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Starlink: Battle for Atlas

The toys-to-life market currently isn’t where it used to be a few years ago. It’s been on the decline, as is evident by the lack of a new Skylanders game this year and the slowdown of LEGO Dimensions.

Given the market, it came as a surprise to many when Ubisoft announced Starlink: Battle for Atlas at E3. Players can buy and attach physical starships to controllers. The concept is risky, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has admitted, but the company believes “that there are lots of people who want this type of game.”

Guillemot told GamesIndustry:

“We thought that bringing 2.0 of that model was potentially very interesting. We’ll see. It’s a risk, but we feel that there are lots of people who want this type of game. Maybe they don’t want to say it, but they do want to buy it.”

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Starlink: Battle for Atlas was a notable third-party Switch announcement coming out of E3 last month. Ubisoft is trying out the toys-to-life genre with a new game that offers ship building, flying, and shooting.

Nintendo UK now has a new interview up with Ubisoft Toronto producer Matthew Rose, which goes in-depth with the project. Rose explained the gameplay, the technology being used, why it’s a fit on Switch, and much more. Read up on Rose’ comments below.

A new Starlink: Battle for Atlas from Ubisoft has creative director Laurent Malville explaining how you can customize your starship on the fly and why the freedom to explore is an important aspect. You can view the video below.

This past week, Ubisoft announced Starlink: Battle for Atlas, and it’s heading to Switch. Watch some off-screen footage below.

In a recent GamesIndustry interview with the creative director of Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Laurent Malvill explains why him and his team have decided to make the game and bring life back to toys-to-life in the market.

“We think innovation can really bring life back into this market. We think that toys-to-life brought a lot of younger players into video games, and that was great. But we think as they grew up, the expectation grew with it. So for us, we didn’t want to do just another one like those games. It was important for us to innovate in this category. We didn’t want to innovate on just the toy itself – and we think we did do that – but also to innovate with the huge open world. We’re not talking down to the players. This is a big open world that you can spend time in.

“We think the toy is the whole game. That is the beauty of it – having that modular starship on-top of a controller. You don’t open a complex menu or anything, it is just there. You just grab the weapon, put it on and it appears right away. Or if you want another pilot, because I want to use his special ability in that fight, it is just there and it is the simplest way of doing it. And those collectibles, those starships, those pilots, what is beautiful is that once you’ve played the game for several hours, you can just put them on your bedside table or on your shelf.

But because we want to provide the maximum freedom for players to experience this game, we designed that idea that every physical part that you buy, you will unlock a digital part. So if you want the full experience, you can play with the starships on top of your controller. But if you want to just display the collectibles on your shelf, and play the game without them, you can do that as well.

You will also be able to buy the digital part separately, without the collectibles, if you want. Just because, again, we want to provide freedom for players. But the magical moment where you connect the part is something that is dear to us.

Approving crazy projects is part of the DNA of Ubisoft. If you look at Assassin’s Creed back in the day, or Just Dance… it is just part of what the company does. We were excited to show him what we’d done. And we were super happy that the top management team in Paris were just as excited as we were, and that we got to make it.”

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