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gyrus

Skylanders Swap Force

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This is a biatch post specifically aimed at Activision - I hope their marketing people read this.

 

Okay... I'm old. I have kids.

 

And if you are a parent like me - you have heard of Skylanders.

 

You have probably seen the figures in stores too.

 

Each of the characters has an 'element'. Life, fire, water, magic etc.

And in the games there are usually certain zones and challenges that need you to have a specific element to do them.

Fair enough I suppose - it's a bit of a marketing gimmick really - since you buy the game and then need to buy a few figures too.

So for the first two games you buy the game at about $80 and then have to buy about $100 worth of characters to really play it.

But okay - the kids like playing with the characters (figurines) on their own too. And to be fair it's not a bad game for kids.

And characters from one game can (mostly) work on the next game.

 

 

Anyway - the latest addition to the series is Swap-Force.

Swap-Force has 16 all new characters

http://www.skylanders.com/characters#swapforce/all

And the interesting thing is you can split the characters in half and swap them around so 16 tops X 16 bottoms = 256 possible characters!

This is what the game promises.

And when you buy the 'starter pack' it comes with two of these characters and a poster showing you all the rest too.

 

Only here's the catch. In their wisdom - someone in marketing chose to release the figures in "waves"...

 

And as far as I know there are only 6 figures available in Australia right now (including the two in the starter pack). Yeah... 6.

That's 6 out of 16.

Which does not allow 256 combinations - but 6 x 6 = 36.

And that's 6 out of the 16 you are telling the kids they can get.

 

But that's not the worst of it... in Swap Force they have introduced a new mechanic: mobility.

There are 8 different types of mobility...

 

Yeah 8.

 

And you guessed it - there are certain challenges you need the correct mobility to access.

 

But there are only 6 figures available at the moment.

 

So, Activision... do the math.

That means there are challenges in the game it's not possible to play.

And my kids hit in the first one of these in under 1 hour of play time.

 

Now, yes, I understand that you will release the required figures 'soon'. BUT MY KIDS DON'T.

 

Seriously Activision - how can you not know your market here?

KIDS! YOUNG KIDS!

It says "6+" on the box.

 

These are not adults that understand marketing and release dates and schedules and patience.

These are kids that count days to Christmas in "sleeps".

 

 

I challenge you ACTIVISION to send a rep to my house to explain to my youngest why the required characters are not available yet - after all your promotions and marketing and build up?

Explain why the game is not fully playable?

Explain when, exactly, the character that is their favourite (since you let them see them all) will be available?

Explain to them in a way that leaves them happy and that they can understand?

 

And when you are done at my house - you could tour the school and explain to the kids there too ( there are lots )

 

Because besides the fact that what you have done here is pretty damn mean - I don't think it's working in your favour?

My kids have turned your game OFF.

 

I'm starting to hear about Disney Infinity again... because you know... you can actually buy the characters for that game.

And other games too - since even though the kids are young - they are not stupid.

They may not fully understand - but they are unhappy because they know that it's not complete.

They don't like feeling cheated.

 

Do you, ACTIVISION, really think this strategy will work to your advantage for the next time you release a game in the series?

 

 

And even if you don't care about the kids - here's some more thoughts for you:

In Australia - if you advertise a game it has to be able to do what you say.

So when you box says you can make 250+ new characters (which requires 16 swap Force characters) then you have to have those characters available for sale.

You might find this is part of the law here.

 

Not to mention that 6 year olds don't buy these games themselves. Their parents do. And you don't want to piss them off either.

Upset kids = annoyed parents.

Parents have memories and have amazing powers to convince kids that maybe LEGO would be a better thing to ask for from Santa Claus too.

 

So there you go Activision. That's my biatch.

 

 

Oh except for one thing...

 

Where is my TRAP SHADOW!!!!!?????

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I found Minecraft/Terraria trumped Skylanders, as far as obsessive fixation went. Cheaper, but not sure it's necessarily better.

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They've been releasing the characters in waves since the first game, surely your kids should be used to it by now :P

 

But seriously, Skylanders can suck a dick, I hate the people who buy them, play them and make them.

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They've been releasing the characters in waves since the first game, surely your kids should be used to it by now :P

Yeah, sorta.

 

My kids started with Giants.

 

And yes, there were always new characters coming out in waves.

 

But as far as I know - even from the first wave (in previous games) you could buy all the 'elements' (Fire, Tech, Water, Air, Earth, Magic...) to allow you to access all the parts of the game?

 

If they had released 8 characters in the first wave - one of each type of mobility - then the game would be fully playable. But my understanding is that even in the second wave (released in Canada AFAIK) you still do not get the required characters?

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