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Toys to Life Games grow-up.
Skylanders and Lego Dimensions are staying strong despite the demise of Disney Infinity in the toys-to-life market.
Now young players need something to graduate to after playing these games for at least five years. Companies want to expand their audiences to mainstream gamers to build their business.
2 companies that are creating toys-to-life games for older audiences are Play Fusion and Jumo. Play Fusion is creating Lifeseekers, while Jumo has created Infinite Arms. Play Fusion draws on development talent from Tomb Raider and Street Fighter with toy experience from Tomy. Jumo has devs who have worked on Halo and Gears of War.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of these games other that the fact that they are drawing from big name console titles is that they feature large articulated figures. What is different from previous toys-to-life games is the fact that they are 7-inches tall and feature full articulation.
Infinite Arms features more of a mech aesthetic as they have an ex-Transformer designer on the team. Lightseekers is similar in many respects to the look and feel of Skylanders but the characters are not stuck to a base and they feature full articulation.
Each of these games has been designed from the ground-up for tablets.
According to research, younger players are migrating to tablet gaming whereas older gamers still love console and PC gaming. With that said, these games are taking a risk.
The gameplay experience between Lightseekers and Infinite Arms vary significantly. First, Infinite Arms offers mech characters battling in an arena. The game features a good amount of strategy and skill to master. On the other hand, Lightseekers is similar to Runescape with familiar quest mechanics. There are interesting ways to progress characters.
The technology used is better than prior toys-to-life games. In fact, with integrated lights, sound and voice it is not right to consider them toys. The technology really shines with the evolution of weaponry. Each game features an ecosystem of physical weapons that can be purchased and added to the character’s hands. Each of these weapons can be upgraded much like in an RPG.
Both of these games will likely satisfy even the most hard-pressed gamer. Perhaps the biggest challenge for these games is that they are deemed as toys-to-life games and as a result are seen as kids games.
One of the problems with Disney Infinity was getting pricing and stocking right. Like Skylanders and Lego Dimensions, Lightseekers and Infinite Arms need to ensure players are overflowing with value to align with the higher price of entry.
Although the strategy has not been fully unveiled, they have ideas on how to solve the retail problems while balancing the important facets of quality and value. Jumo promises quick replenishment of toy stock while Play Fusion is banking on the modularity of its toys and its partnership with toy maker Tomy.