LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VisitScotland, The Highland Council and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), today announced that the Isle of Skye in Scotland has ‘virtually’ twinned1 with Skylands, the home of upcoming game, Skylanders SWAP Force™. The stunning Scottish Highlands have been brought together with the virtual islands of Skylands, to celebrate the month of SWAPtober and the launch of Skylanders SWAP Force™. The virtual twinning marks the first time a video game world has twinned with a real destination. Skylanders SWAP Force is available now at retail stores in North America and will be available in Australia on October 16 and Europe on October 18.
Located off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye boasts stunning mountain scenery, sea lochs and wildlife and attracts visitors from all over the world.
VisitScotland’s Alan Mackenzie, who is based at VisitScotland's Information Centre in Portree, said: “The Isle of Skye is renowned for its stunning landscapes, which possess an almost ethereal quality, and its abundance of wildlife, making it the perfect place to virtually twin with Skylands, home to Skylanders SWAP Force. We’re thrilled to be teaming up with the SkylandersTM franchise for this unique partnership, which will help raise the profile of this beautiful part of the world, encouraging families to enjoy a real-life adventure on the Isle of Skye – nowhere else on Earth comes close!”
To commemorate the virtual twinning, Activision and VisitScotland brought the virtual world of Skylands to the stunning Scottish Highlands through:
- An inaugural visit to the Isle of Skye by Wash Buckler, one of the new Skylanders SWAP Force characters; Wash Buckler toured some of the island’s most famous landmarks and visited the children at Portree Primary School.
- A SWAP takeover of the Isle of Skye website www.skye.co.uk, where Skylanders franchise fans worldwide can type SWAP on the homepage to watch the magic unfold.
The Skylanders franchise pioneered the genre of ‘bringing toys to life’ by combining physical figures with the virtual world of video games. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise with its signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding a dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces an all-new play pattern - swapability - that lets gamers reconfigure 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the inter-action figures*.
“We’re thrilled to continue to combine physical and virtual experiences through the Skylanders franchise, and what better way to do so than making the Skylands the first video game world to twin with a real destination,” said Michael Sportouch, Vice President and General Manager, Activision Publishing. “With the launch of Skylanders SWAP Force around the corner, it was perfect timing to merge the magical world of Skylands with the beautiful Isle of Skye. We’re sure this partnership is going to spark the imaginations of families whenever they visit the Highlands, but fortunately they don’t have to worry about seeing any Chompies2 on Earth.”
Councillor Thomas Prag, Chair, The Highland Council’s Planning Environment and Development Committee, commented, “We’re thrilled to welcome the Skylanders characters to the Highlands. This is an unusual project, as we can’t sign an actual deed of twinning due to the limitations getting paper work to the Skylands. However, we were delighted to see Wash Buckler visiting the Isle of Skye, and hope his visit encourages many more people to look for adventure in the Highlands.”
About Skylanders SWAP Force
Skylanders SWAP Force is delivering a whole new world of innovation and introduces the groundbreaking new feature — swapability. The pioneers of the toys-to-life genre are presenting kids and gamers with unprecedented levels of choice in how they explore Skylands and battle Kaos by swapping the top and bottom halves of the inter-action figures to transform 16 SWAP ForceTM characters into more than 250 unique combinations.
Set in a richly detailed next generation world, Skylanders SWAP Force takes kids on an all-new adventure with 32 brand new heroic characters that each offer unique powers and personalities. The game also features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, and teleporting – which can be used in special areas of Skylands. Additionally, fans can play with their entire collection of more than 100, forward-compatible toys from both Skylanders Spyro’s AdventureTM and Skylanders Giants™.
Skylanders SWAP Force is being developed by Vicarious Visions and is set to release in North America on October 13, Australia on October 16 and Europe on October 18. Developed for the PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and the Wii U™ and Wii™ systems from Nintendo and Nintendo 3DS™; it is rated E10+ by the ESRB. For more information, visit www.skylanders.com.
About Activision Publishing, Inc.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.
Activision maintains operations in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, mainland China and the region of Taiwan. More information about Activision and its products can be found on the company’s website, www.activision.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements: Information in this press release that involves Activision Publishing’s expectations, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including statements about the expected release date of Skylanders SWAP Force™, are forward-looking statements that are not facts and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause Activision Publishing’s actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements set forth in this release include unanticipated product delays and other factors identified in the risk factors sections of Activision Blizzard’s most recent annual report on Form 10-K and any subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. The forward-looking statements in this release are based upon information available to Activision Publishing and Activision Blizzard as of the date of this release, and neither Activision Publishing nor Activision Blizzard assumes any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements believed to be true when made may ultimately prove to be incorrect. These statements are not guarantees of the future performance of Activision Publishing or Activision Blizzard and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond its control and may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.
SKYLANDERS, SKYLANDERS SWAP FORCE, SWAP FORCE, SKYLANDERS GIANTS, SKYLANDERS SPYRO’S ADVENTURE, and ACTIVISION are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc.
1 No official deed of twinning has been signed by the Highland Council. As the Skylands are a magical land – it makes it difficult to get paperwork in the post.
2 Chompies are one of the most common monsters in the Skylands, they do not exist on Earth.
*Requires purchase of all 16 SWAP Force Skylanders.
VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourism organisation, is providing in-kind promotional support to the virtual twinning project.