Optional toys and Star Fox’s Fox McCloud on Switch - could Starlink: Battle for Atlas revive the toys-to-life genre?
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Ubisoft announced a new partnership with Nintendo during its E3 press conference last night, with Shigeru Miyamoto making a surprise appearance on stage in a similar fashion than last year when they announced the Mario+Rabbids crossover.

The partnership will see Star Fox’s main protagonist Fox McCloud included as an exclusive character on the Switch version of Ubisoft’s toys-to-life game Starlink: Battle for Atlas, which had been surprisingly quiet since its reveal at E3 last year (you can read our interview with developer Ubisoft Toronto to learn more). More than ever, this confirms Ubisoft’s strong ongoing support for the Switch, with the publisher also announcing that Trials Rising will come to Switch for the franchise's first outing on a Nintendo console, alongside PS4, Xbox One and PC, on February 29th 2019.

The Star Fox crossover will give the Switch version of Starlink: Battle for Atlas a much appreciated boost at retail, as toys-to-life has had something of a rough ride these past few years, with main franchises Disney Infinity and Lego Dimensions all discontinued. Unlike its predecessors in the genre, Starlink also has the huge advantage of the toys-to-life aspect being optional: all the spaceships can actually be unlocked digitally and you don’t need to purchase the actual toys to be able to play the game.

With a release date of October 16th on PS4, Xbox and Switch, Starlink: Battle for Atlas should do well in the run up to Christmas. Ubisoft has put together a nice bundle that should help with that, which includes the game, one starship, one pilot, a variety of weapons, the Starlink controller mount and a poster. It will set consumers back £69.99 and show that Ubisoft is still keen to push the physical aspect of the toys-to-life title.

Laurent Malville, creative director at Ubisoft Toronto commented: “We are excited to give players a deeper look at Starlink: Battle for Atlas, the first all-new property from Ubisoft Toronto. Starlink is a project born from the passion of our collective team, and the opportunity to work directly with Nintendo to bring Star Fox to our universe is a dream come true. We believe the Atlas open star system is a perfect playground for Fox to explore and hope players will too.”

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