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Activision announces new Spyro title and toy range

'Skylanders' to link console, handheld, web and mobile games through real world toys

Activision has announced a rather surprising return to the spotlight for diminutive purple dragon Spyro, who will feature in the publisher's forthcoming title - Skylanders Spyro's Adventure.

The game is not the only part of the announcement, however. Alongside a disc-based console game, the new Spyro reboot will feature handheld, mobile and web apps, too - all linked via the medium of interactive toys which will carry a persistent record of achievements, progress and play history with them.

These toy can then become part of the game itself via a device called a "Portal of Power", which will recognise the toys and add them into the various games, complete with their own personal histories.

"These are more than action figures. They are inter-action figures," said Eric Hirshberg, Activision Publishing CEO. "By pairing world class character design, world class video game design and world class story telling into one entertainment experience, we've given players a whole new genre that bridges the gap between the real and virtual worlds.

"From the first time a kid picked up a stick and pretended it was a sword, toys have unlocked kids' imaginations. And how often have you wanted to bring those toys to life, to see them become animated and take them on an adventure? Skylanders Spyro's Adventure does just that."

The game story has been written by two members of the writing team for the original Toy Story - Alek Sokolow and Joel Cohen, and developed at Activision's California studio Toys for Bob. The publisher has also partnered with Toys R Us in a global marketing venture for the 30 plus toys and game, and will unveil the product line together at the annual American International Toy Fair taking place February 13-16, 2011. The products are expected to be on store shelves this Autumn.

"We believe this product line is among the most exciting and unique offerings that will be seen at Toy Fair this year, and we are excited to partner with Activision to bring Skylanders Spyro's Adventure to Toys"R"Us stores this fall," said Toys R Us CEO and Chairman Jerry Storch.

The news comes in the wake of a financial report which saw Activision's shares fall by 8 per cent, alongside news of studio closures, layoffs, the suspension of the once successful Guitar Hero franchise and the cancellation of unreleased title True Crime.

The company seemed to be refocusing its efforts into its most successful properties, such as Call of Duty, and Blizzard's product range, but this new departure looks to be a committed move in a very new direction.

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