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 Skylanders : $2 billion, 175 million toys, and bigger than  Call of Duty
Skylanders: $2 billion, 175 million toys, and bigger than Call of Duty
May 6, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

For the first quarter of 2014, Skylanders: Swap Force generated more revenue than Call of Duty: Ghosts, when you factor in toy sales, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg revealed.

The news came as part of Activision Blizzard's first-quarter investor call following its financial results release.

The franchise has generated $2 billion in sales and sold 175 million toys to consumers, Hirshberg said.

It's not all bad news for Call of Duty, of course. Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick noted that, thus far, it's the number one franchise on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Still, Hirshberg said that "this transition to next-gen will take time... in the interim we see software sales decline," which bears out the evidence we've been seeing in software sales numbers from Activision and its rival EA.

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Dane MacMahon
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Aren't these kinds of toy fads always rather flash-in-the-pan, though? Tickle me Elmo, Cabbage Patch Kids and on and on. They all seem to come in, be the biggest thing out there, then disappear almost as fast. I doubt Activision is banking on long-term profits here.

Tyler King
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I was skeptical about the series as a whole until I got the first one on sale last year, and its one of the few games my whole family(Wife, 2 kids, and myself.) really enjoy playing together. We originally thought we would grab maybe a couple extra skylanders, but have found ourselves grabbing a lot more because its a fun game and the kids love playing with the figures even when there is no video game component. Is this a game series that will last 20 years, probably not. But the last 3 years it has been making so much money I can't see it dying anytime soon. That being said it certainly has its issues, but overall its a cool series.

Dane MacMahon
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It might be super cool, I didn't say anything against it's quality. I was attempting to point out that it might share the toy market issue of the bottom completely falling out randomly.

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Nope not at all Dane. Given the sequels it spawns yearly I would suspect they are NOT betting for this revenue to continue.

Ian Uniacke
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I can't wait for the guitar and microphone attachments. That's when we know it will last forever.

Tyler King
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One of the biggest problems that skylanders has is the target audience is constantly growing. Call of Duty games will always be of interest to males ages 12 - 35. Skylanders is constantly having their target audience get older and move closer to being out of "that phase". They do a good job making each iteration a little more challenging and having more options that would only appeal to older audiences. However by doing this it fragments their audience as game 4 is much more complex than game 1. So while kids starting at age 4 or so can comfortably play the first game, it is much more difficult for them to jump into the 4th.

The other big issue I see with yearly iterations is constantly having to buy new portals. I don't want to end up having 10 portals lying around that I don't use, but don't want to thrown them away either because they are stilll good. :P

These are a couple of the challenges they will face, and they will face it and keep making the games. Way too much money there to simply stop trying.

Nicholas Lovell
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It's a marvellous variable pricing strategy, a F2P strategy without the free.

Activision sells a product for 70. Customers are digitally connected. They know who are they are. They can upsell physical and digital products.

A great curve strategy.