No new Skylanders this year, but toy-to-life franchise isn't dead yet

Katharine  Byrne
Skylanders Imaginators

Activision's toy-to-life franchise Skylanders won't be back for 2017, the company has confirmed, but a new entry in the series will resurface at some point in the future, according to Eurogamer

With most of the Skylanders team at Vicarious Visions having now been moved on to work on Destiny, the series' future had been in doubt, particularly after the lacklustre performance of its most recent title, Skylanders Imaginators. According to data from NPD, Imaginators sold just 66,000 copies during its launch month, and only surpassed 100,000 units after being heavily discounted over the Black Friday period.

There is, however, a new mobile Skylanders game in development, according to Activision's latest financial report, as well as a second season of its animated Netflix series, Skylanders Academy, the latter of which is expected to be delivered later this year. Skylanders Academy was "well-received" on Netflix last year, and a third season has also been ordered.

Activision will also be releasing the Switch version of Skylanders Imaginators this March, where it sits alongside The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1-2-Switch as one of the Switch launch titles. The Switch version of the game is fundamentally the same as its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts, but Switch owners will be able to play the game on the go thanks to its new digital library of monsters. This means players can carry on their adventure on the move without hauling their Portal of Power with them, as they'll be able to load and store their toys directly on the console.

So far, the Skylanders franchise has sold more than 300m toys worldwide, and is currently the 11th largest console franchise of all time, according to Activision. However, with its ever-decreasing sales and underwhelming launch figures, it's clear the toy-to-life series is clearly struggling to grow its audience.

The toy-to-life sector has been declining for some time, with Disney pulling all support for its Disney Infinity franchise last May. Will Skylanders also go the way of Disney Infinity? Only time will tell, but it seems Skylanders is at least safe for the time being.

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Tags: financial reports

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