October 13th. Toys ‘R’ Us stores will have modified hours to accommodate the game’s launch, as some locations will go all out with a midnight sale, while others will simply open an hour or two early.
Gamers who purchase the 3DS version of the game will have an even greater chance of getting some exclusive Skylanders figures, as Activision recently announced a starter pack for 3DS that features characters not found in any other starter pack. An Activision exec also recently spoke about the originality of the Skylanders concept. Skylanders Swap Force is a multi-platform release with versions launching across the three major Nintendo consoles: Wii U, Wii, and 3DS.
In a new interview, Erich Hirshberg, Activision’s Publishing CEO, addresses a great deal of the online criticism that has been waged against his company. In response to accusations that Activision is a “heartless” big company with too much focus on Call of Duty, Hirshberg says he thinks that “all of the reputational perceptions out there…are incorrect.”
He also acknowledged that the company is often criticized for being “risk-averse” — putting too much of their weight behind sure-thing franchises like Call of Duty, rather than supporting indies and new IP’s. Hirshberg fired back by citing Skylanders as a new IP that “didn’t exist 18 months ago,” and that it is an example of “not only a new IP, but a new genre of play that was totally unproven.” The CEO, who recently stated that Activision would continue to support Wii U despite declining sales, even credited his company with making some of the most well liked games out there.
Do you think Activision deserves the criticism leveled against them, or are they making all the right moves? Here are some full comments made by Hirshberg in the interview:
“I think that we’ve been a little bit more experimental where it comes to mobile games thus far, but I also think that we are who we are as a company — and we’re a very focused company. Look, this is a company of passionate people who make games and love making games. I’m certainly aware of all of the reputational perceptions out there, but I think they’re incorrect and this is a company that has consistently made some of the most well liked and most played gaming experiences. And that hasn’t happened by accident.”
“Our strategy is to do a few things and do them exceptionally well. I think that sometimes people misperceive that as somehow being risk-averse, and yet we’re taking some of the biggest risks in new genres and new business models and new IPs than anybody….Skylanders is a brand that didn’t exist eighteen months ago — people forget that already because it’s been so successful. It was not only a new IP, but a new genre of play that was totally unproven.”
Skylanders Swap Force, the latest game in the popular toy-based Skylanders video game series, will be getting an exclusive version on Nintendo 3DS. Activision has announced that a starter pack for the 3DS version of the game will include three characters not found in any other SWAP Force starter pack, and the game will include levels and other content only found on 3DS. Skylanders SWAP Force launches October 13th in the United States and October 18th in Europe.
Since the Skylanders series has a primarily younger audience, it will be interesting to see if this exclusive version of SWAP Force nets any increased sales numbers with Nintendo’s launch of the kid-friendly 2DS just around the corner.
Publisher Activision has revealed the next entry in the popular Skylanders series, also known as the sequel to Skylanders Giants, which was released in Fall 2012. Skylanders SWAP Force features new characters, 250 new character combinations, and it is scheduled to launch in the Fall on multiple video game platforms. The HD versions – for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U – are being developed by Vicarious Visions, whereas developer Beenox is working on the Wii version, and n-Space is developing the Nintendo 3DS version.
Activision’s vice president of consumer marketing, John Coyne, welcomed Disney Infinity to the market and made it clear that his company is the leader of the ‘toys to life’ category, via an issued statement to GameSpot. In under two years, the two games in the Skylanders franchise, which were published by Activision, have generated over $500 million in U.S. sales. Disney Infinity, set for release in June, will integrate collectible physical toys from Disney and Pixar worlds.
“We are thrilled by the incredible success that the Skylanders franchise has had in such a short period of time. We are also flattered that one of the leading family entertainment companies is joining our ‘toys to life’ category.”
“We continue to focus on delivering innovative and immersive entertainment experiences to kids around the world and are pouring more creativity into our games. As a result, we are well positioned to continue leading the category.”
-Activision vice president of consumer marketing John Coyne
Toys For Bob and publisher Activision should be extremely pleased with the sales of the incredibly popular Skylanders series in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Skylanders franchise has reached $500 million in the United States, and the series has become the 3rd best-selling franchise of all time in the United Kingdom.
“Just a year ago, the concept of bringing toys to life in a virtual world was an untested play pattern that Activision and Toys For Bob believed in. Now the category has been established in the market and embraced by parents and kids everywhere.”
“We’re humbled by the continued support and acclaim from parents, kids and critics alike, but more importantly, it’s gratifying to see kids excited about the adventures that await them both in the digital and physical worlds.”
- John Coyne, VP of Consumer Marketing at Activision