Skylanders Becomes A Billion-Dollar Franchise

It appears Activision has found their latest bonafide hit of a series to join the ranks of past successes such as Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision, has announced that combined sales of the Skylanders games and toys have passed the $1 billion mark.

The figures include the sales of the first two games in the series, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure & Skylanders Giants, along with the sales of individual character figurines and accessories. Toy sales have passed those of competing brands like Beyblade, Star Wars, & Transformers.

“The Skylanders franchise became the first kids’ video game IP to cross the $1 billion mark in just 15 months, and I think we are still just starting to realize its potential,” Hirshberg says. “We knew that the simple, but magical idea, of bringing your toys to life in a video game could change both the video game and the toy industries, and more importantly, change the way kids play.   And this autumn, we’re looking forward to delivering to fans our latest break-through innovation, Skylanders Swap Force, which lets kids customize their own characters, bringing toys to life to a whole new level.”

Skylanders Swap Force, which was announced last week for a targeted fall release on all major home platforms, will boast numerous new enhancements to the series’ formula, including a new and improved graphics engine, the ability for characters to jump, full backwards compatibility with every toy from the last two games, and a new lineup of characters, including 16 new ones that can have their top and bottom halves switched to form unique characters with customizable powers.

It’s easy to see why the Skylanders series has been popular with kids. The concept of bringing a physical toy into the world of a game is a novel one, and the fact that the games themselves have been well-received critically doesn’t hurt as well. With any luck, Swap Force will help to continue bringing in the big bucks for Activision.

We will keep you updated on more news regarding the Skylanders franchise as it drops.