Two years ago, I was invited to a hotel in downtown toronto for a home and entertainment products preview event sponsored by a Canadian consumer electronics retailer. If you must know who this electronics retailer is, it was Future Shop. It was at that event where I first saw the future money making add-on that would be tied to our video games.
Activision had a booth set up showing off Call of Duty: Elite, some Cabela’s dangerous hunts game, and Skylanders.
I spent some time at the Activision booth and while I was waiting for a rep to set up COD: Elite on her laptop, I looked to my right towards the Skylanders display which was running off a Nintendo Wii console. Skylanders, to me, looked like a mediocre children’s shill. After viewing COD: Elite, I was heading towards the ion audio display(search “gamersblockhd”
“ion audio” on Youtube for footage) until I saw some toys being brought out and one of them hooked straight up to the Wii console. The toy figure was placed on top of what is now referred to as “the portal of power”. So I asked the rep one question and it wasn’t even about the game, it was more about the toys. There was a dozen toys on the table. I said, when I buy the game does it come with all these toys and how much does it cost? The rep said that the game will come with some, but the rest you will buy in store between 8- 12 bucks. My eyes grew wide and I told the rep that these will sell like hot cakes. I asked for some documents and gave him my contact card, and made my way to the ion audio booth.
According to a Forbes.com report published four days ago, the Skylanders franchise hit $500 Million in US sales.
(Link will be posted at the end of this article). I said got damn, I was right in saying that it would sell like hotcakes!
Two days ago was Disney full public announcement on Disney Infinity, which puts characters from The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation in an original adventure. There are similarities between Disney Infinity and Skylanders: both have NFC(Near field communication) technology built into each of their interactive character figures and bases that link them to the game console.
“The technology behind NFC allows a device, known as a reader, interrogator, or active device, to create a radio frequency current that communicates with another NFC compatible device or a small NFC tag holding the information the reader wants.”
Quote Credit – http://www.nearfieldcommunication.org/about-nfc.html
I am even going as far to say that these NFC devices and figures will eventually replace downloadable content in terms of sales and popularly. In other terms, DLC’s will become the add-on to NFC figures sales. A publisher is going make lots of money selling a variety of NFC enabled toys/pieces with different outfits, special equipment, and abilities at $9+ dollars each. It would be a hard sell to tell people that they have to pay $9 dollars for a single character DLC.
The Disney press release says they will start off with 40 collectible pieces, along with accessories to those pieces and the Disney Infinity Base.
What is interesting about Disney is that they are known to partner with Mcdonalds to promote projects. I can imagine that Disney Infinity will be promoted worldwide with a “happy meal”.
So, if you think $500 million in US sales is impressive, and it is, wait until you see the Disney Infinity sales results for 2013.
Activision and Disney, who is next?
Any gamer would think Nintendo would want some of that NFC money.
Remember when Nintendo jumped on that e-card craze with that device for the GameBoy Advance? Pokemon would be awesome with an NFC figure line.
What about Sony? PlayStation All Stars Battle Royal would have been real interesting with an NFC collectible line. Who knows, maybe the possible sequel will contain just that. Hell.. Nintendo could already have NFC tied into the upcoming Namco/Nintendo Smash Bros game.
Microsoft… A new NFC enable halo game!?
Oh, and what about the WWE video game license that would be up for sale? WWE has tons of action figures on the market. Whomever gets that license has a money maker on their hands.
About 10 years ago you would just buy a game and it would be $50 and that’s it. Now, you spend $50+ and another $50 just for all the DLC content for the game. Oh, and add on $9 dollars if you buy the game used and want to play online. Coming soon, you will buy the game, the collectible NFC devices and equipment, and some added on DLC.
I perfectly find it cool if it ends up like that towards certain games. NFC figures and along with DLC are all user optional content.
Disney Infinity: Press Release – http://www.businesswire.com/news/vancouversun/20130115006609/en/Disney-Infinity-Invites-Players-All-New-Gaming-Universe
Skylanders sales figures- http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2013/01/11/skylanders-franchise-hits-500-million-in-us-sales/