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Vicarious Visions

There hasn’t been too much going on with Crash Bandicoot in recent years, but that’s starting to change. Crash and Dr. Cortex will both have their own figures in Skylanders Imaginators and will be playable in the game. Additionally, a special Crash level is being created in the form of Thumpin’ Wumpa Island.

Vicarious Visions’ Jennifer O’Neal spoke about Crash’ representation in Skylanders Imaginators with Gamereactor, noting that it’s an opportunity to reintroduce the series “to a new generation of fans”. She said:

“As you know it’s the twentieth anniversary of Crash Bandicoot so what better time to reintroduce them to a new generation of fans […] I can play as Crash or Neo and my kids can create their own character and play alongside me and that’s what Skylanders is about, bringing families together, playing co-operatively and it’s really fun. Crash and Neo have their own level, it’s called the Thumpin’ Wumpa Island. There’s a lot of fun gameplay that’s really nostalgic for the player that’s played the original Crash Bandicoot games, there’s Wumpa fruit you collect, there’s crates you smash and bounce on and there’s even a really cool area in the level that’s like the old boulder chase levels.”

Wii U owners can obtain the Skylanders Imaginators Thumpin’ Wumpa Islands Adventure Pack this holiday. It includes the Crash and Dr. Cortex figures as well as the new level.

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There’s been some talk as of late about the decline of the toys-to-life business. For the most part, amiibo is still doing quite well, and LEGO Dimensions entered the scene last year. But Disney Interactive recently closed entirely – marking the end of Disney Infinity – and Skylanders hasn’t been performing quite as well as it used to.

Despite this, Activision still appears to be very much on board with toys-to-life. The company announced Skylanders Imaginators today, reaffirming its commitment to the market.

Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg also told TIME that the publisher believes in the potential of toys-to-life. In his remarks, he mentioned that “Skylanders is now the 11th most successful game franchise of all time after just five years.”

When asked about the situation of Disney and concerns about the toys-to-life category, Hirshberg said:

I certainly can’t comment on Disney’s business, so that’s a good question to ask them, and they’ve obviously got good reasons for making the decision they did. What I will say is, we’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.

Activision is using its Skylanders franchise to support the millions of families affected by autism. Through one-of-a-kind toys, Skylanders and Autism Speaks are teaming up to raise awareness for an important cause during April’s Autism Awareness Month.

These toys are blue and white to reflect Autism Speaks’ official colors. The “Power Blue” Skylanders SuperChargers feature Splat and Trigger Happy, along with their SuperCharged vehicles Splatter Splasher and Gold Rusher. The full set appears in-game as their special colors. The toys are actually on store shelves in the United States and Europe now, with Canada to follow on April 1.

Activision is also extending its plans to promote Autism Awareness Month through the following activities:

– Launching employee education and employee-donation matching programs
– In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day, employees will have the opportunity to participate in the Autism Speaks Walk on April 2 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena
– Making donations to non-profits that are making a difference in the autism community

Source: Activision PR

Activision has now released Skylanders SuperChargers, and its launch trailer is now available. View it below.

Another Skylanders SuperChargers video has appeared on YouTube showing online racing gameplay. We have it below.

Another video has come in showing Skylanders SuperChargers on Wii U. Get a look at the game’s first level below.

Thanks to Nintendo World Report, we now have the full intro for Skylanders SuperChargers on Wii U. Take a look at the video below.

Nintendo World Report has posted a few minutes of footage from Skylanders SuperChargers. Check out the video below.

Donkey Kong and Bowser are both included in Skylanders SuperChargers. But interestingly enough, a few other Nintendo characters were considered for the game.

One idea developer Vicarious Visions had was to make a Warrior Princess Peach with a sword. However, Nintendo didn’t approve the idea because that would have been out of character, and all Super Mario Bros. hero characters were off limits.

Kirby was also considered to be a potential character in Skylanders SuperChargers. He would have been able to suck up enemies and bounce around the screen. Since Kirby is partially owned by HAL Laboratory, he couldn’t be licensed out to Activision.

Star Fox was yet another Nintendo character that Vicarious Visions thought about including. He didn’t make it in, however – perhaps so that the Big N could keep the focus on its own title, Star Fox Zero.

Skylanders SuperChargers and its Skylanders SuperChargers Racing equivalent for 3DS and Wii will release on September 20. You’ll find development details about Bowser and Donkey Kong in the game below.

During Gamescom this week, NintendOn spoke with Vicarious Visions co-founder Guha Bala. There was plenty of talk about the Nintendo collaboration in Skylanders SuperChargers, as well as a few other topics such as the decision to continue using a portal rather than the GamePad’s NFC functionality.

As always, you can find a few excerpts from the interview below. The full discussion is located here.