A rumor from Liam Robertson, a YouTube Gaming Historian, may spell doom for Skylanders 2017 if true.
Robertson, who works at Unseen64, posits that the series may be put on hold. Rumors say that Activision canceled the upcoming Skylanders 2017 title due to poor sales of the series.
Skylanders, which started off very strong as a pioneer title in the “toys-to-life” genre, had tepid sales and reception lately. Reports say that the latest title, Skylanders Imaginators, only sold 66,000 copies in the United States. According to Robertson, this is a 41% decrease from 2015’s Skylanders entry.
In addition to this, the Netflix series Skylanders Academy has been performing below Activision’s expectations. However, Netflix commissioned a second season already, although they did so before the first season aired.
Perhaps the most damning evidence of the Skylanders cancellation, according to Robertson, “Activision has observed a dip in the performance of Skylanders merchandise. Poor video game sales are one thing. The brand as a whole showing signs of slowing down dramatically is another.”
These decreased sales numbers appear to be due to several factors including competition, mainly from a new competitor in the toys-to-life genre. Lego Dimensions outsold Skylanders in 2015. On top of that, with Disney Infinity having shut down this year, it seems that Skylanders has replaced one rival for another. Another major factor that ties into the dwindling merchandise sales is that across the board, the toys-to-life genre declined. Amiibo, Disney Infinity, and Skylanders all suffered from lower sales than expected.
This, coupled with sources outright telling Robertson that Activision canceled the 2017 entry, seems to have put the Skylanders franchise on ice. Which is pretty impressive, given that not too long ago the series was valued at $3 billion and outlasted Disney Infinity.
Where Disney Infinity ceased support in June so the company could focus exclusively on licensing its properties, Skylanders clung to the genre it created for longer. However, the recent success of Lego Dimensions seems to have dethroned the originators as the new king of the scaled back genre.
You can see Robertson’s video below.
This whole rumor has me curious to see how everything plays out. I’ve never played the Skylanders series or any toy-to-life game, for that matter. Still though, I’ve seen the crazy competition levels that the genre has bred between companies and am not shocked to see several casualties along the way. We’ll see how true this rumor is soon enough, as 2017 is fast approaching!