Activision’s incredibly popular Skylanders franchise, built upon the feature that customers can purchase real physical toys that unlock characters within the game via a “Portal of Power” peripheral, is arriving on iOS with Skylanders Cloud Patrol. The new title will be based around the same premise as the previous title, with users being able to input codes from the toys to unlock content in the game.
Developed by Vicarious Visions, the title is the latest addition to the series. The franchise already has a browser-based virtual world that launched late last year, and a full-fledged sequel for home consoles is currently under development. Skylanders Cloud Patrol will be set in a different region of the Skylands than what was seen in last year’s Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, and the iOS title includes more than thirty unlockable Skylander characters. The codes that are bundled with each Skylanders action figure can be entered into Cloud Patrol to unlock special items and more characters.
Analysis: Building upon the somewhat surprising success of Activision’s new IP from last year, I like the fact that the company has made the selling point of the games—that being the ability to buy physical toys that interact within the game world—cross over into the new game and being 100% compatible, not requiring a new set or any more purchases.
I can see Skylanders becoming even more popular of a series than it currently is, not only for children but more mature gamers as well. It utilizes a gimmick that appeals to the younger audience and offers engaging gameplay that older audiences can also fool around with. I really hope that Activision can hold back and refrain from milking the series like they have with Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. However, I’m fairly certain they will because financially, it would be a smart decision to do for them. Kids will always want the newest and best version of the game, and parents will generally make the purchase sooner or later. Activision will surely know this, but for now, Skylanders Cloud Patrol looks like a nice way to tide customers over until the next full console release.