Skylanders: Imaginators

Uh-Oh: Activision Says No Skylanders Console Game This Year

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During Activision Blizzard’s fourth quarter 2016 earnings call the company confirmed that there will be no new console Skylanders game coming in 2017. This would be the first year since the series began in 2011 that we wouldn’t get a new Skylanders game.

It may be premature to claim doom and gloom over the entire franchise. But Disney Infinity faced a similar dilemma. In early 2016 Disney announced there would not be a fourth version released that year. A few months later, the entire franchise was closed down.

We won’t be getting an official Skylanders 7 any time soon, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see any new Skylanders content.

“In 2017, rather than releasing a new console title, we will be supporting the award-winning Skylanders Imaginators with multiple adventure packs, new characters and new in-game content,” stated the company. This is a model used by WB Games with LEGO Dimensions. LEGO Dimensions launched in Fall 2015 and has been sustained through multiple character and level packs. Given that Skylanders Imaginators is the best in the series, this may not be a bad angle.

Thus far Skylanders Imaginators has released three adventure packs and over two dozen figures. Imaginator Crystals are also available, and are used to create your own Skylanders in the game.

Skylanders Imaginators is also being ported to the upcoming Nintendo Switch as a launch title.

A second season of Netlflix series Skylanders Academy will be airing in 2017. Netflix has already ordered a third season, which should air next year.

Activision ended their Skylanders talk by teasing a new Sylanders mobile game that’s currently in development and should be launching in 2017. Skylanders has previously appeared in mobile versions, either through ports of the main games or spin-off free-to-play titles. Read our review of Hearthstone-like Skylanders Battlecast.

skylanders academy

Netflix Series Skylanders Academy Renewed For Third Season

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Activision Blizzard announced that its Netflix original series Skylanders Academy will be getting a third season. Production will begin this month. Animation will continue to be created by French studio TeamTO.

“Activision Blizzard Studios celebrates the opportunity to bring another season of quality programming to families around the world,” said Activision Blizzard Studio Co-President Nick van Dyk. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Netflix on this iconic franchise.”

The announcement comes earlier than expected, as season two has yet to even air. The second season has been completed and is due to air later this year. Season two adds new character Cynder, a new cadet at the academy, voiced by Felicia Day. More voice talent coming in season two: Susan Sarandon, Parker Posey, and Bobcat Goldthwait.

“Response to the show has been incredibly enthusiastic and we’ve taken a lot of creative inspiration from fans’ excitement,” said studio Co-President Stacey Sher. “We have a lot of fun in store for season three and are thrilled to give audiences even more of the characters they love.”

The first season of Skylanders Academy launched in the Fall of 2016. It stars Spyro (Justin Long), Stealth Elf (Ashley Tisdale), Eruptor (Jonathan Banks) and others as they learn how to be heroes at the titular Skylanders school.

The series is based on the multi-billion dollar toys-to-life Sklylanders franchise. Six main games have been released each year since 2011. The latest release was Skylanders Imaginators. You can read our review here.

Season three of Skylanders Academy will air sometime in 2018.

20th anniversary

Celebrate Diablo’s 20th Anniversary in Each Blizzard Game

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December 31 marks the 20th anniversary of the original Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment is hosting a minor celebration across all their games with special events, games, and loot.

“Blizzard Entertainment is thrilled to commemorate twenty years of Diablo,” states the news post. “We’re ready to celebrate our passion for the world of Sanctuary and the brave heroes who inhabit it! Here’s to twenty years of loot!”

Each of Blizzard’s ongoing series is celebrating:

  • Diablo III – The Darkening of Tristram tribute event. The Cathedral levels of Diablo 1 have been recreated in Diablo III, including some “familiar items.”
  • Heroes of the Storm – The weekly brawl will feature a Diablo theme. As with other brawls, playing three games nets you a unique portrait.
  • Hearthstone – A Diablo-themed Tavern Brawl, and a new Diablo card back.
  • Overwatch – Loot new sprays of the Diablo III classes, and a new Diablo player icon.
  • Starcraft II – A new Diablo-themed portrait.
  • World of Warcraft – “Strange things are afoot in the world of Azeroth as denizens of Sanctuary cross over into an unfamiliar world.”

No details on when the Diablo event ends.

As far as multi-game events go, this one is pretty weak. New retro content in Diablo III is nice, but the rest are lame. To be fair, Blizzard is also in the midst of their big Overwatch Winter Event, and other holiday events for various games.

Diablo is widely considered the grandfather of the entire Action-RPG genre. It wasn’t the first to define the genre, but it was the first to popularize its loot-driven, fast-paced gameplay. Decades of games have built upon that solid gameplay loop, from Borderlands to Destiny.

Blizzard’s own Diablo II remains one of their most beloved titles. The very long-awaited Diablo III had a rough launch. It was criticized for some jarring changes. After years of feedback, patches, and updates it has been embraced by fans, and become a worthy successor.