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What went wrong with Skylanders?
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#1 Posted: 22:26:46 12/07/2017 | Topic Creator
What went wrong with Skylanders? Below are the sales for all six of the games in the franchise:

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure - 5,360,000
Skylanders: Giants - 5,450,000
Skylanders: Swap Force - 6,130,000
Skylanders: Trap Team - 4,470,000
Skylanders: SuperChargers - 2,580,000
Skylanders: Imaginators - 1,440,000

We can see from this the peak of the franchise was was Skylanders Swap Force while the latest entry in the franchise, Skylanders Imaginators only managed to sell just over a million copies - that's an astonishing 4,690,000 drop in sales. I believe that there were two critical things that contributed to this.

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Competition

For the release of the first two Skylanders games there was no competition, the Toys to Life category belonged exclusively to Activision. However, in 2013 Disney released their rival to the Skylanders brand - Disney Infinity. Critics generally gave it positive reviews, and it sold an impressive 5,060,000 copies. However, just a couple of months after the release of Disney Infinity, Skylanders: Swap Force released selling an overwhelming 6,130,000 copies.

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Fast forward a year and Nintendo decide to throw their hat in the ring by creating their own Toys To Life figurines - Amiibo. However, unlike Skylanders and Infinity, Amiibo worked a little differently. Instead of having a specific game for the Amiibo to work in it would work in various Nintendo games such as Smash Bros, Mario Kart and Splatoon. Placing the Amiibo on the Nintendo Wii U gamepad or the New 3DS would unlike various things in different games. In Smash Bros placing an Amiibo on the gamepad would allow you to train the corresponding character to fight, allowing them to reach level 50. The Amiibo line launched alongside Smash Bros for Wii U in September 2014. Smash Bros sold 7,800,000 copies. To compete, Disney released a sequel to Disney Infinity - Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel which featured characters from the Marvel universe. However, critics didn't review the sequel as highly as the original. It also sold less copies at 4,060,000 copies. Finally, Activision released Skylanders: Trap Team which sold 4,470,000. It is evident by the second year that the sales for both Skylanders and Infinity lowered, this is most likely because both required the purchase of additional figures and the average consumer can't afford to fund both games so most had to choose one or the other.

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One year after that, Lego decided that they wanted a piece of the Toys to Life cake, their answer to Toys to Life was Lego Dimensions. This game features many characters from different franchises such as DC, Back to the Future, Doctor Who and Sonic the Hedgehog as well as having the original voice cast from many of these franchises return to voice their character (such as Michelle Gomez as Missy and Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown). This had an appeal to many fan bases as they purchased the game purely because their favourite franchise was making an appearance in a video game. However, due to their being more competitors in the Toys to Life category than ever each of the brands suffered. Lego Dimensions sold 3,660,000 copies, Skylanders: SuperChargers sold 2,580,000 copies and finally, Disney Infinity 3.0 sold 2,780,000 copies.

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2016 started to see the downfall of the Toys to Life genre. With such low sales, Disney announced that they would not be continuing with the Disney Infinity Franchise. Lego continued to release new figures and levels for Lego Dimensions but they didn't sell as much as Lego had hoped. Finally, a sixth game in the Skylanders franchise launched - Skylanders: Imaginators which only sold 1,440,000 copies. Amiibo continued to do well but it could be argued that it was less to do with the digital aspect of the Amiibo but for the high quality figures that represented such iconic gaming characters. In addition to this, all Amiibo can be used in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which is the second best reviewed game of all time.

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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 10:00:15 16/07/2017 by TTD
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#2 Posted: 22:27:03 12/07/2017 | Topic Creator
Gimmicks

Skylanders Spyro's Adventure's main selling point was that you could purchase a figurine for a reasonable price, place it on a 'portal' and the character would immediately appear in the game allowing you to play as them. There were eight different Skylanders elements, each could unlock various 'elemental gates' which contained various treasures, however they were not compulsory to continue with the level.

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Skylanders Giants introduced 'giant' characters which could be purchased for a fraction more of the price of a regular figure but would allow you to play as Giants which were significantly stronger the regular characters and could also access special giant areas, however much like the first game these special areas were not necessary to continue with the level.

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Skylanders Swap Force brought Skylanders that would swap body parts into the mix - characters could switch top and bottom halves allowing for up to 256 combinations. However, this is where things started to get more complicated. There were eight different movement types that a character could be (such as flying or speed). There were eight different 'swap zones' in the game that characters with the corresponding movement type could access (such as only a character with a 'rocket' icon signifying they could fly could enter the flying zones). In addition to this, there were dual elemental gates that only skylanders of two elements (so the character would have to be a combination of two characters) could enter. This meant that to see everything in the game, the player would need 8 different swap characters and 8 different characters of different elements.

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Following this, Skylanders Trap Team introduced 'traps'. The concept was simple - defeat a boss and then place a trap into the portal and the boss would get 'captured' into the trap allowing the player to play as the villain. However, the player would need eight different elemental traps to capture every villain. This meant spending almost £100 to get one trap of every element to play as the villains. It also broke up the pace of the game if you didn't have the corresponding trap as you'd have to miss the dialogue of a character turning 'good' as well as missing out on 'villain quests' where the villain would redeem themselves. Elemental gates could also only be opened by Trap Masters so previous collections of skylanders were now almost completely useless in unlocking areas. Skylanders: Trap Team also introduced two new elements into the game - light and dark.

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Skylanders SuperChargers introduced vehicles and was perhaps the cheapest of the franchise. It got rid of the concept of elemental gates and simply allowed the player to place a vehicle of one of three types (either land, sea or sky) onto the portal, allowing them to traverse the level (half of the gameplay was the standard gameplay whereas half was in a vehicle). However, the traps that most people spent a lot of money on were reduced to just power ups for the vehicles.

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Skylanders Imaginators became infamous for requiring a lot of additional parts. Imaginators reintroduced elemental gates but with a twist - they were now whole levels and could only be opened by the new sensei skylanders. This meant if you didn't purchase one sensei of every element you would be missing out on whole levels. Imaginators also introduced creation crystals - these were smaller figurines that when placed on the portal would allow the player to create their own unique skylander. When creating your character you could select one of ten different battle classes. However, once one is selected it couldn't be changed. Traps were also completely useless in the game and although at first vehicles were playable through the race tracks, the re-release of the game completely scrapped them from the game entirely.

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I feel that after the traps becoming almost completely useless in SuperChargers, people decided that they didn't want to invest in figures that would become completely obsolete in the future. I also think that people started becoming overwhelmed by how many figures were needed to complete all of the games so people decided to stop investing in the skylanders series altogether.

How to fix Skylanders


I think that the franchise needs to go back to basics. Now that Disney Infinity is no longer a threat there is less competition for Activision to deal with.

I think think that the next Skylanders should go back to its roots, forget completely about the gimmicks and focus entirely on what made Skylanders great in the first place and try to recreate that. I think it should only have 20 figures (1 per element) and should completely scrap the idea of elemental gates. Instead have 1 elemental chest hidden in every level that can only be opened by a certain element. This means that people will feel less cheated as they won't feel they're missing out on big areas of the game. Now more than ever Activision needs to rebuild trust within the community and with the general consumer, they need to show that they're not using the Skylanders franchise just as a cash cow. They could also have two ways for the player to purchases the characters - a physical figure for £7.99 (the original price of Spyro's Adventure figures) or a digital version of the character for £3.99 (allowing for a cheaper option). It would also need new branding, showing to the consumer that this is a 'new start' for the franchise. Below is a concept that I made for a potential 7th game.

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Crash10 Gold Sparx Gems: 2774
#3 Posted: 22:41:44 12/07/2017
I personally agree with you on everything but the gimmick part. I feel that gimmicks were never an big issue, and they actually helped. Since kids are too dumb to realise slight changes on the game, they need an substantial feature shoved on their faces to buy it, and that's were the gimmicks come into play. I do think that no gimmick has its advantages, but I also think they have their importance. And, for me, they were never a problem, besides some extra paywalls. With the exception of SuperChargers, no gimmick felt invasive and unfitting for the game, and they twist things up nicely.
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Bifrost Platinum Sparx Gems: 6282
#4 Posted: 00:01:00 13/07/2017
Gimmkcks are good in moderation. You can invest on the cat suit in Mario guilt free because it's still going to have a normal game underneath and it's still 60. In Skylanders, you're asking a LOT of money out of every player. You either have to make few games every few years, or decrease the cost to normal game price. Acti did neither.
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fairyland Emerald Sparx Gems: 3543
#5 Posted: 02:31:32 13/07/2017
What went wrong with Skylanders? Nothing really. Toy franchises always loose steam because that batch of kids outgrows the toy. It's not like cigarettes or booze where they have you hooked until you die. Getting out of toys in your teen years and adulthood is basically considered normal human behavior, so this thing happens over and over to toy sellers.

It's why TMNT, Transformers, MLP, etc all reboot after a while. They need to give the franchise a modern and cool after a cool down period to interest a new crowd. Usually one long enough to skip a generation. Also the younger crowds are never interested because it's never cool to be into what toys your older brother/sister was into. You almost always have to skip a generation or you need to reintroduce the brand with all new and radically different looking characters.

I doubt they'd wait 10 to 15 years to get the adult nostalgia factor to kick in like that Crash game but who knows? With all the crazy things Activision has done over the years with Skylanders, I sometimes wonder if they would do what's considered normal for anyone else the toy industry. They could just as well let the series die and ignore it, focusing instead on making a billion more COD games instead.

But I honestly doubt we've seen the last of Skylanders being popular. We all know the cartoon won't do it and neither will that silly phone game. That's just treading water, probably lingering deals from years ago that took forever to pan out. More likely we'll see something cool which we are used to in 2020 to make everyone talk about Skylanders again.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 02:33:57 13/07/2017 by fairyland
Johnbonne Blue Sparx Gems: 918
#6 Posted: 06:29:33 13/07/2017
A really good start to the discussion and some equally stellar comments, I'd like to see this discussion continue!

Though I appreciate the theories and how well they're written, I think Fairyland has one of simple-but-effective thought processes for this: it's gone on for six years, and people are growing up and/or getting tired. I also recall Bifrost saying in another thread that the franchise didn't grow up when the players did.

If not that, then I think the gimmicks did it for me. Well, not necessarily the gimmicks but how much that would cost me. As I've already said numerous times I don't think about what I get in the starter pack, but what I don't. And £7.99 for a standard figure and more for the ones I need for the additional content I like was too much to ask for a yearly release. Now I can get figures for good deals at Smyths or a load of toys from CeX I don't care so much about the cost, and the starter packs are so cheap they're practically bursting with content.

I was going to do a video about this and talk about the TTL dilemma, and one other point I would want to raise is the branding: none of these things tell me what they are on the box, be it Disney, Skylanders or Lego. They always show how to demonstrate using the characters, but don't explain what genre the game is, why I should get the other toys, what content the toys add, what's the difference between a fun pack, a story pack, an adventure pack, a level pack and hardly mention forwards compatability. I don't want to be looking at several videos on YouTube while I'm in a game store (because that's part of the magic of toys to life - seeing them, holding them, taking them to the counter and buying them) telling me "32 things you NEED to know about this other toys to life game that you need now 'lest you be left in the dark on the darkSpyro forums and be called a loser, you loser". Ahem.
My point is that because I played Skylanders from the start I know what to expect and have an understanding of each gimmick and what the content will play like. But what's Disney Infinity? A sandbox game? A point and click adventure game? A virtual novel? An Open All Hours simulator? F-F-F-Fetch your portal, Granville. With Infinite Arms, Ubisoft's TTL game, Lightseekers, Lego and Disney I don't know how many videos I have to watch. It's overwhelming. The same with going to the toy store - what's a decent price to be paying for all the available content?

I've a lot more to say on the subject but I need more time to think about it. In general, this has been a cracking read so far! smilie
ChillStealthElf Yellow Sparx Gems: 1864
#7 Posted: 07:44:26 13/07/2017
what went wrong? greed....

after Giants, they started requiring more & more additional purchases just to get everything in the game. Swap Force required all 8 Swap abilities, and unless you played a lot of co-op you needed all 8 elements for the dual gates....Trap Team required the Trap Masters to break Traptanium crystals and worst of all to access the gates, plus they went insanely overboard on the traps ( even if you DID want a unique trap per villain, they still made more molds for some elements than there were villains for that element, and the new light & dark had 3 traps for 4 villains not to mention the dumb idea to have 2 slightly different Kaos trap molds... )...then Superchargers comes along and required literally ever Supercharger character & vehicle to 100% the game ( I am referring to the Supercharged challenges from Buzz )....finally Imaginators required Senseis to access everything. With each game after Swap Force, they started making the previous toys less & less useful to try & force as many sales of the new toys as possible. There needs to be a balance...if they toys we're buying are worthless after the game they're introduced for why should we care?
Dalton977622 Blue Sparx Gems: 804
#8 Posted: 08:10:23 13/07/2017
I do believed that I've found another reason why the sales of both Superchargers and Imaginators did not do well as much as the previous four did and that is Advertisements and Innovations.

Back in SSA, the advertisements shows the toys, portal and the players playing through the games and it still relevant in Giants, Swap Force and Trap Team. The main focus of marketing the game is to show what the game got and what these games got is the figures and how they interact each other in the other world making them strangely alive and not just figures. The main line in the advertisements is "They may look like toys but they are alive on the inside". And "Toys have brains and they will remember everything you've taught them". strange but effective. The same thing goes to Amiibos, Lego Dimension and more notably, Disney Infinity but they don't keep that notions by saying they're from a different world (Disney Infinity does though). That what keeps the kids and maybe the adults getting the idea of Skylands being another world of their imagination.

But in Superchargers, things changed. Instead of showing Skylanders as toys, They really do show them as CGI Characters in our world thus breaking our imagination to believed that they're from Skylands. In Superchargers Trailers, they never show interactions with the Skylanders and their Portal Masters on tables or on the portal. It's just "Hey! Trigger Happy's on his Golden Machine going around! OOOOH!!! Look at That Dragon Dude with his Boiling Hot Wheels. Whoo, their getting RADICAL!!!" It's fine but what makes SSA to TT much more engaging is that it show us two different worlds. TT did that and they done it better. (That explains how Trap Team not falling into the same fate as the current titles) Superchargers is only showing you Skylanders on Earth. No Portal, No Figures, Nothing to do with the magic of the games. And then came Imaginators.

Imaginators takes a different approach by showing off the gameplay and that's it. It's just showing you what the game looks like, like many games do and that's it. That's why Imaginators getting a very low sales at their retail because unlike the advertisements they received, it just played out as a game trailer. There is a gimmick to these kind of trailers as this is called "Innovation". If Skylanders wanted to show the gimmicks that can be well received, they got to show them what they got, not what they look like. In SSA and Giants, you can see a great effort of the adverts by bringing up the story while maintaining it's purpose. In Swap Force and Trap Team, They still do that but they do have CGI trailers that will show you what the game look like in your imaginations and it's kinda awesome. In Superchargers, It just shows you CGI Characters on Earth "DRIVING EVIL CRAZY!!!". Imaginators just showing you the game.

Not only this series fails to bring back what they got in the past, even movie trailers failed to do so. In the first trailer, you get the senses of the characters and the world that you'll be embarking the journey with. The Second trailer will show you what the movie is like and how the plot's explain. However in the third trailer, it's just show you the hidden plot point that you not suppose to see in the trailers but in the movies. Let me tell you, The Smurf Lost Village movie did that and that is very notable to talk about. The reasons I've brought that up is because in Superchargers, they showed the Story Trailer which shows half-QUARTERS of the cutscenes in game including the reveal of the Darkness. I understand of this trailer takes months after the game's release because of the spoilers it shows but there are other ways of showing it instead of showing off the hidden plot points. People might see the trailer before playing the game and possibly know the story by now. it's feels like the game gives you the skirt up just to let you see what colour it's story is. It's just so wrong.

If they ever going to make Skylanders 7 and possibly make an advertisements for the games, they got to get back to their roots and try to make up a new way to make the trailers more innovating. I wanted to feel nostalgia when I see a familiar feel and I wanted to see what gimmick's sentient roles going to be in the toys. Trailers are not suppose to be one-half of the game, movie or any media. It's suppose to give you the idea what game, movie or any media is and Skylanders takes a huge advantage of it.
Wishblade Gold Sparx Gems: 2303
#9 Posted: 13:10:41 13/07/2017
Good input, guys. I've always agreed about the price and failure to grow with the fan base. I never thought of how the advertising missed the magic. Good observation, Dalton.

The only thing I can add is the lack of communication from Activision. It's frustrating for a collector to be mostly in the dark about when the next wave is coming or if some items will even ever be released. Perhaps they do this on purpose to keep us coming to the store or to make the find more exciting. But aftera while, the lack of respect for the faithful customer starts to burn. Even more so when you can't finish your collection unless you spend yet ANOTHER fortune online. That's the greed that makes me secretly celebrate their demise.
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Drek95 Emerald Sparx Gems: 4401
#10 Posted: 17:10:29 13/07/2017
I've waited a bit to join this topic, since I wanted to add something which wasn't already explored (and didn't want to lower the general level of the discussion), so forgive me if this was said somewhere.

I really feel like the series lost its identity, not only game-wise but also under other points of view.
And what's sad is that SA and Giants enstablished a rather solid and recognizable identity through designs, lore, atmosphere and smaller details.
I'll try to break down this in two parts: game identity and "brand" identity.

I've already said in other topics that SWAP Force was the first big change in the series, bringing a completely new art style and character design, adding new gameplay mechanics and setting the adventure in a different part of the Skylands to justify the other differences ,especially lore-wise.
Prior to that Skylanders was simply a dungeon-crawler beat-them-up (I think) with some very light RPG elements: then came the platform stages, the SWAP Zones, the knockback mechanics, the hitstun (if I remember the name correctly) and other new features.
Were they bad?
No, not necessarily.
But they helped the series loose the identity it built in two years, creating a new one which looked cool, fresh and rad... But different.

Trap Team basically forgot about many of those changes, while bringing back other lost features like the boulders for Giants to throw (it's the only game where they retain that ability outside of their titular entry); yet TfB tried to innovate in its own way with Kaos' Doom Challenges and a new version of Skystones, which was one of the many features forgotten in the previous game.
But no, customers had a taste of V.V.'s "over the top innovations" and they wanted more.

So SuperChargers came along, and besides the obvious "VEHICLES!" meme, it distorted the core gameplay even more.
Don't think I have to explain what; it did pay more respect to legacy features (Skystones Overdrive, NPCs, lore) but it gave one of the biggest slaps in the face of consumers by not fully supporting traps.
Between that and Skymiibos I'm not surprised many customers felt alienated.

Enough with games, let's talk about the identity of the "brand", or the franchise if you wish.
Dalton already talked about the advertisements and how they became less and less magical and exciting, and more of a mandatory way to promote the games.
I want to discuss about those small touches which followed the same route.

Up to Trap Team the series still retained basically all those details, ranging from cards, to elemental bases... Then, again, SuperChargers arrived.
Cards were removed, probably also because of Battlecast (weak excuse, since they could both coexsist with no problems), so we couldn't even enjoy the new background arts properly; bases were changed as well and not in favor of something similar but cooler, just boring golden engines with a vague reminescence of the Elements.
That way they also lost other minor touches, such as Earth transparent crystals and Undead glow in the dark effect, even the colored plastic plates were removed.
The logo also changed style; I know, very minor, but it's still something which changed after 4 years of a consistent concept.

Imaginators was a disaster, from this point of view: bland bases, no more Cores, not even a proper CGI trailer.
Yet I find it amazing how it still managed to deliver a better Skylanders' experience than SWAP Force, which still had all those.

I think Activision is to blame for a lot of that, but I'd lie if I said I didn't think V.V. had nothing to do with it.
Just thinking about the Bala Bros constantly hammering catchphrases and buzzwords in every single interview makes me facepalm instantly, but I'm sure that was already acknowledged.

So yeah, just another reason why the series is having a hard time.
Probably not the most crucial but I feel like it definitely didn't help; as a customer I perceived it as a growing lack of interest by the developers and publisher part.
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#11 Posted: 17:49:28 13/07/2017
Trap Team is where it started to go downhill. Giants and Swap Force was where it was at it's best, and the sale numbers show.
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Drek95 Emerald Sparx Gems: 4401
#12 Posted: 18:07:50 13/07/2017
Quote: Chompy-King257
Trap Team is where it started to go downhill. Giants and Swap Force was where it was at it's best, and the sale numbers show.


Sure, but wouldn't it make sense for people who didn't enjoy SWAP Force not to buy Trap Team?
I mean, the former sold a lot, but that doesn't automatically make it a better game: it just means it got more people interested in it (which is definitely something they should be proud of, mind it) but some of those customers might not have been satisfied with it and decided not to support the series further.

It's why I think Imaginators sold so poorly (even though it's also the most recent one): because of what came before it.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 18:08:18 13/07/2017 by Drek95
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#13 Posted: 18:17:11 13/07/2017
TT seems to be fatigue rather than displeasure. Everyone splurged to buy the full SF collection, even kids because of the Swapping gimmick, but when another comes up with MANY more required figures, people start going 'nah don't want 100% this time' - starting the whole yearly release issue of expecting people to spend far more than they have. In a golden timeline where that game was polished and the next one followed on things that would make it sell, we'd probably see it sit just slightly below those numbers, though not cut in half. Not into economics to be right about this,tho, just speculating.
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Sworn2Skylands Yellow Sparx Gems: 1353
#14 Posted: 18:55:33 13/07/2017
Some great opinions here, I really liked ChillStealthElf's analysis of how greed played into it (especially when they cited the example of trap masters being the only ones who could open elemental gates, which I also thought was one of the best examples of that ever). From my own personal standpoint, I liked all of the creative games in the series (that is to say, Skylanders: SWAP Force and Skylanders: Imaginators), mostly because it was alive with possibilities and the gimmick Skylanders--both the SWAP Force and the Imaginators--were a lot of fun to try, since it wasn't like developing a normal Skylander, where it's like going down a linear path of upgrades, with the only element of choice being what path you pick, and then the Skylander functioning the same every day from then on out until they're reset. With the SWAP Force and Imaginators, you could develop them in many different possible ways, without resetting even, which really added to the fun. And in both cases, even if you didn't like all the creativity, conventional Skylanders were released with the gimmick Skylanders so you could try both.

Another factor that was a big weakness I found in the Toys for Bob games before Imaginators was an excessive focus on combat and there being too few ways to enjoy the game. In SWAP Force, there were about 7 ways to play the game, in Imaginators, there were around 5. In Trap Team, there were only really 3 (unless you count Skystones Smash, but that was much too easy), and in Giants the number was also 3--and all 3 in Trap Team were focused around combat. That was what I originally didn't like about the Toys For Bob games--if you were getting tired of combat, you had few things you could do otherwise. That was what I liked about SWAP Force and even Superchargers, was that if you were getting tired of combat, you could switch over to things like SWAP Force minigames, Skystones Overdrive and vehicle sections instead of more of the same thing.

Thus, I would like to suggest that Activision keep the creative fires burning, because that's the aspect of their games I always found the most exciting, as well as giving players lots of different ways to play the game and not requiring so many purchases to get things done. Based on the conversations I've had with other people, Skylanders has a reputation for being expensive and if that were to become less true, other players might warm up to it more.

Quote: fairyland
What went wrong with Skylanders? Nothing really. Toy franchises always loose steam because that batch of kids outgrows the toy. It's not like cigarettes or booze where they have you hooked until you die. Getting out of toys in your teen years and adulthood is basically considered normal human behavior, so this thing happens over and over to toy sellers.


I think this is a rather presumptuous, stereotypical analysis of that. I would have liked it if I could have been a child when Skylanders was out too (for the lack of judgment being received and getting more mileage out of the figurines), but the original Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure wasn't released until I was 21 years old. At the time, I was looking for a good new game to play since I was getting tired of playing largely the same ones for a while, and I happened to decide to take a chance on Skylanders, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. Is that really something to be mocked?
Johnbonne Blue Sparx Gems: 918
#15 Posted: 19:03:04 13/07/2017
This is just a brainstorm, but could the Portal of Power have had any impact on the sales? Giants is the only game to my knowledge to have a Booster Pack, whereas every other game afterwards had Starter Packs which cost more due to the new portal. I'm surprised it had taken me as long as it did to realise why Giants was the only game to have a Booster Pack, and why future games didn't bother. I thought that was a great pro-consumer move that rewarded existing customers by cutting the cost (to an extent).

I currently have four of the things lying around on my floor, with wires trailing all over, five if you want to consider my JoyCon for the Switch version of Imaginators. They also got tackier with each iteration (each one looking more like a plastic tray or disc than the stone-y effect of the first), which probably doesn't help matters. And does the Superchargers one even talk back to you?! I want to hear the complaints of the mustard in HD!

I recognise this point isn't quite as crucial as those pointed out by others, but the Portal is a critical component for the toys to 'come to life'. Or, as the Switch version has shown us, perhaps not.
TrapShadowFan Emerald Sparx Gems: 3473
#16 Posted: 21:09:59 13/07/2017
To me, it was Activision's complete and utter refusal to communicate. Why did they always insist on keeping the release dates for waves under wraps and mostly random? What was so beneficial about that approach? All it did was create confusion among every single part of the fanbase. With amiibo and Lego Dimensions, the release dates are clear and precise from the start. With Skylanders, you don't know when or IF they're getting released; sometimes they just decide not to release the figures at all and say absolutely nothing about it! The only times I felt they began to adequately communicate were during the west coast port strikes causing the delay of STT's wave 4 and when Trap Shadow and Freeze Blade were available to demo at an event and advertised for the easter season. Outside of those two incidents, Activision has completely refused to give any sort of confirmed release date for any of their figures for no apparent reason other than utter ignorance.
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Edited 2 times - Last edited at 21:11:16 13/07/2017 by TrapShadowFan
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#17 Posted: 21:14:57 13/07/2017
Quote: TrapShadowFan
To me, it was Activision's complete and utter refusal to communicate. Why did they always insist on keeping the release dates for waves under wraps and mostly random? What was so beneficial about that approach? All it did was create confusion among every single part of the fanbase. With amiibo and Lego Dimensions, the release dates are clear and precise from the start. With Skylanders, you don't know when or IF they're getting released; sometimes they just decide not to release the figures at all and say absolutely nothing about it! The only times I felt they began to adequately communicate were during the west coast port strikes causing the delay of STT's wave 4 and when Trap Shadow and Freeze Blade were available to demo at an event and advertised for the easter season. Outside of those two incidents, Activision has completely refused to give any sort of confirmed release date for any of their figures for no apparent reason other than utter ignorance.


This is spot on.
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#18 Posted: 21:23:19 13/07/2017
The reason is this: It forces people to visit stores and chase. When they don't find the figure(s) they want, they buy a different Skylanders figure they would not have usually bought to compensate.
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fairyland Emerald Sparx Gems: 3543
#19 Posted: 21:44:52 13/07/2017
Quote: Sworn2Skylands
Quote: fairyland
What went wrong with Skylanders? Nothing really. Toy franchises always loose steam because that batch of kids outgrows the toy. It's not like cigarettes or booze where they have you hooked until you die. Getting out of toys in your teen years and adulthood is basically considered normal human behavior, so this thing happens over and over to toy sellers.


I think this is a rather presumptuous, stereotypical analysis of that. I would have liked it if I could have been a child when Skylanders was out too (for the lack of judgment being received and getting more mileage out of the figurines), but the original Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure wasn't released until I was 21 years old. At the time, I was looking for a good new game to play since I was getting tired of playing largely the same ones for a while, and I happened to decide to take a chance on Skylanders, and I got a lot of enjoyment out of it. Is that really something to be mocked?


Asking "What went wrong with Skylanders?" is a trick question. In what context are we talking about? I still feel that nothing went wrong because Activision never tried to market this item to us hardcore fans. Skylanders was a huge success for the average fad buying market and it had pleased them well enough to keep them around for years. As with all fads, they simply die out and that's that. All they need to do is to wait a few years and try again, as evident by the countless toy franchises which constantly reboots themselves to sell more toys.

Anyway, I'm 44 and I collect, buy and resell toys for a living. So I'm definitely not one to mock any hardcore buyer who loves toys past a certain age. My customers are either "die hard" fans like ourselves or "average" buyers who are prone to fad toy buying. Basically average people bought Skylanders because it was a huge popular fad like Fidget Spinners was a few months ago. People just had to have it because it was seemingly cool at the time. And yes it was extremely cool, as you could bring toys to life.

But as with all fads, they simply die out. Toy fads generally die off after about 2 to 5 years of popularity. Then average people will unload their large fad toy collections for any price. Mostly they do this because they outgrew the fad/hobby and are moving onto their next stage in life (usually their later teens, college or the opposite sex). They have no use for a pile of toys that they cannot stand to see any longer.

Then we have the type of toy buyers like ourselves. Mature older collectors who are into Barbie, My Little Pony, Star Wars, Transformers, Hot Wheels as well as comic books, anime, etc. They tend to keep onto their collections for much longer and have massive room of doom collections in their houses. I do not frown on these people at all, as I'm one of them myself. It takes death to keep us from buying more of the product year after year.

The thing is, we need to always remember that Skylanders was a massive fad which attracted massive amounts of average kids into buying it and they simply got tired of it and they left. That's basically all there is to it and we shouldn't go looking into placing a blame game at what Activision done wrong. The insane amount of money they made says to me that nothing major went wrong with the franchise. There was absolutely no way to continue that success forever in buying what was essentially a fad product. It's like asking ourselves why Lava Lamps and Rubik's Cubes are still not massively popular today, some things just naturally die out.

Anyway, more interesting would be is to ask what's next for Activision. I see that they have two paths. Let it die out and come back in a few years or to try to satisfy the hardcore buyers that are left. The latter obviously will never happen because at no time has Activision ever catered to us hardcore fans. They practically ignored us. We found mountains of wrong things and none of it was ever addressed. And why was that? Because those faults absolutely do not matter when you are selling millions of product in spite of it's glaring faults. They know we'd keep on buying no matter how awful they treat us or how awful the product is. That's just how business sees us.

So Activision probably sees this decline in sales as a totally expected regression due to no fault of their own and really they should. History has shown time and time again this is how toy fads work. All you need to do is to reboot the franchise every few years and you'll do fine, even if you have some of the most irritating ways to do business and basically ignore the most devout of your fans.
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#20 Posted: 22:23:58 13/07/2017
Quote: fairyland
So Activision probably sees this decline in sales as a totally expected regression due to no fault of their own and really they should. History has shown time and time again this is how toy fads work. All you need to do is to reboot the franchise every few years and you'll do fine, even if you have some of the most irritating ways to do business and basically ignore the most devout of your fans.

I don't think you're wrong, but there's plenty that Activision could--no, should--have done better.

They got greedy after Swap Force. There was a reason for the eponymous Swap Force characters to cost $15 MSRP, because there were effectively two separate characters in the package and the technology to make them as such cost more. They did NOT need to keep charging that much for the Trap Team and Imaginators Senseis, which should have gone back down to the Giants' price point of $12, and the SuperChargers figures likewise should have gone back down to the standard $10 figure price with the vehicles costing $12. Many retail outlets like GameStop and Toys R Us started charging $1-2 over MSRP in Trap Team as well, which further exacerbated the problem.

And as has been mentioned multiple times in this thread, Activision has also really sucked at marketing their releases beyond the waves of figures that hit shelves at the same time as their associated game. Their competition didn't have this problem; Lego Dimensions and amiibos regularly sell out of preorders at major game retailers. Once other players got on the field and started beating Activision at their own game, they should have used the opportunity to learn better marketing strategies instead of "staying the course" into the giant stone wall they're staring into now.

Now, as far as fads go, it's all about how the next wave picks up. TMNT was rad in the late 80s/early 90s when I was a kid, but then died out... there was a terrible spin off which kicked the dead horse a bit... then in the late 90s/early 2000s, a new show launched and was actually pretty damn good, but then it died out too, and there was a forgettable movie... and then in the early 2010s, Nickelodeon started their 3D version of the show which caught on (but is kind of terrible), but now it's on its way out and so there's probably not going to be anything meaningful for the property until 2022 or so.

But those were an analysis of a fad with waves that picked up. Look at Activision's other "fad" properties: Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero. They ****ed up their resurgence games really badly; there was no wave of renewed popularity for those games, just a bunch of pissed off fans leftover from the old games. So from that, we can learn two things: 1) Activision sucks at giving "fads" the attention they deserve when they're ripe for resurgence, and 2) gamers from "fad" game series don't leave the way fans of other properties might. The latter is likely a result of changes to pop culture brought about by technology over the last 30+ years, since basically everything a nerd might want is recorded and available digitally now, even if it's out of it's fad window.

The former is... well... just Activision sucking.
Edited 1 time - Last edited at 22:25:18 13/07/2017 by McMurderpaws
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#21 Posted: 02:09:05 15/07/2017
*cough* superchargers *cough*
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#22 Posted: 02:19:38 15/07/2017
Quote: ZapNorris
*cough* superchargers *cough*



It doesn't help that Hotel Mario's voice actor for mario and luigi, voices Lord Stratosfear
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#23 Posted: 02:34:57 15/07/2017
*cough trap team *cough
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#24 Posted: 03:05:28 15/07/2017
Quote: SkyFan91
*cough trap team *cough



Many people would argue that
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#25 Posted: 03:08:51 15/07/2017
Trap Team is when Activision officially showed their greed for sure, but it also introduced colorful, memorable new villains that the series desperately needed.
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#26 Posted: 03:56:59 15/07/2017
It also introduced a lot of lore, since the series had the looks of a saturday morning cartoon, but TT estabilished it as such. Random species and individuals just get greedy and start doing petty and/or unreasonable villainy with their special power, even if it's healing and broccoli or unrelated to Kaos and the Darkness. The greed definately came after the game itself, with the gate requirements and cut content caused by the small dev cycle, not in development(especially since everyone can still use traps and they still hold any villain from that element except for Kaos, which was also changed from Magic during development).
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 04:49:18 15/07/2017 by Bifrost
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#27 Posted: 03:58:34 15/07/2017
Quote: McMurderpaws
Trap Team is when Activision officially showed their greed for sure, but it also introduced colorful, memorable new villains that the series desperately needed.



Luminous. That is all.
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#28 Posted: 04:02:24 15/07/2017
Who? smilie
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#29 Posted: 05:09:07 15/07/2017
you know, Luminous! The yellow guy!

other acceptable mentions include Pain-Yatta, Smoke Scream, Chef Pepper Jack, Eye Five, Lob Goblin, Tae Kwon Crow, Threatpack, Shrednaught, Grave Clobber, Hood Sickle, and Cuckoo Clocker.
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#30 Posted: 10:13:16 15/07/2017
Quote: Bifrost
It also introduced a lot of lore, since the series had the looks of a saturday morning cartoon, but TT estabilished it as such. Random species and individuals just get greedy and start doing petty and/or unreasonable villainy with their special power, even if it's healing and broccoli or unrelated to Kaos and the Darkness. The greed definately came after the game itself, with the gate requirements and cut content caused by the small dev cycle, not in development(especially since everyone can still use traps and they still hold any villain from that element except for Kaos, which was also changed from Magic during development).


And I'm still fairly sure the whole Traptanium Elemental Gates' problem originated after Activision read about people complaining about how they didn't need more than one Trap Master.
Not understanding that the point has never been needing a character but wanting it.

We even have images of regular Elemental Gates in early screenshots.
Guess people got what they wanted (obvious sarcasm).

Vehicles aside, SuperChargers got this right by requiring only one SuperCharger to open all their Gates.
A shame it got greedy basically everywhere else.
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Edited 2 times - Last edited at 13:42:26 15/07/2017 by Drek95
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#31 Posted: 12:09:46 15/07/2017
That was pretty much it. The gates having nothing Traptanium related is a dead giveaway too since Swap Zones and Giant areas usually have a distinct look from normal secret areas. The Trap Masters were for clusters and nothing else.
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#32 Posted: 17:30:13 15/07/2017
Just want to point out one thing.

...You said THREE things contributed to its death, but only listed two. What's the third?
Also I like your version of the characters.
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#33 Posted: 17:47:49 15/07/2017
Where did they go wrong? They thought that Skylanders would keep selling, just because of the gimmick. But eventually, people stopped caring about the gimmick, and so Skylanders stopped selling as much.

How to fix this? Either make the figures do more outside of the game, or take away the figures altogether. I would of though that, in 2017, nobody would care at all about toys anymore. But after Fidget Spinners, I think toys could still work IF they actually did something outside of the game, which Skylanders didn't (except SSF).

Overall, I would take away the gimmick if I made a reboot, and just have 10-18 Skylanders that you can freely switch between in-game without figures.
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#34 Posted: 18:44:03 15/07/2017
Quote: AmbushFan
Where did they go wrong? They thought that Skylanders would keep selling, just because of the gimmick. But eventually, people stopped caring about the gimmick, and so Skylanders stopped selling as much.

How to fix this? Either make the figures do more outside of the game, or take away the figures altogether. I would of though that, in 2017, nobody would care at all about toys anymore. But after Fidget Spinners, I think toys could still work IF they actually did something outside of the game, which Skylanders didn't (except SSF).

Overall, I would take away the gimmick if I made a reboot, and just have 10-18 Skylanders that you can freely switch between in-game without figures.

Don't forget the vehicles some of them were fully playable outside of the game mainly land
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#35 Posted: 12:31:07 16/07/2017 | Topic Creator
Quote: MugoUrth
Just want to point out one thing.

...You said THREE things contributed to its death, but only listed two. What's the third?
Also I like your version of the characters.


So I did, that was a typo smilie

But if I could put it down to a third thing I'd say the audience they went for. I'm not saying that they shouldn't make it with children in mind because toys and children go together perfectly. However, they should have gone with the approach that Nintendo does with many of their games - make it accessible to children but also make their games with adults in mind. The humour that particularly Swap Force introduced was very child orientated and as an adult I just felt kind of lost?
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#36 Posted: 12:52:16 16/07/2017
Oh so much. Kaos' secret dialogue on TT and everything about him on SF are different worlds. Again, bias ,but SF straight up dumbs down the characters and lore at various points and doesn't give much reason about it, since it's VV trying to take reins of a series that isn't theirs. Thankfully they got more consistent in SC, but with that game there were bigger problems.

I focus on Kaos since that's where most of the cutscenes went. In SSA, he was barely used. In SG, he was dangerous and they actively avoided him. In TT, he's harmless at first, but the team knows better and they always question. In SC, he goes the other way, from being untouchable to actually drawing the line and developing as a character. L

In SF? Harmless, no one cares, it's like all his previous attacks never happened. It's like he was Season 1 Kaos from the show, except he's still pretty powerful and has resources to spare.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 16:05:46 16/07/2017 by Bifrost
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#37 Posted: 14:04:26 16/07/2017
Quote: TTD
Quote: MugoUrth
Just want to point out one thing.

...You said THREE things contributed to its death, but only listed two. What's the third?
Also I like your version of the characters.


So I did, that was a typo smilie

But if I could put it down to a third thing I'd say the audience they went for. I'm not saying that they shouldn't make it with children in mind because toys and children go together perfectly. However, they should have gone with the approach that Nintendo does with many of their games - make it accessible to children but also make their games with adults in mind. The humour that particularly Swap Force introduced was very child orientated and as an adult I just felt kind of lost?


As an adult, SwapForce was the only game that had a cute script. The scripts for SA and Giants were incredibly bland and attempted to be deeper than they really were. I felt my intelligence insulted at various points in Giants and I actually laughed at that game the most. People like to talk about Kaos like he's completely different in TfB vs VV made games but Kaos has always been a complete and utter idiot. At least in SF he was an amusing idiot and not annoying like in Giants.
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#38 Posted: 18:04:16 16/07/2017
Quote: TTD
Quote: MugoUrth
Just want to point out one thing.

...You said THREE things contributed to its death, but only listed two. What's the third?
Also I like your version of the characters.


So I did, that was a typo smilie

But if I could put it down to a third thing I'd say the audience they went for. I'm not saying that they shouldn't make it with children in mind because toys and children go together perfectly. However, they should have gone with the approach that Nintendo does with many of their games - make it accessible to children but also make their games with adults in mind. The humour that particularly Swap Force introduced was very child orientated and as an adult I just felt kind of lost?


Hmmm... while I did dislike all the jokes they used to make their villains seem incompitent and dumb, I thought Kaos was as funny as ever. Overall, the franchise was always slightly childish, but I didn't think Swap Force was any worse than previous games. In fact, compare that squeaky "Sure is good to have the Skylanders with us again" from the first game to the less cutesy "Sure is nice to have the Skylanders around" from the third game. I'd argue it got more mature in some areas, though it did lose maturity in others.
Bifrost Platinum Sparx Gems: 6282
#39 Posted: 18:10:30 16/07/2017
Kaos himself was funny, the issue was how everyone else acted towards him. You need another character to play off after all, Glumshanks can only help for so long.
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#40 Posted: 19:36:57 16/07/2017
My main problem with the direction of Skylanders is not with how it kept adding gimmicks, but how it kept abandoning gimmicks in future games. I still feel like the best thing for the series would be an open world adventure that incorporates and celebrates all previous figures and gimmicks while also introducing a new gimmick that doesn't put a huge burden on people's wallets. So from each game...


SSA: Elemental gates (or areas blocked off by element-themed obstacles that only skylanders of that element could traverse) would return from the first Skylanders game. Like the first game they would provide a small but entertaining bit of optional content in every level, and they would be unlockable by any skylander in a given element regardless of what game they game from.

Giants: Feats of strength would open up shortcuts in levels and spots where treasure is hidden. Also there would be plenty of heavy objects laying around for Giants to pick up and throw during combat.

Swap Force: A swap zone from each movement type would be hidden throughout the game. And, of course, swapping would still be fully functional.

Trap Team: Traps of the corresponding element (or the Kaos trap, which would be universal and more powerful) would now temporarily power up a Trap Master's traptanium weapon into its glowing state. Traptanium Crystals would also be scattered around the game world, which Trap Masters could break to open up shortcuts and find treasure.

Superchargers: Vehicles would now be usable during regular gameplay, with their size and speed adjusted to work better in that regard. Superchargers would get supercharged when riding in their own vehicle.

Imaginators: Senseis would keep their Sky-Chi mechanic and gong battles would be hidden throughout the game world. All imaginators would still be fully playable.


And with how popular open world games have been lately, and with Skylanders already dabbling in the idea with the M.A.P., it just seems like the perfect next step to take.
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#41 Posted: 20:06:40 16/07/2017
Activision

More like, uhhhh

Craptivision?

Jeez I'm out of my game
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#42 Posted: 20:23:47 16/07/2017
I don't think gimmicks being used and kicked out are a bad thing by itself, the problem is that you pay extra money for those gimmicks, so...
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#43 Posted: 23:33:59 16/07/2017
I absolutely agree with you, Muffin Man, in fact I had a rather similar idea for a potential new game a couple years ago.

I'd like to improve your points with my personal view, because I really think that's the direction this series should take.

First of all, I'm all for an open-world structure: I think the M.A.P. was received pretty well but while it's indeed a good start I feel like i can be hugely improved, starting from the camera angle which made it feel less big than it actually is.
I'd like it to be a vast overworld where you can freely rotate your camera and either run, swim or fly around depending on which Skylander you are using; make it full of secrets, missions or things to do, enemies and just fill it with amazing views so that you'll never get tired of roaming it.

Now, onto characters and gimmick figures.

Giants: basically what you said, but I'd actually make their models bigger (not too much though, just a bit more than Trap Masters and some Senseis) to take full advantage of the bigger world, and try to integrate their abilities in a more natural way: Feats of Strenght are ok, but I'd really like them to have more breakable things which could open new areas, unlock shortcuts or simply cause tons of damage around you.
I want them to feel as powerful as they felt in their titular game.

Swappers: again, SWAP Zones are fine, but how awesome would it be if they could actually use their specific abilities outside of them?
Wash Buckler could climb trees, towers, big rocks; Grilla Drilla could uncover hidden treasures, find secret passages and maybe travel even faster; Free Ranger could activate special switches, hover on water and throw around rocks and other objects.
They truly have a lot of potential.

Trap Masters: that's a really cool idea for traps, and I admit I would have simply stopped at them having a damage boost again bosses and being able to break Traptanium Shards.
Still, I think there could be a way to fully support traps again (Portal Masters mess with time, so there would be no problem with reformed villains) while allowing them to interact in such ways.

SuperChargers: keep the supercharging mechanic for the characters and let them summon vehicles whenever they want (with some logical restrictions) to help them fight and travel faster.

Senseis: their Sky-Chi moves are already a pretty unique mechanic, which could be very useful for crowd control, but they need to be nerfed a bit.
Imaginators would still work and be able to be edited.

The most important feature is something which ties to both the atmosphere and gameplay: they need to make Elements relevant again.
Align enemies with the various Elements and make them inflict and suffer damages according to that, make Elemental Gates and zones blend naturally with the environment, give each Element special abilities and create obstacles for all of them.
Bring back the Purple Tzo Crystals, the lava streams, the vine bridges and more!
Let us truly live the ten Elements.

One last consideration: don't make any of that mandatory.
Make things easier when using certain characters, but don't force us to buy it just for that.
People should buy Skylanders because they like and want them, not because they need them.
Sure, Wash Buckler can climb that building in seconds, but any other character can get there in other ways.
That's what they truly need to realize.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 23:37:02 16/07/2017 by Drek95
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#44 Posted: 03:21:06 17/07/2017
These are great ideas with open world and making each game's gimmick relevant. I would like to add my idea:

Bring back the ability to improve your characters. Not just upgrades and leveling up, but something like heroic challenges. I liked boosting stats, especially making my characters faster. But of course, they became quite a grind. Swap Force tried to find the answer to the grind with bonus missions improving stats all around, but that took something away from individualized improvements on your favorite figures. Hats added some help, but most were week And do many were ridiculous looking. I would like to see some kind of stat currency you could earn through game play that you could choose to apply to an aspect of your choice. Imagine: "Congratulations, you just completed this challenge. You earned 5 stat points. Select a Skylander you would like to improve. Select a stat you would like to improve."

I really miss heroic challenges and bonus missions from the first three games. I find the latest entries a little disappointing once you beat the game. Imaginators keeps me busy but I would like to do more than grind the Arena to level up. Once I get three stars on most chapters, I think I will be bored with this game.
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 03:23:48 17/07/2017 by Wishblade
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#45 Posted: 05:35:27 17/07/2017
Oh yeah, I definitely agree with that. I think they should make them like bonus missions in that they shouldn't be locked behind a paywall, but they should be like heroic challenges in terms of upgrading your skylanders' stats.
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#46 Posted: 19:24:09 17/07/2017
Every Skylanders game:
*One new gimmick that the game is centered on
*Some feature that everyone loved removed
*The same thing as the previous game, but with a new hub and levels.
*Kaos having an evil plan
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Edited 1 time - Last edited at 19:24:31 17/07/2017 by ChopChopz
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#47 Posted: 20:06:31 17/07/2017
The games are great. I don't think it was the heroic challenges. I loved them, but kids didn't play them.
I think it was too much in too little time with all the competion.
What didn't help was not releasing all the figurines. Where are the yawn traps? Where was the normal (not lightcore) drobot in giants which was on the poster. That is very bad marketing also for the collectors.
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#48 Posted: 21:08:40 17/07/2017
Quote: ChopChopz
Every Skylanders game:
*One new gimmick that the game is centered on
*Some feature that everyone loved removed
*The same thing as the previous game, but with a new hub and levels.
*Kaos having an evil plan

If you exclude that last point since it's specific to Kaos, you've basically described every modern game sequel. smilie
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#49 Posted: 15:58:49 18/07/2017
I haven't posted to DarkSpyro in a very long time, but I did view this thread, and wanted to weigh in.

While I agree that marketplace competition and consumer fatigue are obvious factors in the (inevitable) decline in Skylanders sales numbers, I think it's really important to hold Activision accountable for the many (probably easily avoidable) mistakes they made over the past few years. While there's nothing enforceable about my indictments below, I'm going to write them anyways, on the small chance that anyone of influence in the "TTL" industry actually reads them.

1. Distribution. I hope most of the community views this as the "white elephant" that everybody (at Activision) has wittingly ignored. The "waves" of character (and later traps and vehicles) releases idea is not inherently bad. However, extending those "waves" past March (after October initial releases) was foolish and almost guaranteed to sow discontent among fans, collectors, and retailers alike. Annually, there have been consistent (and worsening) issues with stock and supply of characters that don't make their retail debut until "wave 4" or "wave 5". In 2014, it was Scratch and Punk Shock. In 2015, Fling Kong and Flip Wreck... plus what should have been a white-hot alarm warning to Activision (which in my opinion, they ignored) ... the "yawn" traps. As just mentioned, Activision failed to learn their lesson in 2016, when "wave 5" (Thrillipede) retail distribution failed to meet consumer demand, further alienating more long-time dedicated Skylanders consumers (at least in the USA). As I type this, there is genuine concern that Lost Imaginite Mines will meet the same fate in 2017. It would have been a relatively easy change for Activision to make ... make sure each "core" character appears somewhere in "wave" 1, 2, or 3, and/or eliminate "wave 5" completely. Or, keep five "waves" and just move the release schedule up a little, so that "wave 5" hits retailers in March or early April. Activision could have made any one (or all) of these changes, in response to widespread community feedback, in 2014 or 2015. Would it have "saved" the franchise from its current state? Hard to say, but I do think it's safe to say that consumers would be more satisfied... and happy consumers tend to buy more and promote the franchise more.

2. SuperChargers. I know there are some in this community that sing the praises of Vicarious Visions. I have never really understood that, and I've tried. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and my opinion is that SuperChargers sank the ship. It's a less-than-mediocre video game, and the concept not only drifted too far away from the natural inherent charm and identity of Skylanders, but the game also mostly failed to be good at what it was trying to do outside the box. As much as fans and collectors cherished the "hunt" for new Skylanders in stores in the past, the true "magic" of Skylanders was that both the toys and the game were fun and enjoyable for children and their parents alike. While Swap Force (especially the Wii version) and Trap Team were flawed and unpolished games (unsurprising given their developers' production schedules), they were both GOOD games. SuperChargers is NOT a good game. The shame of this is that Imaginators is probably the best Skylanders video game (or at least one of the best), but its sales will never reflect that because SuperChargers shat the bed so hard, effectively ending the Skylanders era for a very large chunk of previously loyal consumers.

There were other factors, to be sure. For example, I think the "death" of the Nintendo Wii was a bigger deal for Skylanders than most people realize. Nonetheless, the two factors I elaborated on above were the biggest offenders, by far, in my opinion.
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"Who was harmed here---some six year olds who went to bed crying because there's no Enchanted Trap Shadow?"
axarce Red Sparx Gems: 25
#50 Posted: 07:04:28 10/08/2017
I agree with a lot of what was said above. The one thing that does bother me is how Kaos is the main villain you have to defeat at the end of every game. My kids keep asking why is it always him? Why does he keep escaping? Why can't we fight a different villain? I'd definitely would continue to be interested if the franchise expanded the story with a new main villain and let me reuse my trap crystals and vehicles from TT and SC in a more meaningful way.

With Imaginators, I would like to see the game continue to be updated and new levels added. Maybe use a new level to lead into the next version of the game. That would probably be a good way to introduce a whole new villain and retire Kaos already. Make Glumshanks a character we can play as would be a bonus.
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