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.


Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
Skylanders Swap Force
Skylanders Giants
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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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Avatar image for lilflipp

Pokemans > Skylanders

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for darkteddi

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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'.

Avatar image for ultimaomegazero

<< LINK REMOVED >> It's not a ripoff.

Avatar image for HunterChan

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for caitseith

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

Avatar image for sonic_rareware8

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

Avatar image for ratulx

<< LINK REMOVED >> in exchange we got amiibo -_-

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for golemoy

Wii is the primary platform for skylanders anyway

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for quickshooterMk2

they would probably had disagreements about the profit in this (i bet they demanded nintendo a lot of $$$ for exclusivity)

and we all know how cheap nintendo is

Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for xXl_z3r0_lXx

<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for OldDirtyCR

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for Arsyad00

damn, COD almost exclusive for wii u only.

Avatar image for razu2444

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

Avatar image for rarerichz

<< LINK REMOVED >> hahaha its funny you say that cause if it wasnt for nintendo the gaming industry wouldnt exist today.

Avatar image for 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."

Avatar image for Kyrylo

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

Avatar image for xXl_z3r0_lXx

<< LINK REMOVED >> Please leave.

Avatar image for Jestersmiles

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

Avatar image for pound-u

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

Avatar image for golemoy

<< LINK REMOVED >> Wii version of spyro's adventure sold more than 360 and ps3 combined.