During an investor’s conference this week, Activision announced there would be no big Skylanders title released for the fall of 2017. “The Skylanders franchise will not have a full-game console release this year,” a nameless executive is reported to have said. This is the first time in the franchise’s six-year history that it will be skipping its annual expansion.
Some fans feared that with the toy-to-game market cooling and Disney bowing out of the race entirely, Skylanders would be getting the axe next — but it’s important to point out the wording here. There will be no big Skylanders game in 2017, but that doesn’t mean a return isn’t being planned for 2018.
The move is part of a trend of downsizing at Activision, as they explained at the conference. They are laying off 5% of their workforce and they are returning the Call of Duty series (last seen in outer space) to its traditional roots to make it “less risky.” Given that they just released an optimistic earnings report, the reason for this new cautious attitude is beyond me, especially when their “failure” of a Call of Duty wound up the top-selling game of 2016. Whatever the motive, Activision will release less games this year.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you won’t be seeing the Skylanders at all. A Switch version of Skylanders Imaginators will be available at the launch of the console, and the Netflix cartoon is still under production on its second season (with a third already guaranteed). Activision will also be releasing a mobile game that uses the characters sometime this year.