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Activision wanted to team up with Nintendo for Skylanders

mrpeabody

Member
Mar 14, 2005
1,616
11
1,260
Skylanders wasn't an obvious hit before it launched. Nintendo made the wrong call there but it was reasonable.

But Skylanders came out in 2011. There should have been a Nintendo clone out for holiday 2013, with either Pokemon or the whole Nintendo stable. That was their huge, obvious mistake.
 
Feb 5, 2009
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How would the game save data to the characters when they're not connected to the game while in use?

How would 2-player work without the Portal?
Maybe could you take some time to explain why exactly it wouldn't work. The above doesn't make clear what are the technical limitations.

You just make the updated saves when synching happens? Why does it need to constantly be saving data to the characters on the stand when the system can keep track of that and do it at a more apropiate time?
 

kmax

Member
Feb 25, 2013
6,391
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Nintendo's 3rd party relation has been disastrous for a few years now, so this isn't exactly surprising to say the least. Their inability to inspire consumers and cooperate with other publishers is baffling. They better amend those problems going forward if they want to have a future in gaming.
 

Starwolf_UK

Member
Dec 5, 2008
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I still remember GAFs initial, displeased reaction to the Spyro redesign...

As much as I despise the game being essentially on-disc DLC heaven* (especially the ones which are palette swaps, down to the model, maybe kids are less picky but I'm prefer the model to be in a different pose at least to give the impression of trying) its another success for Activision.

*-You can make arguments that the game is a budget game because you get a load of figures with it but thing is the game is non-functional without those.

The article seem quite meaty and should be an interesting read anyway (I liked their making one for the figures).

As for the small Nintendo point. Would have changed the product completely. As for why didn't they. Thing is when you money hat something it can be too early in development to tell which way it'll go. One example is Pioneer in the anime industry who had to choose one of the two licences for shows in pre-production (not enough money for both). Full Metal Alchemist or Heat Guy J. They went with the latter which ended up as a costly mistake. I wonder if Skylanders and Platinum games was a similar decision (and I imagine most people in 2009 would have drolled over Platinum and laughed at Spyro)

What's stranger is that Nintendo didn't immediately start work on their own version of Skylanders after they saw the success of that game. There's no game like it in sight from Nintendo despite the fact that they have the strongest characters in the industry for a project like that.
Serious question. Is Skylanders popular in Japan? It does change the perception completely.

I'm not sure Nintendo themselves know why half of the stuff in the Wii U is there.

There's obviously a big disconnect between the hardware designers and the game designers.
Yeah its such a shame Nintendo has gone from a "my world, my way" approach with design to a "put this in, I'm sure we'll figure something out".
 

Candescence

Member
Oct 3, 2013
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As some people in this thread have noted, Nintendo didn't have 20/20 hindsight to aid them when making that decision. It could've just as easily bombed.

I'm still annoyed at Skylanders for completely ruining poor Spyro's design (seriously, he and Cynder look HIDEOUS) and doing to him what the Rabbids did to Rayman.
 

Calamari41

41 > 38
Jan 6, 2012
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Damn, son. Hindsight is of course 20/20, but this right here is a legitimate "timeline split" moment whether the decision should have been easy or not.
 

DragonSworne

Banned
Aug 23, 2011
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Nintendo couldn't react. They put all their staff on Nintendoland trying to make sure that the game, which ultimately became a market failure, made it for Wii U launch.

There is a reason why nearly all of the Wii U games were hit by massive delays.
 

Spork4000

Member
Mar 29, 2013
13,270
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The entire face of gaming right now would be different if they had partnered up. This is why nintendo is failing hard right now.
 

BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
Jan 19, 2007
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Heard it here first folks. Everyone at Nintendo worked on Nintendoland. Even Johnny the receptionist.
 
May 26, 2011
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other than for the name...why would nintendo team up with activision when they can just create their own figurine game....

i'd say their franchises have more worth and noteriety than skylanders.

infact Nintendo LOVES mash ups....why hasn't this happened yet.

throw some pokemon in...some mario. maybe a starfox. bam! billions.
 

Aostia

El Capitan Todd
Sep 2, 2011
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THQ took a risk with uDraw. RIP THQ. Can't fault a company for choosing not to invest in a risk.
actually, uDraw on Wii was a success.
then they tried to develop it also for PS360, where it was quite clear that the target wasn't there. the two separate developments of those games/apps/peripherals costed them a lot.
in addition, Nintendo platform, and the Wii in particular, were the right place for such a product (Skylander), and it's not that Nintendo didn't take risk in terms of peripherals, new interfaces and so on..but the opposite.
In addition, consider that the NFC inclusion in the gamepad testifies that they were already investigating this technology...

They really missed this opportunity imho.
 

lewisgone

Member
Nov 6, 2013
1,843
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In my local GAME store Skylanders and Disney Infinity takes up the same shelf space as the Wii U/Wii. It's kind of sad really.
 

BundysFeet

Banned
Jan 24, 2014
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other than for the name...why would nintendo team up with activision when they can just create their own figurine game....

i'd say their franchises have more worth and noteriety than skylanders.

infact Nintendo LOVES mash ups....why hasn't this happened yet.

throw some pokemon in...some mario. maybe a starfox. bam! billions.
Why hasn't it happened yet? Probably the same reason for the Wii U.

Nintendo being Nintendo. Leaving money on the table because the company refuses to step out and innovate. Last time they innovated was almost a decade ago. Funny. It was the last time they had a top selling piece of hardware too.
 

Chindogg

Member
Oct 5, 2010
6,336
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Yep. I see that when I goto Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, GameStop.

Oh.
You don't? I certainly do.

On topic: Hindsight makes this easy but the Spyro brand was super heavily damaged at the time and after UDraw it's hard to think of taking yet another massive risk on a peripheral-laden physical DLC game. Hell even the majority of GAF thought it was an idiotic idea when it was announced.

Nintendo's mistake is that they haven't made their own version yet, and no Pokemon Rumble doesn't count. That's more of a demo than something compared to Skylanders and Infinity.
 

Taker666

Member
Apr 26, 2005
4,060
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In all honesty I still don't understand its success. Ugly overpriced toys that simply unlock on-disc content.

I could understand Disney Infinity succeeding to a degree due to the IP/better toys..but Skylanders still baffles me.
 

Forsaken82

Member
Oct 9, 2010
6,250
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Why hasn't it happened yet? Probably the same reason for the Wii U.

Nintendo being Nintendo. Leaving money on the table because the company refuses to step out and innovate. Last time they innovated was almost a decade ago. Funny. It was the last time they had a top selling piece of hardware too.
This can not be a serious post... You are arguing that Nintendo hasn't been innovative in almost a decade, yet you are referring to a console that they JUST replaced 2 years ago... You are arguing about their last generation as if it was 5 generations ago.
 

BundysFeet

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Jan 24, 2014
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This can not be a serious post... You are arguing that Nintendo hasn't been innovative in almost a decade, yet you are referring to a console that they JUST replaced 2 years ago... You are arguing about their last generation as if it was 5 generations ago.
The Wii was released in 2006, ergo almost a decade ago. The Wii U isn't a top seller nor innovative. The 3DS is doing quite poorly in comparison to the DS and many would argue the 3D tech wasn't innovative either. The DS and Wii were innovative and helped pave the way for the great success of the two. The current hardware? No.
 

Aostia

El Capitan Todd
Sep 2, 2011
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Hindsight makes this easy but the Spyro brand was super heavily damaged at the time and after UDraw it's hard to think of taking yet another massive risk on a peripheral-laden physical DLC game. Hell even the majority of GAF thought it was an idiotic idea when it was announced.
I disagree.
Spyro brand was weak, but the concept was looking at Spyro as an excuse. It was a really well suited concept for the Wii, considering the major target age of the console, the peripheral madness we saw during its lifecycle, the "toy-ish" aspect of Nintendo brand (in a positive way).

Plus: Skylander launched in October 2011. If they went to Nintendo in an early phase of development, I can assume that they start a dialogue well before. at least on 2010. Probably earlier (consider that the Wii launched in 2006). Udraw launched on November 2010 for the Wii. Udraw sold 1.7 millions pieces on the Wii, before being announced for HD consoles in May 2011. It launched for PS360 on late 2011 (aside Skylander)

So, in no way Udraw financial results could have been a negative warning for Skylander review by Nintendo. Because Udraw at that time still had to hit the market and when it hit the market it was a success on the Wii
 

BruiserBear

Banned
Oct 19, 2010
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Skylanders wasn't an obvious hit before it launched. Nintendo made the wrong call there but it was reasonable.

But Skylanders came out in 2011. There should have been a Nintendo clone out for holiday 2013, with either Pokemon or the whole Nintendo stable. That was their huge, obvious mistake.
Nintendo being slow to react? Shocking!
 

Zing

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Apr 12, 2009
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They have to be kicking themselves right now.
The people who make the decisions don't care. It has been revealed over several "Iwata asks" that they prefer to just do their own thing, designing the hardware and software for what they wish to achieve. Third parties are not a concern.
 

MisterHero

Super Member
Jul 24, 2007
30,394
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Imagine shelves and shelves of Pokémon products.

Oh.
The tens of billions Nintendo made from Pokemon doesn't count. Nintendo left money on the table with NFC figures! They weren't "whoring" their properties enough! ;)

Isn't that, like, one out of two stores like that worldwide? Skylanders fills every gaming section in every electronics store across the US.
Pokemon Centers had installments in Sears and weekly TCG leagues sponsored by Toys R Us. The mania will even out in a few years.

My Sears barely even stocks any videogames now.
 

gatisimo

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Jan 21, 2010
465
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Count me in on the group that thought this was a colossal failure. As a matter of fact, just 4 weeks ago I was a hater. My sons' birthday came up, I wasn't sure what to get them, and a co-worker suggested Skylanders. I scoffed and gave him the "please, my kids and I are above that nonsense" look.

Now we have over 70-something figures and are constantly on the lookout for characters we don't have. The game is so good I get in the games with my kids, rather than just letting them play amongst themselves.
 

BundysFeet

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Jan 24, 2014
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The tens of billions Nintendo made from Pokemon doesn't count. Nintendo left money on the table with NFC figures! They weren't "whoring" their properties enough! ;)


Pokemon Centers had installments in Sears and weekly TCG leagues sponsored by Toys R Us. The mania will even out in a few years.

My Sears barely even stocks any videogames now.
They made money on Pokemon obviously but they have left money on the table at a time when they need it most. So yea.
 

gemoran4

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Feb 4, 2013
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There's a lot of hindsight bias going on in this thread. Frankly Spyro was on life support as an IP by the time this idea got pitched, and i don't remember the gameplay for it being anything special when it was first being shown. I don't think many people (especially anyone on here) saw skylanders blowing up to the extent it did. I mean the figurines for Skylanders were like $10-15 each, for the purpose of adding a character to the game's collection. Hell people buy entire steam games for that price. Talk about taking microtransactions to a whole other level.

Granted, I'm a little surprised Nintendo didn't go for it since it seems like right up their alley, but stuff like this isn't entirely uncommon, and it's far from a perfect science predicting what the next big thing will be. So i'm not going to blame Nintendo for missing out on this opportunity, though adding that on top of their Wii and DS sales would have been an absurd amount of revenue/profits.
 

Calamari41

41 > 38
Jan 6, 2012
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The tens of billions Nintendo made from Pokemon doesn't count. Nintendo left money on the table with NFC figures! They weren't "whoring" their properties enough! ;)
I don't know, man... you can scoff at people making a big deal about Nintendo leaving money on the table if you're in 2007/2008/2009, but not when you're in 2014.
 
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I think Nintendo is probably kicking themselves they didn't lock in an exclusive partnership, but I think on the other end, it was a good idea for the Skylanders franchise to NOT be exclusive with Nintendo. Cross Platform play with the figures is a huge feature and something they wouldn't be able to do if they'd have partnered with just Nintendo.

I expect Nintendo to still put some sort of other NFC enabled game out. Rumble U is the only one so far and even thought the figures were cute and the game was ok, they still have a lot of potential for what they can use with it.

I'm guessing that Nintendo and Skylanders still have a lucrative partnership in some form though; all 3 games have had an exclusive figure launched on the 3DS versions, and Giants and Swap Force have had an exclusive figure bundled with the home console/games.

When we hear of Skylanders 4 on the 23rd, I'd fully expect to see an exclusive figure in the 3DS version.
 

MisterHero

Super Member
Jul 24, 2007
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I don't know, man... you can scoff at people making a big deal about Nintendo leaving money on the table if you're in 2007/2008/2009, but not when you're in 2014.
There are people in this thread that say that Nintendo never thought about stuff like this, and they are flat out wrong.

They had a AR card game for Kid Icarus. That's cool. Nintendo could make more AR games for 3DS/Wii U. However, they can also make said games without requiring the purchase of dozens of booster packs.

Skylanders is different because it was built to use NFC toys from the ground up.

Nintendo also already gains extra sales from letting side games like Ranger/Mystery Dungeon interact with the main series. Why buy single-purpose toys when you can buy actual games?

It's definitely weird that Nintendo included NFC in the Wii U pad but maybe they haven't found the right game yet. Heck, even if Skylanders was exclusive Acti would probably sell Portals anyways.
 

Maggots

Banned
Feb 16, 2013
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Serious question. Is Skylanders popular in Japan? It does change the perception completely.
That is a GREAT point... Based on sales it looks like it isn't popular in japan at all... it is very much a western game. People forget to factor in the Japan mentality.

Even still what bugs me most is that people are saying "OH BIG MISTAKE FAILURE" like as if nintendo missed the opportunity of releasing their own version...like as if they could never have that chance again... when you know darn well that if tomorrow they announced a pokemon version of skylanders it would be well received and if handled properly would have a long successful run.

Another fact no one seems to ever remember is that Nintendo is in it for the Long run... not for the quick cash... we live in a time where triple A companies only want the fastest possible Cash grab they can get... that's why so many have invested in the mobile market... it was quick and easy... Is it sustainable? No. Nintendo hasnt been around since the 1800's because they've solely focused on the next 6 months... they're always about the next 10 years... and that might cause them to miss apparent successes for short term opportunities... but as long as they are still in business and making hardware and software in 20 years... to them it really wasn't a loss... they're doing what they love and staying alive... that's more than what you can say for most companies nowadays...
 

BundysFeet

Banned
Jan 24, 2014
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I love how everybody acts like Skylanders was this sure smash-hit back in 2011
Activision took a gamble and Nintendo refused. Activision won out while Nintendo didn't. It's not the job of folks on NeoGAF to be correct in this types of situations since we don't have a board to answer to or a responsibility to bring in profit for our investors. It is Nintendo's job to get things like this correct. Nintendo hasn't even created an offshoot of the game for it's own IPs yet. Know who has? Disney. Nintendo continues to leave money on table while at the same time releasing a console like the Wii U.
 

fernoca

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Sep 17, 2006
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That is a GREAT point... Based on sales it looks like it isn't popular in japan at all... it is very much a western game. People forget to factor in the Japan mentality.
In the case of Skylanders, only the first game has been released (on Wii, 3DS, PS3...and a Japan exclusive Wii U port); but it was just released last year (July 2013); 2 years after the releases everywhere else.

Sales weren't as high (or as good) as they hoped, but considering how late the release was; they should've just waited and release (the more superior in everything) Swap-Force; rather than the first game.

But I agree that in general, some tend to forget that Nintendo is (still) a very japanese-centric/operated company and any decisions come directly from there.
 
Apr 26, 2013
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Nintendo hasn't even created an offshoot of the game for it's own IPs yet. Know who has? Disney. Nintendo continues to leave money on table while at the same time releasing a console like the Wii U.
They have already; Pokemon Rumble U.


It's similar to Skylanders in that you can get additional characters by purchasing physical toys, however unlike Skylanders, all these guys are available in game. The physical toys just keep the powers/you can upgrade them and what not. B/W Kyurem are also super strong.

I don't think the game was well received, so I'd say its probably unlikely we'll see another any time soon unless they make it huge game. If you're referring to something where there's all Nintendo characters appearing, that's kind of the basis for Smash Bros, but if they made a NFC Smash Bros game, you can bet that literally everyone would have a bitchfit about it.

They're not leaving money on the table so much as they've already tried it and seemed to have bowed out.

And we can't forget that for all intents and purposes, Nintendo WAS going to have a lot of NFC stuff for the Wii U; that's the whole reason it has the NFC reader on the Gamepad. We saw Rayman Legends using it a lot in the E3 trailers stuff.


Once it was revealed that the game wasn't going to use it (and that Rayman was getting delayed) it probably killed off most of the internal hype on using NFC for games.
 

Scooter155

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Dec 18, 2013
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I don't think the game was well received, so I'd say its probably unlikely we'll see another any time soon unless they make it huge game. If you're referring to something where there's all Nintendo characters appearing, that's kind of the basis for Smash Bros, but if they made a NFC Smash Bros game, you can bet that literally everyone would have a bitchfit about it.
People would certainly be upset if that happened.

What about giving players the option to unlock secret characters instantly by buying their figurine? Make them all in the full game and unlockable with normal gameplay for free, buying a figurine is just a shortcut. Some of the better (less offensive) F2P games have similar mechanics.
 

boyshine

Member
Sep 15, 2005
1,574
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Maybe could you take some time to explain why exactly it wouldn't work. The above doesn't make clear what are the technical limitations.

You just make the updated saves when synching happens? Why does it need to constantly be saving data to the characters on the stand when the system can keep track of that and do it at a more apropiate time?
So you're discussing it without having played it. Great! Realtime save of character levels and equipment are important, as putting a character back to get it "synced" would make it far less intuitive and child friendly. Take the figure off the portal, bring it to a friends house, and the status is there. Boom. That's why it's so popular. It just works, like magic.

Regarding 2-player the active system is also necessary because it knows which figure is connected to each player, and lifting one off prompts player 1 or 2 to put a figure back on the portal.

and not to mention that the entire concept of skylanders is based on you being the portal master, using gamepad nfc would have to change the entire story and how the game is played and narrated.
 
Feb 5, 2009
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So you're discussing it without having played it. Great!
As many other people in this thread.

That 's why i asked for you to give and indepth explanation.
Realtime save of character levels and equipment are important, as putting a character back to get it "synced" would make it far less intuitive and child friendly. Take the figure off the portal, bring it to a friends house, and the status is there. Boom. That's why it's so popular. It just works, like magic.
Thanks for explaning, but even then it doesn't pose some sort of hurdle for implementing with the gamepad alone.

NO real reason to constantly have the figurine on the stand while actual play takes place. So the hypothetic child takes a figurine to the friends house. Player 1 scans then player 2 is prompted to do so. The game just keep the data on memory until another resynch is necesary, which just takes a couple of seconds by the way.
and not to mention that the entire concept of skylanders is based on you being the portal master, using gamepad nfc would have to change the entire story and how the game is played and narrated.
This is the importnt one. So they integrate it, the portal, as an object that actually appears in the game? I see know how it would take some effort and time investment if this is the case.

Yet for a sequel they could easily retool the portal as U Gamepad reminiscent device. This way the could save some bucks for the contraption and obtain better margins.
But yea, i see some other problems sugesting out of doing this like having to accomodate old Wii U players that had the portal among others. So yea, better keep this stuff as it is and for NIntendo to come up with their own take on the concept.

Again, thanks