So, many of you may have heard the rumors that there will be no new Skylanders game in 2017. As a portal master, I decided to share my thoughts on this rumor and share some ideas of what may happen to the franchise in the future... (If you just want to read my conclusion, scroll down to the bottom.)
The Rise of Skylanders:
Before we begin, it's important to discuss the history of the Skylanders franchise, starting all the way back in 2011 when the first game, ' Skylanders Spyro's Adventure ' was released. The very first game to kick off the entire ' toys to life ' genre.
' Skylanders Spyro's Adventure ' quickly became the best selling kids' game of 2011. Many audiences loved the game, however, it was hated by many Spyro fans for giving the purple dragon a huge re design and for using him as a marketing tool to sell the game to an existing fan base. (Personally, I don't have a problem with Spyro's design, but I do not like how Activision treated him in future games. More on that later...)
Whether Spyro fans liked the game or not, it was still a huge success and was the first game in a long line of yearly releases... Just a year after the first game, Activision released the sequel, ' Skylanders Giants '. The game was a massive success (and my personal favourite in the series) and the next sequel, ' Skylanders Swap Force ', was definitely the franchise's high point, selling the most copies out of any game in the series.
However, during the time of Swap Force, Activision was introduced to some competition. The hugely popular Disney company decided to jump on the ' toys to life ' bandwagon by releasing Disney Infinity 1.0. Turning their iconic characters into toys that come alive in the game.
Disney Infinity was successful simply because of brand recognition. The entire Disney franchise had already cemented itself as one of the, if not the most popular children's marketing tools in the world. So obviously, anything with Disney in the title is bound to be a success.
The Fall of Skylanders:
After Swap Force, Activision released another game called ' Skylanders Trap Team '. It was released in 2014 along with the sequel to ' Disney Infinity 1.0 ', ' Disney Infinity 2.0 '. This is when the Skylanders franchise began to take a turn for the worst...
Trap Team's sales were significantly lower than Activision had hoped, most likely due to the growing popularity of Disney Infinity, plus the fact that Spyro was not included in Trap Team and every game following it... Skylanders was rapidly losing fans. Personally, I also blame the outrageous amount of toys that were released during Trap Team.
Players had to buy 12 Trap Masters in order to obtain all the collectibles, plus, 4 new adventure packs. Not to mention the ridiculous amount of traps which had to be bought in order to trap all the villain characters. Because of this, Trap Team is my least favourite game in the series.
In short, Trap Team was not as successful as Activision had hoped. However, 2015 was a new year and a new chance for Activision to try again. This time, with Skylanders Superchargers. Nothing screams "we're running out of ideas" like throwing vehicles into the game, right?
Unfortunately, Superchargers sold even less than Trap team, even with the inclusion of the two Nintendo characters, Bowser and Donkey Kong. At the very least, the amount of toys for this game had dropped significantly...
Superchargers was absolutely destroyed upon release by ' Disney Infinity 3.0 ' and some new competition. ' LEGO Dimensions ' and Nintendo's very popular ' Amiibo ' toys. People were beginning to care less and less about Skylanders and started to move on to the many other ' toys to life ' franchises.
And now, we come to the newest Skylanders game in the series, ' Skylanders Imaginators '. Even with the interesting gimmick of being able to create your very own Skylander, the game is the worst selling in the series so far. Completely annihilated by ' LEGO Dimensions year 2 ' and the recent ' Amiibo ' releases from Nintendo.
Even with the platforming legend, ' Crash Bandicoot ' making his long awaited return in the game, Imaginators was a whopping failure by Skylanders standards. This is when the rumors started to kick in...
In conclusion, I don't think Skylanders is dead. There is a possibility that Imaginators could be the last game, but I honestly doubt it at this point. I feel like Activision will continue milking this thing until there's absolutely nothing left.
However, if they do decide to discontinue Skylanders, it may be a good opportunity to focus their attention on the upcoming ' Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy '. I feel like the Netflix series, ' Skylanders Academy ' will continue into 2017 and possibly get a second season.
Don't get me wrong, I've loved Skylanders ever since it came out in 2011, but even I will admit that the later games haven't been as good as previous games in the series. *Cough* Trap Team...
Also, like I mentioned before, franchises like Disney, LEGO and Nintendo have the luxury of brand recognition. Skylanders doesn't. No matter what, kids will always have more faith in something that they've grown up with, like Disney or LEGO. Thus, not having any interest in Skylanders. See what I mean?
Anyway, those are my quick thoughts. I might make more of these if something else worth talking about pops up in the future. (Also, I apologise if I got any info wrong, I was very tired when I wrote this...)
See you later portal masters!