Activision Blizzard Studios Expands Pioneering Skylanders Franchise Into Television
New Animated Television Series “Skylanders Academy” to Debut on Netflix
Activision Blizzard, Inc. announced that ‘Skylanders Academy,’ the first production by Activision Blizzard Studios — its newly-created television and film studio — will premiere in Autumn 2016 on Netflix, the world’s leading internet television network.
“Over the last five years, millions of families around the world have welcomed Skylanders characters into their homes. Now, they’ll be able to watch their favourite characters come to life on Netflix,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “We couldn’t have found a better home for ‘Skylanders Academy’ and look forward to sharing our extraordinary characters with Netflix audiences around the world.”
The series follows the heroic adventures of the Skylanders team, a group of heroes with unique elemental skills and personalities who travel the vast Skylands universe, protecting it from evil-doers and showing the next wave of Academy cadets how to do things the “Skylander way.” Created by Toys For Bob, the $3 billion Skylanders franchise has sold through more than 250 million toys since pioneering the toys-to-life category in 2011, and earlier this month Activision revealed Skylanders Imaginators, the latest innovation in the franchise.
“‘Skylanders Academy’ gives us the opportunity to approach narrative storytelling with the same level of quality and excellence that millions of Skylanders fans have come to expect from the game,” said Activision Blizzard Studios Co-President Stacey Sher. “We’re inspired by our fans’ excitement for these characters and have worked hard to bring these characters to life with stories our fans will love.”
Activision Blizzard launched its studio last year to create original content based on the company’s intellectual property, and ‘Skylanders Academy’ is the first production by Sher and studio Co-President Nick van Dyk. The two-season Netflix partnership is another important step in Activision Blizzard’s strategy of enhancing its franchises and broadening their appeal.
Produced under the supervision of showrunner Eric Rogers (“Futurama”), ‘Skylanders Academy’ features the voices of Justin Long (“Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Ask Me Anything”) as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale (“Phineas and Ferb,” “High School Musical”) as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks (“Breaking Bad,” “Better Call Saul”) as Eruptor and Norm MacDonald (“Saturday Night Live”) as Glumshanks. Additional voice talent includes The Diamond Minecart, Susan Sarandon, Daniel Wu, Parker Posey, James Hetfield, Catherine O’Hara, Bobcat Goldthwait, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jonny Rees, Harland Williams and Richard Horvitz.
Sher and van Dyk are joined by Sander Schwartz, the Emmy award-winning producer of animated hits including “The Batman,” “The Aquabats! Super Show!” and “Justice League: The New Frontier,” as the show’s executive producers. “Skylanders Academy” is animated by the internationally acclaimed TeamTO studio in France.
“Activision Blizzard Studios’ enviable mission is to work with our extraordinary portfolio of franchise intellectual property and bring it to broader audiences on new platforms,” said van Dyk. “We’re excited to reach this strategic partnership and for the future of ‘Skylanders Academy.’”
ACTIVISION BLIZZARD LAUNCHES ACTIVISION BLIZZARD STUDIOS TO CREATE ORIGINAL FILM AND TV CONTENT BASED ON ICONIC, GLOBALLY-RECOGNIZED FRANCHISES
Initial Productions to Include Skylanders™ TV Series and Call of Duty™ Film Series
Disney Veteran Nick van Dyk Named Studio Co-President
Activision Blizzard today announced the launch of
Activision Blizzard Studios’ first production will be “Skylanders Academy,” an animated TV series based on the award-winning Skylanders game. Currently in production under the supervision of showrunner
Another near-term initiative for
“Activision Blizzard is home to some of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, across any medium. With the launch of Activision Blizzard Studios, our engaged fans can now watch the games they love come to life across film and television,” said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Activision Blizzard Studios is yet another way we’re celebrating our players and fans, and we expect that our film and television productions will entertain and delight whole new audiences, as well. I’m excited that Nick and his team will be leading this important new growth opportunity for Activision Blizzard.”
Kotick added, “We intend to approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development.”
Nick van Dyk, formerly a long-time Walt Disney Company senior executive, will serve as Activision Blizzard Studios’ Co-President, alongside a top creative executive who will be announced soon. Van Dyk will have responsibility for distribution, physical production, strategy, finance and operations and will co-manage all aspects of the studio. Before joining Activision Blizzard last year, van Dyk spent nine years at Disney where, as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy, he helped drive Disney’s focus on franchise intellectual property and played a significant role in the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Prior to that, van Dyk was part of Artisan Entertainment’s senior management team.
“Activision Blizzard Studios has the unique advantage of starting with a library of world-class intellectual property that includes some of the largest franchises which have not yet been developed in film and television,” said van Dyk. “Our library spans more than 30 years of global entertainment culture and, in the last 12 months alone, fans of Activision Blizzard properties have played and watched our games online for more than 13 billion hours. This gives us a huge, passionate and deeply-engaged audience that is hungry for more great content built from the universes they already know and love—and which are extremely broad in their appeal.”
Van Dyk added, “Activision Blizzard Studios is not just an exciting new business for our company, it is a synergistic complement to our core business. Our movies and shows will benefit from the remarkable IP created in our games and will further increase the awareness of, engagement with and passion for our franchises.”
Activision Blizzard Studios is another important step in the company’s strategy of expanding the platforms through which it offers its compelling intellectual property to existing fans and new audiences around the world.
The founding of Activision Blizzard Studios follows the company’s announcement on Oct. 22 of a new esports division headed by former ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein and Major League Gaming co-founder and president Mike Sepso. The esports division will build on the company’s competitive gaming leadership by creating all-new ways to deliver the best-in-class fan experience across games, platforms and geographies, furthering the development of its world-leading esports ecosystem. Activision Blizzard’s other divisions are Activision Publishing and Blizzard Entertainment. On Nov. 2, the company announced its plans to acquire King Digital Entertainment, the creators of the Candy Crush, Farm Heroes, Pet Rescue and Bubble Witch franchises, which will make it a new global leader in mobile gaming.
Check out the Skylanders Trap Team “discovery” trailer that was revealed at the E3.
The game becomes available October 5th.
With Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in magical Traps. Players can then send villains back into the game where they play as them to fight for good. The game will include the Traptanium PortalTM, a new ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also magically capture villains using the new Traps. Once they’ve defeated the villains, kids will be able to place a Trap into the new portal to capture them. They will also be able to hear the villains inside the Traps, an innovation that truly brings life to toys.
This exciting new play pattern also gives players the option to switch between playing as a Skylander hero or a villain at any time, creating fun and unique “tag team” gameplay. In addition, fans can even take their Traps and their Skylanders characters to their friends’ houses for fun, co-operative adventures across all console game systems.
In Skylanders Trap Team, Kaos continues his ongoing quest to rule over Skylands. He has discovered the location of the legendary Cloudcracker Prison – a fortress built entirely out of the magical substance TraptaniumTMand home to Skylands’ most nefarious baddies. In an attempt to build his own army of foes, Kaos blows up the prison, releasing the most wanted villains and blasting shards of Traptanium to Earth in the form of Traps. Now it’s up to Portal Masters to recapture all of the escaped villains using powerfulTraptanium Traps and defeat Kaos before it’s too late! The new adventure delivers a diverse and dynamic story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini-games, activities, platforming and drop-in/drop-out co-op play – all set within new compelling environments.
Skylanders Trap Team introduces Skylanders heroes known as Trap Masters, brand new Core Skylanders characters and reposed fan-favourite Skylanders characters. The game also features a variety of elementally aligned Traps with unique and interesting designs. With every addition to their Trap Team collection, Portal Masters unlock exciting gameplay possibilities within each level.
Activision Publishing, Inc. Showcases Next Generation Lineup at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Skylanders Trap Team and Destiny Showcase Blockbuster Lineup
SANTA MONICA, Calif.: Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), is set to kick-off this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo) with a blockbuster lineup featuring the #1 and #3 videogame franchises of 2013 in the U.S., including toys and accessories, according to the NPD Group1, and what could be the biggest new videogame IP of the year. Starting Tuesday, June 10, at the LA Convention Center, the company will debut a new era for the Call of Duty® franchise with Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare, while showcasing the newest innovative title from the popular Skylanders® brand with Skylanders Trap Team™, and the highly anticipated Destiny®. Both Skylanders and Destiny will be playable on the show floor. Activision will be located in the South Hall, booth #1647.
“This year’s E3 has been years in the making for us,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Each game we are showcasing is the result of our commitment to quality and innovation: our first 3-year development and our first new lead developer on the Call of Duty franchise in a decade with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Our biggest innovation since we invented the Toys-to-Life category with Skylanders Trap Team. And the result of over four years of passion, partnership and investment to bring Bungie’s vision for Destiny to life. I think this is the best slate in Activision’s history and I can’t wait for gamers to get a closer look.”
Activision’s E3 Slate Includes:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Developed by Sledgehammer Games, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare delivers gamers an immersive and compelling narrative, jaw-dropping visuals and, for the first time in Call of Duty, exoskeleton gameplay that will redefine how people play the game. Players become the advanced soldier enabled with the power of the exoskeleton, an advanced arsenal of never-before-seen weaponry, new abilities and new gameplay mechanics. The first Call of Duty to benefit from a three-year development cycle, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is built specifically for the next generation consoles. The game takes place in a future setting that immerses players into an emotional journey with a new cast of characters poised to set a new bar for the franchise. The title is scheduled for release on November 4 for Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC; not yet rated by the ESRB.
Destiny – From Bungie, the creators of Halo®, and Activision, the company that brought you Call of Duty, comes Destiny, an epic, action-packed adventure set in a familiar but mysterious universe. Destiny delivers a new way to play first-person action games in a story-driven universe filled with single player, cooperative, competitive, public, and social activities, all seamlessly connected and a vast, persistent universe, creating the world’s first “Shared World Shooter.” In Destiny, gamers become Guardians of the last city on Earth, able to wield incredible powers and explore the far reaches of our solar system. The game will be available on September 9 for the PlayStation®4 system, PlayStation®3 system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Xbox 360. For more information, visit www.DestinyTheGame.com. For exclusive updates, follow the official Destiny social channels at www.facebook.com/DestinyTheGame and @DestinyTheGame on Twitter, and interact directly with the developers at www.Bungie.net.
Skylanders Trap Team – Developer Toys for Bob, creators of the Toys-to-Life™ phenomenon, return with another exciting innovation with Skylanders Trap Team. The newest installment to the Skylanders franchise will reverse the magic of bringing toys-to-life, letting kids take characters out of the digital world and bring them into the physical world. In Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most wanted villains in all of Skylands, pulling them out of the game and into living rooms by capturing them in Traps. Players can then send villains back into the game where they play as them to fight for good. Skylanders Trap Team will include the Traptanium Portal™, a new ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also capture villains using the new Traps. Skylanders Trap Team introduces new heroes known as Trap Masters and will be available on October 5 in North America for Xbox One and Xbox 360 games and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 system, PlayStation®3 system, Nintendo’s Wii™ system and Nintendo’s Wii U™ system. A completely unique adventure will be available on the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system.
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:5052:]]Activision recently announced that their Skylanders figures and games was the top selling children’s toy of 2012 amassing a whopping $500 million in sales and completely obliterating the likes of WWE, Beyblade, Star Wars and the children’s movies Rise of the Guardians and Wreck-It Ralph.
Now, Disney appears to be wanting a piece of that pie as it’s been announced that they will come out with their own similar line of figures and game with, “Disney Infinity.”
The new game is said to be using plastic figures and a “Disney Infinity” reader (similar to the Skylanders portal of power) that enables players to use various Disney characters from across the board. Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean can be seen riding Bullseye from Toy Story with Mr. Incredible and others as well (via StitchKingdom).
It’s said various expansion packs, including Cars, Lone Ranger, and Phineas In Ferb will be available with a system of coins/tokens used to give the characters upgrades.
“Disney Infinity” will be available for all major consoles with a June 2013 release.
We can only imagine the can of worms that Activision and Skylanders has opened up as most likely just about every kids line will develop similar products. Think of the possibilities: a WWE ring portal of power with accompanying figures, Marvel Comics (already owned by Disney) and DC Comics characters. It’s going to be endless.
Update: Marvel characters and Star Wars are being discussed:
“As a developer, I so want that,” Avalanche Software CEO John Blackburn told Polygon. “When Disney bought Lucasfilm, I was like, ‘Holy crap! This is awesome!’ But at this point in time, there’s been some discussions about that, there’s just been no decisions made.”
[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4999:]]The video game industry continues its pr campaign of noting how their success outweighs that of other entertainment industries.
We previously heard how Call Of Duty: Black Ops II had outsold The Avengers movie, and now we get another press release from Activision stating how well their Skylanders figures and games have sold.
Activision notes below that Skylanders outperformed Star Wars, Beyblade, WWE, and the movies Wreck-it-Ralph and Rise of the Guardians.
Skylanders FRANCHISE REACHES MORE THAN $500 MILLION IN U.S. RETAIL SALES
Skylanders Giants U.S. Sales Surpass Domestic Holiday Box Office for Top Kids’ Films
Santa Monica, CA – 11th January, 2013 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that, according to data from the NPD Group, the Skylanders franchise crossed $500 million in retail sales in the U.S., inclusive of accessory packs and figures, and reached this milestone faster than any other kids’ gaming property. Additionally, together Skylanders Giants and Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure figures have outsold the top action figure lines in the toy category in the U.S., outselling such popular toy lines as Beyblades, WWE and Star Wars.¹
Skylanders Giants, the sequel to Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure – the #1 best-selling kids’ game of 20112 – generated more than $195 million in U.S. sales, inclusive of accessory packs and figures, in 2012.3 Additionally, Skylanders Giants eclipsed domestic box office sales for each of the top holiday kids feature films including “Wreck-It Ralph” and “Rise of the Guardians” in 2012.4
¹ According to The NPD Group Data from January through November 2012
² According to The NPD Group, Gfk Charttrack, and internal estimates.
3 According to The NPD Group
4 According to boxofficemojo.com
“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,” said John Coyne, Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Activision Publishing. “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.”
In addition to achieving critical acclaim , Skylanders Giants was awarded the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval, the National Parenting Publications Awards and the Parent Tested Parent Approved Seal of Approval, among others. The game was also featured in coveted “hot holiday gift” lists including the 2012 Toys“R”Us Holiday Hot Toy List, the Toy Insider’s “Hot 20 Toys for the Holidays”, and Time to Play’s “Holiday 2012 Most Wanted List”. Skylanders Giants is also nominated in four categories for the coveted Toy Industry Association “2013 Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards” to be announced on 9thFebruary in New York City, including “E-connected Toy of the Year”, “Boy Toy of the Year”, “Property of the Year”, “Game of The Year”.
The franchise is supported by a robust licensing program that includes more than 120 licensees worldwide in categories including Plush, Apparel, Home Décor, Bed and Bath, Party Goods, Board Games and Back to School, among others.
“Even before the concept was fully formed, we were immediately taken with the charm and magic behind the Skylanders property and following the highly successful introduction ofSkylanders Spyro’s Adventures, we knew that Skylanders Giants would be a top-seller in 2012,” said Richard Barry, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “We believe that Skylanders is one of the most innovative and exciting toy properties to hit the market and are thrilled to continue our strong support of the brand.”
Skylanders Giants is developed by Toys For Bob, an Activision studio located in Novato, California. Skylanders Giants is rated PEGI 7. For more information, visit
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, South Korea, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website,
Slate Features Three Blockbuster Franchisesâ€” Call Of DutyÂ®: Black Ops II, Skylanders GiantsTM and TransformersTM: Fall Of Cybertron
London, UK â€“ 4th June, 2012 â€“ Cutting-edge innovation and experiential digital entertainment will be on display from Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3 Expo) taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on 5th to 7th June, 2012. Highly anticipated and fan-favourite titles Call of DutyÂ®: Black Ops II, Skylanders Giantsâ„¢ andTRANSFORMERSâ„¢: FALL OF CYBERTRON lead Activisionâ€™s line-up of blockbuster titles being showcased in the South Hall, booth #647.
“The level of creativity driving video games has never been greater. Our industry has the greatest talent in the world and E3 gives us all a chance to showcase the innovative titles that will continue to make games the leading form of entertainment today,” said Eric Hirschberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. â€œThis year’s line-up is one of our strongest, and we canâ€™t wait for our fans to see for themselves.â€
Activisionâ€™s full E3 Slate Includes:
Call of Duty: Black Ops II â€“ The most groundbreaking and ambitious Call of Duty to date, Call of Duty: Black Ops II pushes the boundaries of the record-setting franchise and will turn the future black for everyone worldwide on 13th November. Set in the year 2025, Call of Duty: Black Ops II propels players into a near-future, introducing them to a fiction that is taking root in todayâ€™s headlines. Advanced weaponry, robotics and drone warfare define the battle space and challenge players to ask, â€œWhat happens when someone steals the keysâ€ and turns our greatest strengths into our greatest weaknesses? Strike Force Levels bring a fresh take on single-player missions, introducing players to sandbox-style gameplay and branching storylines for the first time in franchise history. With equally ambitious Zombies and multiplayer modes yet to be unveiled, Call of Duty: Black Ops II delivers the complete package, offering fans the most expansive Call of Duty experience ever. (Developed by Treyarch for Xbox 360â„¢ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStationÂ®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC.; not yet rated.)
Skylanders Giants â€“ Building upon the breakthrough fundamentals of theSkylanders Spyroâ€™s Adventure â„¢â€”merging the physical and virtual realms with an innovative line of cross-platform toys with â€œbrains,â€ which players everywhere can magically bring to life in the world of Skylands. Using the mystical Portal of Power Â®, players once again lead a team of heroic Skylanders in a new adventure to save their world. Portal Masters will journey through new areas of Skylands, encountering new enemies, solving fun puzzles, overcoming different hazards and obstacles, and finding a variety of collectable rewards and treasure. Skylanders Giants introduces sixteen new characters to build on the magic of Skylanders Spyroâ€™s Adventures, including super-sized giants with powers to match, as well as the new LightCoreâ„¢ Skylanders that light-up in the game and in the real-world as players transport them to Skylands using the Portal of Power. Additionally, the game features new Hero Challenges, more Battle Mode gameplay, and advanced integration across console, handheld, mobile and Skylanders UniverseSM. (Developed by Toys for Bob for Wiiâ„¢, Nintendo 3DSâ„¢, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system, Windows PC and mobile devices; not yet rated.)
TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON â€“ TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON allows players to experience the darkest hours of the war between the AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS as they vie for control of their dying home world. Fans will fight through both sides of the TRANSFORMERSâ€™ most epic battles that culminate in their legendary exodus from CYBERTRON. With the stakes higher than ever, players will embark on an action-packed journey through massive, war-torn environments designed around each characterâ€™s unique abilities and alternate forms, including GRIMLOCKâ€™s nearly indestructible T-Rex form and the legendary COMBATICONS combining into the colossal BRUTICUS. Taking the franchiseâ€™s competitive multiplayer to all-new heights, TRANSFORMERS: FALL OF CYBERTRON lets fans go head-to-head in blistering AUTOBOT vs. DECEPTICON matches after creating their own unique characters with the most in-depth, advanced customisation ever before seen in a TRANSFORMERS game. Additionally, High Moon Studios is announcing at E3 that they have listened to the passionate PC fans and have been working closely with fellow developer Mercenary Technology to create a PC sku that will launch day and date with the console versions on 31st August. (Developed by High Moon Studios for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system and by Mercenary Technology for Windows PC; rated PEGI 16.)
The Amazing Spider-Manâ„¢ â€“ Go beyond Sony Picture Entertainmentâ€™s Columbia Pictures feature film and find out what happens next in The Amazing Spider-Man video game, which brings Spider-Manâ€™s free-roaming, web-slinging action back to New York City. Players take on the role of a young Peter Parker discovering his new Spider-Man powers and added Super Hero responsibilities, using the gameâ€™s innovative Web Rush mechanic to swing freely around Manhattan, combat a variety of criminal activities and take on classic Marvel Super Villains, such as Rhino, Iguana, Felicia Hardy and more. Set against an original story crafted by Hollywood writer Seamus Kevin Fahey (Spartacus: Vengeance, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, Battlestar Galactica) that takes place entirely after the events of the upcoming feature film, The Amazing Spider-Man video game delivers an immersive and cinematic adventure allowing players to truly harness the power of your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. (Developed by Beenox for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system, Wii, and Nintendo 3DS, with a Windows PC version slated for release later in the year; developed by Other Ocean for Nintendo DSâ„¢.)
007â„¢ Legends â€“ Celebrating the Bond franchiseâ€™s 50th anniversary, the latest instalment in the video game series â€“ 007 Legends â€“ launches gamers back through time to relive a selection of James Bondâ€™s iconic and intense undercover missions from the popular films. A first-of-its-kind Bond video game, 007 Legends features an original, overarching storyline tying together five classic Bond movie-inspired missions plus a sixth mission based on this yearâ€™s highly-anticipated movie â€“ SKYFALL â€“ which will be available post launch as free downloadable content, to offer the most diverse Bond gaming experience yet! Delivering the action that gamers expect from a Bond game,007 Legends equips players with state-of-the-art spy gadgets, an arsenal of weapons, and sleek vehicles as they jet off to exotic locations and utilize Bondâ€™s unmatched combat abilities, quick wits, class and style to take down notorious villains and their brutal henchmen and perform impressive stunts. (Developed by Eurocom for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system and Windows PC; not yet rated.)
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse â€“ Family Guy: Back to the Multiversefeatures an all-new original narrative which is an expansion on the popular episode, â€œRoad to the Multiverseâ€, turning the outrageous world of Family Guyinto an action-packed video game filled with nods to the long-running comedy. Playing as either Stewie or Brian, each with unique abilities and weapons, players will battle their favourite Family Guy characters as they advance through â€˜Multiverseâ€™ themed levels in their pursuit to battle Stewieâ€™s evil twin, Bertram, who has returned and is hell-bent on destroying Quahog. Fans will also be able to team up in co-op multiplayer mode or compete against each other in competitive multiplayer levels â€“ all with a Family Guy twist. (Developed by Heavy Iron for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system; not yet rated.)
New Game to Build on the Landmark Success of its Predecessor, Skylanders Spyro’s AdventureTM
Next Chapter in the Franchise Introduces More Than 20 New Figures Including Super-Sized Giants and Characters Featuring Light Technology
Global Marketing Partnership With Toys”R”Us Grows Alongside The Game
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 7, 2012 – Bring Your Toys To LifeTM. This novel premise takes a monster step forward with the worldwide unveiling of Skylanders Giants, the follow-up to the most successful kids’ IP launch of the year.(1) Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), will debut the sequel at the North American International Toy Fair in booths 3151 and 3251 at the Javits Center in New York City from February 12-15.
Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure uniquely combined collectible real-world toys with an epic virtual game world, creating a new platform for communal play that was embraced by parents and kids everywhere. Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure was the #1 best-selling kids’ franchise worldwide in 2011, as well as the #1 overall new IP launched in North America, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack and GfK.
(1) According to The NPD Group, Charttrack and Gfk
According to The NPD Group, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure went on to become a Top-10 seller in North America and generated the greatest overall single-year sales, inclusive of software and accessories, of any new children’s IP in North America, since NPD has been tracking the category.
Skylanders Giants builds upon the breakthrough fundamentals of the first gameâ€”merging the physical and virtual realms with an innovative line of cross-platform toy figures that have “brains,” which players everywhere can magically bring to life in the world of Skylands. This next installment of the franchise features a variety of new characters, new challenges, a thrilling new story-driven adventure, and advanced integration across console, handheld, mobile and online:
- Going Big: Skylanders Giants introduces eight new highly collectible figures that are more than twice the size of the main skylanders cast in both physical and virtual form. Their in-game powers and abilities reflect their colossal scale.
- Bright Lights: Helping to further the real world magic of bringing toys to life, Skylanders Giants includes a set of characters that feature spectacular new light technology integrated into the toys, allowing the figure to light up when near or on the Portal of Powerâ„¢. These characters have additional in-game benefits as well. Batteries are not required.
- Brand New Skylanders: Eight new regular sized skylanders, each with their own unique powers, abilities, and personality, join the adventure alongside the Giants.
- Forward Compatibility: Every beloved character from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure is 100% compatible with Skylanders Giants, leveled-up stats and customizations intact.
- Wider Worlds: Portal Masters will see all new arenas and more gameplay options in Battle Mode for exciting head-to-head play, as well as enhanced Elemental Zones, new Hero Challenges, and other features that encourage players to collect and level up every character.
Skylanders Giants also features closer integration with Skylanders Spyro’s UniverseTM, the large online world that allows Portal Masters around the world to greatly expand their Skylanders experience.
“Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure‘s success in 2011 validated an exciting ideaâ€”that with the right technology, and the creative minds to support it with engaging characters and story, we could define a new model for children’s play,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “Skylanders Giants marks the evolution of this core concept. We’ve got super-sized figures, remarkably cool new characters that light up, as if by magic, and more ways to play and explore Skylands than ever before. We’re delighted to announce the title at Toy Fair 2012 and can’t wait for fans to go hands-on this fall.”
Toys”R”Us has reaffirmed its commitment to Activision and the Skylanders franchise, and will remain a marquee retail partner for the launch of Skylanders Giants. “While it was still in development, we recognized the potential that Skylanders had to connect with our customers due to its unique merging of physical and digital play,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys”R”Us, Inc. “The game was an enormous success last holiday shopping season, and the toys seem to evaporate as soon as they arrive on our store shelves. We’re excited to continue our enthusiastic support for Skylanders with a comprehensive, global marketing program to introduce Giants to our customers.”
Skylanders Giants is developed by Toys For Bob, an Activision studio located in Novato, California. The game is not yet rated by the ESRB. For more information, visit
Around Christmas time I took my two little dudes to the local Target to get some ideas what they wanted to put on their Christmas lists. As we made our way past the toys to the video game section, there stood this intriguing looking display. There were these figures that you could place on some kind of pad, which were then instantly usable in the game.
Now, how cool is that?!
Suffice to say my kids were hooked, and Santa was hitting up his elves to make Skylanders: Spyro Adventure for seventy bucks.
Might sound like a lot of money, but it comes with the game, three of the Skylander figures, and the Portal upon which the figs are placed. Actually, you could have scored this around Black Friday for $50.00 or so. I think the Wii version can still be found for that as well.
I’m not a “gamer,” so Spyro is new to me, but the game is made up of a world filled with all kinds of different animal and monster based characters: Dragons, Trolls, Sharks, Undead things, etc. Each of the Skylanders can be leveled up, and with that acquire new powers. In addition to discovering treasure chests filled with new add-ons, there are many missions and side quests to keep you busy for sometime. There are even Skylander packs that you can purchase at the store that come with more adventures and power-ups as well.
Regarding the game, it’s is one heck of a fun time! And it’s easy to play to boot! My almost 4 year old has no trouble at all; likewise, my 7 year old finds it entertaining just the same. And with dear old Dad onboard, we’ll take Kaos and his evil minions down in no time!
The game is simple to play, there is no need for jumping so the youngsters won’t have trouble coordinating the buttons. Speaking of, the attack system is super easy, as you just need to press a button or two. As the story and your character progresses you are offered more advanced attacks, but again, it’s just so darn easy. And if your character loses its life, you just need to replace it with another Skylander. It’s so simple and genius at the same time, I can’t believe no one thought of this before.
The Portal is connected wirelessly to the PS3 via a USB chip. It’s really neat and resembles a castle tower. You press a button, it lights up, and you place a couple Skylanders on top. The screen then shows an animated feature announcing that your Skylander has arrived! I’m assuming there is some chip or code embedded in each of the Skylander figures that the portal reads. Another great feature is that the Skylander figures retain the information from the game, so if you take a figure to a friend’s house, it’s at the same level.
I do have a few issues with the game, but only things that can make this even the better. For one, it would have been nice if the Portal came with an option to plug in! The portal seems to run out of batteries pretty quickly. Then again, when you play it 24-7… Anyway, my next nitpick would be the ability to skip the dialogue. One of my sons started a new game and saved over the old, so everything has to be repeated. That means listening to all the characters talking and giving directions all over again. At times you can skip certain animations, but having the ability to bypass the dialogue would be great! Especially for the parents out there accompanying their youngsters on the journey! Finally, it would have been great to have more than two playable characters at the same time.
The game animation is superb, resembling a Saturday morning cartoon. The worlds and lands of the Skylanders are very detailed, the sound effects and voices of the characters are spot on. The game is a sure hit as every store in my area is sold out of the 32 figures and adventure packs.
I can’t recommend this game enough.