Skylanders established the $4 billion toys-to-life business, and parent company Activision Blizzard leads the $1.2 billion digital card game market with Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. So it’s natural that it’s mixing the two together.
Today, Activision launches Skylanders Battlecast, a free-to-play card game for iOS, Android, and Amazon’s Fire line. This one works a little differently than Hearthstone, Hex, and a host of other games on the market — along with buying booster packs online, you can also purchase card packs in retail stores. This is a twist for the $34.6 billion mobile gaming market, and it shows Activision still has confidence in business models that mix physical and digital goods despite Disney shutting down its Infinity toys-to-life franchise last week.
To bring the cards into Battlecast, you scan them with your mobile device’s camera. This includes an augmented reality component that helps the cards “spring to life,” as the press release states. You can also add cards to an in-game spellbook. You can play solo or against others, as well as in ranked or casual modes.
Battlecast launches with 300 cards (some of which are nicer-looking alternative known as foils) consisting of characters, spells, gear, and Relics, or items you can add to the battleground. The game has 60 missions, each with challenges and rewards, strung over eight elemental islands. Battlecast Battle packs are $10 and sport 22 cards, while boosters have 8 for $5.
“We continue to provide a variety of fun new ways for fans to explore Skylanders, and Skylanders Battlecast is an amazing new innovation,” said Josh Taub, a senior vice president in product management for Activision Publishing, in a canned statement. “Our mobile card game offers players not only a collectible experience but also augmented reality, [player-versus-player], and an exciting single-player campaign.”
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