When Activision came up with toys that when placed on a portal could interact with console video games hooked up to television, it pocketed a whopping $2 billion in sales. And now those same toys will work for the same game on tablets as well.
This is a reason for game lovers to smile as they will be able to download an app to their tablets and play the latest games in the Trap Team, the company’s Skylander franchise.
And the title will not change. It will remain as in the versions offered for video game consoles. The app will cost $74.99.
The game has been working on a technology Activision refers to as “Portal Power,” a surface that is able to communicate with a video game console.
When players placed a Skylanders character figurine on the device a likeness appeared instantly on the screen as part of the game. This made the technology very popular among children and propelled Activision to be the world’s largest manufacturer of action figure toys.
Expect a new version of the portal this fall. It will be offered alongside those that work with the video game consoles and will communicate wirelessly with tablets instead. The portal works with the existing 175 Skylanders toys which work on a standard video game console as well.
The Tablet app incorporates all features in standard games including voice, music, cartoonist animations, etc.
Gamers will be able to download the app from their respective app stores for Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX. Other supported devices include Apple iPads and those that are powered by Google’s Android.
Activision had attempted to make the game work on tablets before, but by then the available devices were not built with powerful enough circuitry capable of displaying the game in the same quality as a standard video game console. It is not until recently that such devices are being manufactured.
“As tablets become more powerful, and thus capable of handling the complex visuals in a console-level video game, developers will begin to offer more of their console titles for them as well; it’s another screen, it’s a handy screen too,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
Even though Activision is the first company of its size to want to launch one of its biggest titles on a tablet alongside the console, it is not the only company to do so.
Other companies have reworked older games to work on a tablet with remarkable success. A good example is Take-Two Interactive Software that offers titles like older entries from its Grand Theft Auto franchise. It has also announced its intention to release a mobile edition of its Bioshock action adventure title later in the year.
Eric Hirshberg, the head of Activision’s publishing arm, said that the tablet is at the moment a highly appealing kid-game platform and therefore is a really particular endeavor that is right for Skylanders as it will make it easy to market.The sales are expected to increase since the price will not change.