LEGO's New Skylanders-Style Game Doesn't Worry Activision

"The popularity of the Skylanders franchise has been unmatched even with new entrants."

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Activision's Skylanders series will face new competition this year in the form of LEGO Dimensions, an ambitious-sounding toy-based game announced today and due out for consoles in September. Given that LEGO Dimensions will feature content from a range of juggernaut franchises such as Batman, The Lord of the Rings, Back to the Future, and The Wizard of Oz, you might think Activision would be concerned that its long-held dominance in the "toys-to-life" market--which it created--could be in jeopardy. After all, those franchises, in theory at least, would seem to appeal to a larger audience than Skylanders.

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But Activision isn't worried about its kingdom coming crashing down anytime soon. Activision Publishing senior vice president Josh Taub pointed out that the company has faced formidable competition before (Disney Infinity and Amiibo are two examples), but these new players haven't materially impacted the popularity of Skylanders.

"Thanks to our fans, Skylanders is the No. 1 kids' video game franchise in the world and outsells all top action figure toy lines," he said in a statement to GameSpot. "The secret to our success has always been our commitment to bringing new magic and innovation to each and every Skylanders game, and we can't wait to unveil what's coming up next. The popularity of the Skylanders franchise has been unmatched even with new entrants."

Taub also shared some Skylanders franchise statistics that speak to just how massive the series is.

Launched only four years ago, Skylanders has already generated more than $3 billion in sales. This includes more than 240 million toys sold, which outnumbers the "top action figure lines" worldwide, Activision said, citing NPD and Activision internal estimates.

By comparison, Nintendo had sold 5.7 million Amiibo toys by the company's latest count. Disney, meanwhile, hasn't said how many Disney Infinity toys it's sold to date.

Despite the arrival of Disney Infinity and Amiibo, the Skylanders franchise outperformed its nearest competitor (Activision didn't say which it was) by 30 percent globally in 2014, according to NPD and Gfk Chart-Track data, along with Activision's own internal projections.

LEGO Dimensions launches in September for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. Meanwhile, as Taub said, Activision is working on a new Skylanders title, presumably for release later this year across the same platforms. The most recent game in the series for consoles was 2014's Skylanders Trap Team.

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