Activision has decided to resurrect its 20 million-selling platforming adventure game series Spyro the Dragon with the help of toys and augmented reality.
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is based on the character from the original PlayStation days and is due out this autumn, according to USA Today.
Activision is said to be targeting gamers aged six to 12, and plans a line of action figures.
Spyro and each of the other 31 characters have different abilities and powers (Spyro's include fire breath and horn charge). Pricing for individual toys has not been set, but a $70 starter pack will include the video game, three toys, portal and trading cards.
Activision will launch the game for "multiple systems as well as computers, handhelds and phones".
Here's where the augmented reality comes in: when the game is running, players can put an action figure on a plastic "portal" or stand and watch the toys appear on their TV, and the toy becomes a moving character in the game for the player to control, USA Today said.
Once a character's toy is put on the portal and enters the game, as a player collects gold or levels-up his character or upgrades a weapon, that character's improved abilities are saved in the toy's memory.
Players can take their toy to a friend's house, transport their character into that game, and enjoy all of its attributes.
"These are toys with brains," Activision Publishing boss Eric Hirshberg said.
Shrek character designer Tom Hester, screenwriters Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen (Toy Story) and composer Hans Zimmer (Inception) are on board to help.
"It's got a whole universe of characters and an incredible backstory and a number of different ways to interact with it," Hirshberg added. "Usually franchises take years to develop the kind of universe that we will have Day 1."
This is what Activision was talking about when it said it was working on "an innovative new universe with broad appeal that will be revealed at Toy Fair later this week" that will "bring the world of toys, video games and the Internet together in an unprecedented way" then.
"We definitely wanted to take Spyro to next level," Hirshberg concluded. "But when you see the lineup of toys together, you will understand this has gone way beyond Spyro. This has become an ensemble cast."
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