news\ Feb 8, 2013 at 10:46 am

Skylanders publisher Activision 'disappointed' with the launch of the Wii U


Activision, one of the largest game publishers, has revealed their disappointment with the launch of the Wii U. In the latest investor's call, the company was asked about its future plans with Skylanders and the direction of the hugely popular franchise should Nintendo fans start flocking to Sony's next PlayStation or Microsoft's next Xbox.

"As you know, we were somewhat disappointed with the launch of the Wii U," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said of the Wii U, which has struggled to catch on in the way many had hoped. As it currently stands, the Wii U is currently hovering around 10 million units sold. "And I think it's a challenging environment this year."

"And one of the things we are concerned about is what the installed base of hardware will be like for 6- to 11-year-olds. But we have a lot of confidence in the franchise for the long-term. I think we're delivering another great product this year," he added.

The comment comes not long after Ubisoft declared Rayman Legends, a former-Wii U exclusive title, will be released on Xbox 360 and PS3. Though they attributed this to growing fan demand, the underlying text is that the Wii U just hasn't offered enough incentive to keep the title exclusive to the platform. Now with Activision revealing their disappointment with the Wii U, things aren't looking good for Nintendo who has always struggled to attract third-party publishers and developers.

Chief Executive Officer Eric Hirshberg chimed in, "We've done well on all platforms, is all I wanted to say. The franchise has done well on all platforms and historically, the strongest franchises going into a console transition are the ones that fare the best. So I think that positions us well for Skylanders future."

Since its debut in 2011, the Skylanders franchise has generated more than $1 billion in revenue and has sold over 100 million toys. Activision recently announced a third game in the series, Skylanders SWAP Force, due out later this year. However, it won't be as easy for Activision this year as Disney announced their plans to get into toy-based gaming model with Disney Infinity. Judging from our preview of the game, there's going to be some stiff competition.

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