Toys For Bob's CEO, Paul Reiche, has said that Activision have been 'bizarrely supportive' of their new venture Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure, giving them 'Hollywood-style backing' and a 'really big marketing budget'.
In the grand scheme of things, a good number of perfectly serviceable games geared towards the younger generation tend to disappear into obscurity as a result of a lack of support from their respective publishers. With Activision's rather inconsistent track record outside of Call of Duty, we asked Reiche last month just how supportive Activision have been, and he couldn't have been happier.
'Activision have been bizarrely supportive. I've been working in the industry for thirty years and we've been working with Activision since 2005 and you always hope that the games you make will get a really good level of support - so the best teams for video and audio and voice talent and so on. And, in this case, about a year ago, we had a version of the game almost done and they said "We believe in this enough that we want you to go back and add in more detail to the game and toys, we're going to go out and hire Hans Zimmer to do the music and give you guys a really big marketing budget. At this point I don't think there's anyway that anyone on the planet will be able to avoid knowing about this game!'
Combining cutesy action-platforming gameplay with tangible collectible toys, Skylanders represents a big project for Activision, and no doubt presents quite a large opportunity for transmedia capitalisation. Reiche was evasive when we asked if there were plans in the works for multimedia expansion, particularly a Saturday morning cartoon.
'That is an excellent idea...and I can't talk about it at all!' he replied. 'Clearly what we're doing is competing against top line collectibles, so they make approaches to other mediums to try and spread the word. And we're a top-line collectible company now as well. Activision hired some really talented writers - the guys behind the Toy Story script, and then Hans Zimmer to do the music, so they're really taking a Hollywood approach to supporting our game.'
He also hinted at future Skylanders games to come when asked whether the figurines would be usable across platforms.
The toys are completely interchangeable,' continued Reiche. 'Not only can you use them across platforms, but you'll be able to use them across different games as well, so when the next batch of Skylanders games come out, the toys will be transferable as they are to those games as well.'