Activison held a special event at the NASDAQ building in Times Square in New York City to announce the future of the Skylanders franchise. Here are the details.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you …..
Skylanders is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience and adds a dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces an all-new play pattern — dynamic swapability – that lets gamers reconfigure 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now, Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves and experience an unprecedented level choice than ever before seen in a Skylanders game. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of characters from Skylanders Spyro’s AdventureTM and Skylanders GiantsTM.
Skylanders SWAP Force features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new standard figures, eight new LightCore™ characters and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Now kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game like never before.
In Skylanders SWAP Force, Portal Masters embark on an all new adventure in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands, home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands. During an epic battle, a brave group of Skylanders were caught in the volcano’s eruption, which blasted them apart and sent them to earth. But, the magic of the volcano gave these heroes a remarkable new power — the ability to swap halves – turning them into a special team known as the SWAP Force. Meanwhile, Kaos is back with a new evil plan. And now, Portal Masters everywhere must reassemble the SWAP Force — in their original form or in new combinations — and send them back to Cloudbreak to save Skylands!
- Vast Possibilities for Play – Skylanders SWAP Force features 16 new inter-action figures with new powers and a fresh play pattern – dynamic swapability – that lets kids create more than 250 unique character combinations, giving them more choice than ever before over how they fight and move in the game. With each new addition to their Skylanders SWAP Force collection, Portal Masters unlock an exciting world of possibilities.
- More Play Options – For the first time, Portal Masters can experience new dimensions of gameplay including the addition of jumping. And, seasoned fans can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Giants. Skylanders SWAP Force delivers a diverse and dynamic, story-driven gameplay experience, filled with adventure, combat, puzzles, mini games, and drop-in/drop-out co-op – all set within compelling environments.
- All New Characters – More than 50 collectible characters including:
- 16 new SWAP Force characters
- 16 new Core Skylanders characters
- 8 LightCore™ Skylanders characters
- 16 new versions of fan-favorite Skylanders from the previous games, each featuring an all new “Wow Pow” upgrade power
- Exciting Adventure – Portal Masters will embark on a brand new adventure, encountering never-before-seen enemies and challenges, as well as meeting memorable non-playable characters who can help the Skylanders defeat Kaos and his minions in the Cloudbreak Islands.
- Unique Swap Force Zones – Skylanders SWAP Force characters feature traversal abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – each of which can be explored in new areas of Skylands that are centered on these new play mechanics.
- Enhanced Graphics Quality – Swap Force’s high-resolution graphics bring to life amazingly detailed characters and richer environments to deliver a high level of visual fidelity that immerses players in the game like never before.
Publisher: Activision Publishing, Inc.
Developers: Vicarious Visions (Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3)
Platforms: Nintendo Wii™, Wii U, Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system, and handheld and mobile devices
Release Date: Fall 2013
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Here is the official press release
SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCETM “MIXES IT UP” AT TOY FAIR 2013
From the Innovators who Brought “Toys to Life” Comes an Entirely New Innovation – Swapability
16 New Characters With Swappable Top and Bottom Halves Can Be Customized into More Than 250
Unique Combinations, Taking Skylanders and the “Toys to Life” Category to a New Level
Stellar HD Graphics Deliver Cinema-Quality Visuals and Storytelling, Immersing Players
in Gameplay Like Never Before
Santa Monica, CA – February 5, 2013 – In just over a year, the novel concept of bringing toys to life has made Skylanders one of the most beloved and successful children’s video game franchises of all time1, establishing a new category in family entertainment. Today, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI), revealed Skylanders SWAP Force, the next installment in the popular franchise, which will be featured at Toy Fair 2013, February 10-13 at the Javits Center in New York City, in booth 3061.
SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay with an all-new innovative play pattern — swapability — that gives kids more choice than ever before by letting them swap the top and bottom halves of the toys to create their own characters. The game lets Portal Masters reconfigure 16 SWAP Force characters into more than 250 unique combinations. Kids can mix and match characters’ powers and moves, and then bring them to life in the game. Fans of the franchise also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of characters from both Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders GiantsTM, now with the added capability of jumping.
“With Skylanders, we didn’t just create a beloved new franchise, we actually created an entirely new category that brings the world of physical toys and video games together like never before. And now with Skylanders SWAP Force, we are pushing the genre we created forward with another big innovation: customization,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “The idea that kids can customize their own characters in the physical world, and have their unique combinations recognized in the virtual world, is an idea as big as the concept of bringing toys to life itself.”
In Skylanders SWAP Force, Portal Masters embark on an all-new adventure in the mysterious Cloudbreak Islands, home to a mystical volcano that erupts every hundred years to replenish the magic in Skylands. During an epic battle, a brave group of Skylanders were caught in the volcano’s eruption, which blasted them apart and sent them to earth. But, the magic of the volcano gave these heroes a remarkable new power — the ability to swap halves – turning them into a special team known as the SWAP Force. Meanwhile, Kaos is back with a new evil plan. And now, Portal Masters everywhere must reassemble the SWAP Force — in their original form or in new combinations — and send them back to Cloudbreak to save Skylands!
Skylanders SWAP Force features 16 new SWAP Force characters, along with 32 core Skylanders characters (16 completely new Skylanders and 16 new versions of fan favorite characters from previous games) and eight new LightCore™ characters. Skylanders SWAP Force also delivers high-resolution graphics that bring the game’s detailed characters and rich environments to life, immersing players in the gameplay like never before.
“Skylanders Giants was named to our 2012 Holiday Hot Toy List for good reason – it extended the franchise’s breakthrough gameplay and its performance at retail has been incredible. We’re continually impressed by the originality that Activision delivers in bringing toys to life,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys“R”Us, Inc. “The innovation of allowing kids to customize their toys in the real world and then send them into the Skylanders SWAP Force game is sure to raise the bar for the franchise.”
In 2011, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure originated a new play pattern that seamlessly bridged physical and virtual worlds across multiple platforms and became the top-selling kids’ videogame of the year2. In October of 2012, Skylanders Giants further evolved the genre and added the mega-sized Giants and LightCore™ characters to the collection of interaction figures that have helped the franchise achieve more than $500 million in U.S. retail sales, including accessories and figures, reaching the milestone faster than any other kids gaming property.3 Skylanders SWAP Force is being developed by Vicarious Visions, an Activision studio. The game has not yet been rated by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.skylanders.com.
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.
1 According to NPD data tracking of videogame sales since 1996
2 According to NPD, GfK Chart-track and Internal estimates
3 According to The NPD Group Data from October 2011 through December 2012, inclusive of accessory packs and figures
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
© 2013 Activision Publishing, Inc. SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE, SKYLANDERS GIANTS,SKYLANDERS SPYRO’S ADVENTURE, LIGHTCORE and ACTIVISION are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.
The new game looks awesome and some of the new characters seem destined to become favorites. The graphical upgrade and new jump mechanic should add the missing pieces to an already stellar franchise. There will be further updates on Skylanders Swap Force as we head towards the Fall release.
Here is a gallery of images from the event.