Seemingly undeterred by Disney’s recent decision to call time on its Disney Infinity line, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg has confirmed that the publisher remains committed to Skylanders and the toys-to-life genre.
Speaking to TIME ahead of the launch of Skylanders: Imaginators in October, Hirshberg conceded that the franchise, along with other games under the Activision umbrella, haven’t been meeting internal expectations over the past few years.
“[W]e’ve said publicly that some of our more recent games haven’t met our expectations, and yet we’re still here making games, so we obviously still believe in the potential. We created the category, and Skylanders is now the 11th most successful game franchise of all time after just five years.”
How and ever, the Chief Executive believes the lowly performance is a temporary blip, and that “there is something fundamentally appealing” with the toys-to-life genre.
“I feel like there’s a core mashup of mechanics that could very well stand the test of time – that kids have been playing with toys forever, and kids have been interested in video games forever, and that we had found this very powerful way to bring them both together. Now in any given year, there are going to be forces beyond any single competitor’s control. How much competition there is, what the platform dynamics are, how quickly kids are adopting new consoles, how steep is the drop-off of them buying software for legacy consoles, et cetera. And any snapshot at any moment in time can paint a particular picture. We remain confident that there is something fundamentally appealing here in this genre, and that our best strategy is to try to make the best, most innovative games in that genre.”
Further down the pipeline, Activision is aligning Skylanders Imaginators for launch across PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Wii U in October.