Skylanders has been such a huge success it has made Activision the biggest seller of RFID tech in the world – but Nintendo refused a proposed partnership with the brand.
In an in-depth look at the franchise’s history on Polygon, developer Toys for Bob revealed that the game was pitched to Nintendo with a view to a potential exclusivity deal.
"They spent a long time looking and looking," co-founder Paul Reiche said. "They were just like ‘we have never seen anything like this before.’ I’ve always wondered about the full meaning of that comment. We have no idea why [Nintendo turned us down]. Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world. Why it is that they didn’t rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."
Elsewhere in the feature Reiche says that Activision boss Bobby Kotick insisted on a delay for the game to add extra polish – despite protests from other high-level execs.
"He said, ‘this game is okay now, but I think it could be amazing in another year’," Reiche added. "Every single person underneath him said, ‘we disagree, it should go out this year,’ because all their plans was based on the money that it was going to bring in and the teams it would free up. He just went [bangs table] ‘nope’."
Reiche was also complimentary of the opportunities the partnership with Activision afforded his studio.
"Activision had learned all about manufacturing plastic toys in bulk [from its experiences with Guitar Hero] as well as all the problems of importing, warehousing etc. We could not have done Skylanders on our own. Not many companies in gaming know how to do that."