SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise's signature gameplay with an all-new innovative play pattern -- swapability -- that gives kids more choice than ever before by letting them swap the top and bottom halves of the toys to create their own characters. The game lets Portal Masters reconfigure 16 SWAP Force characters into more than 250 unique combinations. Kids can mix and match characters' powers and moves, and then bring them to life in the game. Fans of the franchise also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of characters from both Skylanders Spyro's Adventure and Skylanders Giants, now with the added capability of jumping.
During the past 18 months, Activision has become one of the fastest growing licensors and was recently named the 100th biggest global licensor in the world according to License! Global's Top 150 Global Licensors List of 2012. The company's Skylanders program is anchored by key global partners: Penguin, Topps, Rubies, MEGA Brands, and PowerA, and is supported by best-in-class licensing agents outside of the U.S.
Newly signed licensees who will support the Skylanders franchise include American Greetings, who is creating a comprehensive social expressions program through party goods and greeting cards; consumer electronic products by KIDdesigns; athletic shoes and slippers by Cortina Leomil Group; a Skylanders-themed Monopoly game by USAopoly; and Skylanders-branded personal care items and novelty stationery by MZBerger.
"Our licensing strategy is focused on partnering with industry leaders and category experts who will align well with our games' demographics and deliver meaningful brand extensions," says Ashley Maidy, Vice President of Global Licensing & Partnerships for Activision. "Deeper integration at retail is a key element of our expansion plans. Licensing has allowed us to secure space outside of the video game aisle, providing our fans with multiple touch points for consumer interactions. Additionally, the programs have garnered space in non-traditional gaming retailers like W.H. Smith and Smyths in Europe. Overall, this holiday we are increasing our retail space by more than one third over last year."
To support the award-winning Skylanders franchise, Activision has secured licensees in key categories including Publishing, Apparel, Back-to-School, Game Accessories, Costumes, Construction Sets, Bedding and Party Goods, among others. Additionally, promotional partnerships have helped build and expand awareness of the brand including a three-phased Frito-Lay national promotion followed by McDonald's USA LLC, which launched a Skylanders GiantsTMHappy Meal program in April 2013 in North America that will be rolling out to other countries throughout the year.
In 2013, Activision began expanding its licensing reach for the Call of Duty franchise in Europe and Australia. The company's licensing activities for the brand focuses on lifestyle categories such as Apparel, Gaming Headsets, Mobile and Electronic Accessories, and includes such premier partners as Turtle Beach, BioWorld, PowerA and Brady Games.
Additionally, in 2014, Activision, in collaboration with Bungie, will launch a focused merchandising program to support the game launch of Destiny. The program will expand as the franchise establishes itself in the marketplace.
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