Report: Nintendo said no thanks to partnership with Activision for Skylanders--a franchise now worth $2 billion

Mario maker reportedly had the chance to partner with Activision to make the first game a Nintendo-exclusive, but the company ended up passing.

According to a new report, Mario factory Nintendo had the opportunity to partner with Activision to make the first Skylanders game a Nintendo-exclusive, but ultimately said "no thanks" to the venture. That's according to a Polygon report, which goes into depth about the origins of "toys-to-life" Skylanders series, now worth a whopping $2 billion.

According to the report, Activision was actively seeking out a partner for the first Skylanders game, 2011's Spyro's Adventure, and thought teaming up with Nintendo could be a good idea. Developer Toys for Bob traveled to Nintendo of America's headquarters and demonstrated an early version of the game.

"[Nintendo] spent a long time looking and looking," Toys for Bob cofounder Paul Reiche said. "They were just like 'we have never seen anything like this before.' I've always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]."

Nintendo and Activision would go on to sign a limited co-marketing deal, but Nintendo reportedly wasn't ready to go any further.

"We have no idea why," Reiche added. "Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world. Why it is that they didn't rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."

It seems Nintendo isn't soured on the "toys-to-life" idea overall, however, as the company released a Skylanders-style game, Pokemon Rumble U, last year for the Wii U. Just like Skylanders, players can buy real-world toys and integrate them into the game world using the Wii U's NFC technology.

Also in the interview, Reiche says he was surprised that Disney responded so quickly to what Toys for Bob and Activision were doing with the Skylanders series with its own game, Disney Infinity, released last year. He still maintains that Nintendo could have left Disney in the dust.

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney's ass," Reiche said. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure

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148 comments
nolanmcdonald
nolanmcdonald

Nintendo would have to give up more to make this an exclusive and it's my understanding Disney is also on the Wii U so leaving them in the dust doesn't necessarily  help Nintendo. I think the main question is how many more consoles would have been bought. Then what the deal would have costed Nintendo and what additional purchases would have been made by consoles purchased due to this exclusive. I think the market of 25-35 year olds with kids that game on Xbox or Playstation could have possibly gotten a Wii U. Other then that I don't see an additional market. I think families without a console that are going to go for games like this are going to heavily go towards the Wii U. I think this family demographic of gamers is clearly small and why Nintendo is hurting. I grew up on Nintendo and hate seeing it. I grew up with a controller and that's how I still like it. Motion control just isn't there yet IMO.

darkteddi
darkteddi

I don't think it would be worth 2 billion if it was on one console.

koopabros64
koopabros64

You can only say Nintendo made a stupid decision because of hindsight. Skylanders was an odd idea. Going out to buy toys in order to access all of a games content is understandably unappealing to some. It's not something you'd imagine being as big of a hit that it was.

HunterChan
HunterChan

That's pretty hilarious. They said no to them, saw how successful they are now, and now trying to sell their own "skylanders". I don't really see the point to this amiibo one like skylanders'. 

HunterChan
HunterChan

@ultimaomegazero @HunterChan Never said it was. It's just obvious where they got the idea from, but I don't see it being as big of a success to it. Its use is to save the customizable moves you added to your players, but if people don't use that function as much, or don't mind using a regular character, how much exactly will they make?


I can see it being mostly successful from being collectibles really.

caitseith
caitseith

I doubt Skylanders would be what it is today if it had been a Nintendo exclusive.

sonic_rareware8
sonic_rareware8

Nintendo said no thanks to partnership with Activision for Skylanders, THANK GOD!

Paulf001
Paulf001

Funny thing is now Nintendo is ripping off the idea with NFC, but they weren't the first to rip it off that was Disney.

golemoy
golemoy

Wii is the primary platform for skylanders anyway

midloo
midloo

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney's ass," Reiche said. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."


Everything is easy in hindsight. 

Iamshmee
Iamshmee

Love how Activision is this demonoid money monster and they state that this meager deal "will probably haunt them for the rest of their days." I think they have worse things on their plate to haunt them than this deal alone.
Time to become a handheld and software company you dummies!

The_Gump
The_Gump

I love Nintendo, but I want to punch them in the face for this.  Seeing as how they're struggling so much right now, they're just stupidly arrogant for turning down this kind of opportunity.  

xXl_z3r0_lXx
xXl_z3r0_lXx

@The_Gump Fun fact: even after the severe drought that was the release of the Wii:U, Nintendo was still making more money than the console divisions of both Microsoft AND Sony. They're not really struggling, so much as they're just being slow to get started this time around.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@xXl_z3r0_lXx @The_Gump Microsoft and Sony both have billions of dollars invested into other divisions completely unrelated to games. They have the ability to throw around large amounts of money and weather the storm a lot longer than Nintendo can.

Nintendo is purely video games. Nintendo doesn't make TVs. Nintendo doesn't make Operating Systems for consumers. They make video games and consoles. They also license out their characters for novelty items, but that's it. Just because Nintendo is making more than Sony/Microsoft does not mean Nintendo is doing better as a company than them. 

2 Billion dollars for Nintendo is a huge deal compared to 2 billion for Sony or Microsoft. 2 billion for Micro/Sony is a drop in the bucket. 

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

damn,  COD almost exclusive for wii u only.

razu2444
razu2444

LOL Nintendo is a joke. Gaming joke as well as a financial joke and a business joke.

rarerichz
rarerichz

@razu2444 hahaha its funny you say that cause if it wasnt for nintendo the gaming industry wouldnt exist today.

sanchango
sanchango

@razu2444  Yes, that is why they're still here and have lasted longer than Sony and Microsoft. Even though Sony and Microsoft are supposedly "superior." 

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

Arrogant snobs. Nintendo will always are and always will be, till they final fire Iwata and rest of their "old" brigade  

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

LOL wow nice foresight Nintendo. Still stuck in the past lol. 

pound-u
pound-u

I honestly doubt it would be worth that much if it was exclusive to one system.

golemoy
golemoy

@pound-u Wii version of spyro's adventure sold more than 360 and ps3 combined.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

On the other hand, if it had been a Nintendo-exclusive it wouldn't have made nearly as much money.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

@chev9378 @MegamandrewAlright, we can play this your way.  All I said in my other comment was that someone isn't a troll simply because you disagree with them.  However, calling someone a troll for defining what a troll is, IS being a troll.   My initial comment here doesn't even say anything bad about Nintendo.  If Skylanders had only been on the Wii, it would have made significantly less money because it would have lost out on sales from Microsoft and Sony.  That isn't a subjective opinion, it's a fact.  You being butthurt doesn't mean everyone else a troll, it just means that you're butthurt.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

@chev9378 @Megamandrew And what shitty history might that be?  You mean the one comment of mine that you've seen?  Also, you want proof?  Here, have some sales figures: http://www.vgchartz.com/gamedb/?name=skylanders 


Don't worry, they're troll numbers that used an alternate account in order to upvote their own comments.    It must be really hard to say the same two things over and over again, you ridiculous half-wit.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

@chev9378 @Megamandrew Also, you said "The only you probably got is your alternate accounts to hit the like button so it can make top comment."  First off, I didn't get any likes, so that sentence doesn't make any sense.  Do you just rattle that off even if it doesn't fit because you're so used to saying it?   You also forgot the word, "likes" which is a shame, seeing as it's one of the most important words in the sentence.  Good job, you've failed at speaking English.


What's that?  You want more proof that you can't speak English?  

" Did I say that your current comment had anything bad to say Nintendo?"

 You forgot the word, "about."

 "Though it did look like it was going down that route giving your shitty history."

 You meant, "given" not, "giving."

"And claiming that your opinion is a fact without no proof to back it up makes you a troll yourself, loser."

Without "any" proof, not "no" proof.

"Now that right is a fact."

You didn't say, "there."  It should read, "that right there is a fact."

Out of your entire post, only four of your sentences were free of serious errors.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

@chev9378 @Megamandrew 1. I'm not pretending not to know what Activision is.  That question is not only irrelevant, but it doesn't have anything to do with anything that I said.  2. It does, because you said I had no proof.  The sales numbers are the proof you asked for.  I said, " If Skylanders had only been on the Wii, it would have made significantly less money because it would have lost out on sales from Microsoft and Sony.  That isn't a subjective opinion, it's a fact."  You then replied, " And claiming that your opinion is a fact without no proof to back it up makes you a troll yourself, loser. "  I then supplied the proof, which you then ignored, because you don't actually have anything to say.  " Ah, more insult,you figure by showing me numbers would be enough."  It's hilarious that you speak like a caveman.  I'd suggest that you stick to writing sentences in your native language, but knowing more than one language would probably put to heavy of a toll on your simple, little mind.  3.  I'm not ignoring anything, I simply asked you for examples.  If you have any, please share them. 


On the other hand, you're not even mentioning the post where I provide examples of your own stupidity.  I mean, you have a really hard time putting together sentences that make sense, but you also can't seem to remember to finish your sentences.  The funny thing about you is that you aren't even clever enough to come up with a comeback, which is why you rely on regurgitated, half-assed nonsense.  Instead, you just ignore what you can't argue against and then call me a troll again. Most of the things you say don't even correlate to anything that I've said.  It looks more like you're having a conversation with yourself.
 

You also said, "How ironic how you don't use your alternate accounts after I excuse you, troll."  That sentence doesn't even make sense.  After you "excuse" me?  What word were you looking for?  Did you mean to say, "It's so ironic that you didn't use your alternate accounts after I exposed you, troll."  Also, you don't seem to understand what irony is.  Even in the event that I had alternate accounts, which I don't, me not liking my own comments after having it pointed out wouldn't be irony.  If you want to be a more successful troll, you should really try to educate yourself a little more.  You might think you're being funny, but you just look like an imbecile.  You also seem to think that going, "LOL, loser"  covers up the fact that you're incapable of putting together a simple argument, but it doesn't.  It just makes you look like a desperate rat that's been backed into a corner, although, I'm going to need to apologize to the rats.  If they were sentient, I can imagine they'd be rather upset being compared with an idiotic, illiterate subhuman such as yourself.

crazyeightz1
crazyeightz1

Hey chev, from an outsider looking in, megamandrew OWNED your @ss in this argument. For calling people trolls and ten year olds you seem to be the ten year old troll. Talk about a glass house. Anyways his response was articulate and comprehensive while most of your replies were of the personal attack and name calling responses. Get a clue bro.

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

@chev9378 @Megamandrew And just because you refer to a post as a troll post doesn't mean it's a troll post.  

"How desperate are you to shove your hand so far up your own ass to try to fool me into your trolling?"  What does this sentence mean?  I'm trying to "fool you into my trolling?"  I swear, you're incapable of having even a single coherent thought.  Literally nothing you say means anything at all.  

" lol "I provided proof with these numbers and you're statements aren't valid because I say so.""

What?  Not only can you not construct arguments on your own, you seem to not even know what an argument is.  When someone provides proof that what you say isn't valid, that isn't saying "your statements aren't valid because I said so" it's saying, "your statements aren't valid because this evidence proves that they aren't valid."  Also, it's, "your" not "you're."  When you say, "you're statements aren't valid" that means, "you are statements aren't valid."  Do you seriously not understand how to use contractions?  I know I've been pointing out your lack of intelligence this whole time, but you're supposed to be making it harder for me to demonstrate that fact, not assisting me by proving it on your own.

 "Now take the walk of shame loser. You clearly can't come up with a post without trolling and insults."

Don't you think this statement is weird?  You're telling me that I can't come up with a post without trolling and insults when my comments have clearly defined points and YOU'RE the one who can't come up with a post without trolling and insults.  To prove this point, let's look at everything you've said in your latest comment:

-My post is long, therefore it's trolling.

-You called me a moron.

-You make an unclear statement referring to me shoving my hand up my own ass, plus, the statement itself is nonsensical.

-You say that I don't have a life.

-You once again tell me to, "take the walk of shame, loser" which is something you've already said verbatim in another post.

-You tell me that I can't post without trolling and insults.


By looking at the explicit content of your post, it's abundantly clear that you've done nothing in your post but insult me.  You haven't made a single valid argument, nor have you tried to make any points.  Literally all you've done is make grammatical mistakes and insult me with the same tired nonsense you keep repeating.  Why not change it up a little, hmm?  I mean, you used some form of the word, "troll" 5 times in 6 sentences.  Why is your vocabulary so small?  You obviously have the internet, so why don't you use a thesaurus or something if you can't think of any new words?  I know typing things into Google is probably really difficult for someone with such obvious developmental problems, but it should still be doable.

I'll look forward to your next response, although I'm expecting something along the lines of, "LOL you think that buy saying these tings you arne't trolling, moron?  Why don't yu just give up, troll?  Your just wasting your time because you know Im write.  May be you should troll someone else, loser.  Now take the walk of shame LOL.  Your such a trolly troll troll.  Trolling troll troll troll-troll.  Troll, walk of shame, alternate accounts upvote your own post, troll, troll-troll.  LOL.  Troll-troll, troll."

Megamandrew
Megamandrew

@chev9378 @MegamandrewHey, idiot, go ahead and type my username and gamespot into google and you will see that there is absolutely no connection between myself and crazyeightz1.  Here, I'll do it for you: https://www.google.com/search?q=megamandrew+gamespot+crazyeightz1&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb

You'll see that the only result leads to this page and NOTHING else. Also, a cursory glance demonstrates that his account was created back in January of 2011.  Additionally, my account was created in July of 2002. In other words, you're saying that I created a backup account nearly a decade after my own in order to post a single comment over three years later?  Why would I create a backup account to back myself up then wait over three years to use it a single time?  Even by your terrible logic that makes literally no sense whatsoever.  

You're saying that I'm backed into a corner, but what's the only thing you really have?  Something that you've not only repeated over and over again, but something that I SAID you'd say.  In reality, you only use the alternate account accusation because YOU'RE backed into a corner.  This is further evidenced by the fact that you still haven't once responded to any of my arguments or points.  Instead, you simply pretend they don't exist and then continue to repeat yourself. 


Also, if you could read, you'd see that my repeated use of the word troll was in no way, shape or form part of my argument, but a way to make fun of you, which is really something that doesn't require my input, as you're constantly doing little more than making fun of yourself.  Isn't that funny? I say that part of your inane defense would be accusing me of having an alternate account and lo and behold, that's half of your entire response.  In fact, your entire response consists of things you've said before.  You bring up your favorite "walk of shame", the idea that the person you're arguing against has an alternate account and saying my post is invalid because of its length.  

Once again, you haven't responded to any of my points, because you CAN'T.  Instead, you just call me names and use the word troll repeatedly, just like I said you would.  I dare you to even try responding to any of my points in my previous post instead of arbitrarily discounting them based on length .  I mean, you've got to have something more up your sleeve than, "you created an alternate account and just because your post is long doesn't make it valid."  That second thing doesn't even mean anything, as you didn't actually make reference to the content of that lengthy post aside from my joke quote making fun of you.  All you said is that being long doesn't mean it's valid, but where is your argument in regards to it not being valid?  Hopefully, you'll eventually try and respond to my arguments instead of tossing around dated insults and pretending like you actually have a brain in your head.


Oh, and one more thing.  You said, "I just OWNED your ass and you believing that you make a valid post because it's lengthy doesn't mean that you pull all that bullshit out your ass."  I hate to break it to you, but you just defended me.  You said that if I were to believe my post was valid simply because it was lengthy DOESN'T mean that I pull anything out of my ass.  Chev, try and remember, you're supposed to be telling me I'm wrong, not defending me. Honestly, I don't even know why I bother as I doubt you even read any of this.  You probably just skim it and end up saying the same thing regardless of the content of my posts.  Go ahead and look at all of your comments and you'll see that they all contain the same content. Anyways, I'll look forward to your next post where you don't actually respond to anything I've said,  and then proceed to talk about backup accounts and some variation on you calling me a loser and a troll. 

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

Not such a big deal, apparently sticking screens to your face is worth two billion nowadays.

Nepti
Nepti

I've been a Nintendo fan since the NES. My hope is that Nintendo will eventually bounce back and be relevant again.

In order to do that, they need to put serious attention into GAMES and less attention on seemingly everything else they focus on these days. Fancy controllers, weird marketing names for consoles, exercise mat version 800, and a fixation on mobile gaming aren't helping.

What would help? Focusing on games and recognizing a good game pitch when you see one. Too bad they missed out on the Skylander deal, the revenue would have come in handy right about now.

andfx8
andfx8

Nintendo...

chooses to make its money by catering to the youth


::throws away opportunity to lock down most up-and-coming popular and profitable children's franchise:: 

xXl_z3r0_lXx
xXl_z3r0_lXx

@andfx8 Except they aren't "catering to the youth." I think Nintendo knows good and well that the majority of their fan base is in the 16 to 25 range. 

malachi
malachi

Nintendo probably said no because they easily could of done it off their own back with Pokemon without getting a 3rd party company involved.


And it would gone multi format anyway after the contract between Nintendo and Activision had ended, so Nintendo would of been no better off.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

Nintendo has a troubling lack of foresight in terms of when ideas could be successful ( skylanders); and when they will result in outright disater ( wii U). Nintendo is in trouble as long as Iwata; miyaomto; and that other guy in charge of system specs remain in charge; they simply are too ingrained in their ways to make the big changes needed to repair Nintendos increasingly worsting situation. Hopefully at the annual Nintendo shareholders meeting iwata's support continues to fall.

enoslives7
enoslives7

Ouch, I loved my NES, but I must admit Nintendo has lost every console war since. The Wii was a success, but still lost to the PS2.

They need better decision makers at the top.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@Blackened_Halo @enoslives7 The gamecube had many flaws though and never fully realized it's power. It doesn't matter if it was 2x or not, the fact that even the multiplat games tended to look better on the ps2 says it all.

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

Because Nintendo can't tell the future and if it would have bombed they would have regretted it. Especially given their current situation. The deal also could have favored Activision more and not been a true equal partnership. That's why. 

unforgivensheep
unforgivensheep

Or maybe they just didn't feel like partnering up with Activision. Activision merged with Blizzard and is almost like EA . Nintendo doesn't care about money , They like innovation . Since they made a pokemon type game they felt that it wasn't what they needed for the time . Companies make poor choices , Who knew Activision would have a billion dollar idea . 


Nintendo has been through it all and still won't go down like Sega . This didn't hurt them nor their reputation. On the other hand Disney is just making money off Figures and not the game . It won't last long if they keep giving people just characters and not levels . In the end it's a novelty game that won't last too long . 

mr_glaceon
mr_glaceon

Or maybe Nintendo just doesn't like what Activision did to Spyro? Clearly the idea of toy and game hybridizations wasn't the problem, seeing as they did it with Pokemon themselves. They were clearly far more marketable than whatever Spyro's been turned into these days.