12 More Days Until Skylanders

Skylanders will be released next week, Sunday October 16 2011. For Canada, it may be a few days later. It is multi-platform and can be played by anyone with a Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows/Mac PC, DS and the Wii version which Toys for Bob worked on.

Arianna Reiche tweeted an article Paul Reiche had with Dean Takahashi from GamesBeat, the gaming section of VentureBeat. Paul even said some nice things about Activision:

“Paul Reiche, head of Toys For Bob, said in an interview that team knew what kinds of risks it was taking, but it decided to step up to the challenge anyway. The story of how they did so says a lot about how to innovate in an industry with so much prior art and risk aversion.”

“Asked if Skylanders was as big a bet as a Call of Duty game, Rieche (pictured) replied, ‘Fair enough.’ He added, ‘There were many points where we suggested something very radical. There is an unfair perception that (parent company) Activision Blizzard is risk averse. This shows that when there is a good opportunity, they go for it.’”

The Skylanders project started out as an idea while “Activision Blizzard was pruning back on its investments”. Activision wants to publish fewer games that have greater sales, more often, for as many consoles as possible.

Paul mentions more details regarding portal and toys. Robert Leyland at TFB experimented with the wireless technology. The “Leyland Gravity Whip” is named after Robert, who was involved in programming Star Control II. A hardware company who work under Activision, RO Design helped with the design. It is possible that former employees from RedOctane are now working at RO Design.

Dean ends the article with a quote from Paul:

“‘People should be watching this,’ Reiche said. ‘We are not going at it half-cocked at all.’”

I haven’t had a chance to preorder this game. Whenever I get the chance to buy the game, I will be getting the Wii version since that’s the one TFB has been working on, while Vicarious Visions developed the 3DS version and XPEC Entertainment developed the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions.

Skylanders will be coming out next week. It’s geared towards a much younger audience and is completely different from any other Spyro game. If not for the toys, this may have been written off as a “kiddie hack-n-slash game”. I’m still curious about what the RPG elements of the game itself will be like. I remember playing Final Fantasy when I was a kid and I never understood the stats completely; for example, I knew that one weapon may be stronger or faster, but I never went out of my way to mix and match armor; I chose items because they had larger numbers. Heck, I still do this with games today. :(

The DeanBeat: Skylanders is massive, innovative gamble for Activision Blizzard
Arianna Reiche’s Twitter

EDIT: Fixed title.

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