Skylanders game-toy mashup invades tablets

Activision announced Tuesday that the latest Skylanders game will be available for select tablet devices as well as gaming consoles.

REUTERS/Rick Wilking
CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick in Sun Valley, Idaho July 9, 2013.

The gamer and the console have long been intertwined – the PlayStation, the Xbox, the Wii. And now, the tablet. Adding to the list of tablet-friendly games, Activision's Skylanders franchise is coming to tablets in full-fledged form. 

The game that blurs the line between toys and games will be available on tablet devices for its latest iteration: Skylanders Trap Team. The tablet version of the game will launch at the same time as the console version, which are both scheduled to begin shipping October 5. The game will be available for $74.99, the same as the console price, and users can download the games' app from their respective app stores. 

"We’ve always been a platform-agnostic company," Activision Publishing chief executive Eric Hirshberg tells Wired, "and the tablet is obviously a very compelling and heavily-used new gaming platform for kids."

"We want to find our audience wherever they are," Paul Reiche, head of Toys For Bob, the Activision subsidiary that makes Skylanders, told CNET.

The popular game gives users the chance to employ physical toy figures that, when placed atop a plastic pedestal, appear rendered as virtual figures in the game. But until now, the full game has only been playable on gaming consoles.

Gamers can now add iOS and Android to that list. 

Still, not every tablet will be able to operate the game. It will work with iPad 3rd generation models and later, Google Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HDX, as well as later models of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Note, Wired reports. 

Players can use a Bluetooth gamepad, specially designed by Activision for this mobile gaming experience. As part of what's called the Skylanders Trap Team Tablet starter pack that's available to purchase, you receive a controller, a display tray to track characters you collect in the game, and a tablet stand to blend the physical with the virtual. In addition, the 175 existing Skylanders characters will be compatible with the new tablet-based platform, added to the 90 new Trap Team characters players will get to know over the course of the new game, Time reports. 

But for those who want the full tablet experience sans handheld controls, Trap Team will also offer a "Touch Controls" option that lets users play with just on-screen touch controls. 

To date, Skylanders has proven to be a retail bonanza. Activision has reportedly sold $2 billion of Skylanders gaming merchandise, which sell for between $10 and $17 a pop, making it the second top game in Europe and North America in the first half of 2014. 

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