As Activision’s toy-based Skylanders series continues to be a massive hit with younger gamers, reaching over $2 billion in worldwide sales, a recent interview with a member of Toys for Bob, the developer who kicked off the franchise, has revealed an interesting tidbit of information regarding what could have been.
Studio co-founder Paul Reiche said that back when the first title, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure was in the first stages of development, Activision approached Nintendo to discuss the possibility of making the series a Wii exclusive. Reiche summed up Nintendo’s overall reaction by saying:
“They spent a long time looking and looking…They were just like, ‘We have never seen anything like this before.’ I’ve always wondered about the full meaning of that comment.”
Ultimately, Nintendo passed on possible exclusivity deals, and while Skylanders games have still ended up on the Wii, Wii U, and 3DS, they’ve obviously also made their way to just about every other modern console, the PC, and even smartphones.
One can’t help but wonder what sort of different path both the Skylanders series itself, as well as Nintendo, would be going down right now if a deal had been struck. Considering what a cash cow the series has proved to be, would making future games in the series Wii U exclusives have helped the struggling system much? And would we have seen incorporation of Nintendo icons into the games as well? Series like Pokemon do seem like a perfect fit for the Skylanders formula.
Either way, what’s done is done, and Skylanders seems to be doing a perfectly fine job continuing to thrive on its own. As for how Reiche feels about Nintendo’s decision, he summed it up with the following:
“Why it is that they didn’t rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days…If I was running Nintendo, I would have jumped on this.”
We will continue to keep you updated on news regarding the Skylanders franchise. Until then, let us know your thoughts on this what-if scenario in the comments section below.