Nintendo is finally jumping on the bandwagon of having interactive action figures later this year with Amiibo. If you aren’t familiar with these figurines, they are typically used along with certain videogames. In Skylanders and Disney Infinity, they unlock new characters and stages. Nintendo’s own version is generating a lot of buzz so far and we believe that Sony should also jump onto the same train very soon with the following reasons.
As great as Sony’s characters are, they aren’t nearly as popular as Disney’s or Nintendo’s. Having visible toys of less recognizable individuals (like Kat from Gravity Rush) being in the same brand of figurines like Kratos and Nathan Drake should be beneficial to the less popular character. If you look at Captain Falcon, for example, he wasn’t recognizable until he joined Mario and Link is Super Smash Bros. When Super Smash Bros brand exploded in popularity, so too did the recognition of Captain Falcon.
Revive Older Franchises
By having their own version of Amiibo, Sony can also use the opportunity to revive older franchises. The company is already sitting on a treasure trove of dormant I.P.s like Ape Escape, Jak, Legend of Dragoon, Parappa the Rapper and Wild Arms. Each of these intellectual properties have a hardcore fan base that is ready to spend more money on new videogames and other types of merchandise. If gamers are willing to buy an action figure, he or she is more than likely to buy the latest videogame the character is starring in as well.
More Crossover Videogames
While Sony typically makes great videogames, they are lacking when it comes to creating a crossover experience with Playstation Move Heroes being horrible and Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale not living up to its full potential. Still, a lot of fanboys and fangirls are still showing interests in a crossover videogame that combines the Sony franchises.
Pairing the crossover concept with interactive figures has already been proven to be a big success with Amiibo in Super Smash Bros and Disney Infinity. If Sony can create a solid foundation for a videogame (preferably using their top tier studios like Media Molecule, Naughty Dog, Santa Monica and Sucker Punch), they should have the breakout success they were previously seeking with Playstation Move Heroes and Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale.
If all elements aligned, Sony should have hit product on their hands. The Playstation 4 is already a major success even though the major first-party videogames have been few and far between. If their hypothetical Amiibo-like product is a success, they can earn hundreds of millions (or even more than a billion) based on how much the Skylanders and Disney Infinity franchises have sold so far.
From a business standpoint, Amiibo, Skylanders and Disney Infinity work cause the figures are not only selling well but they also lead to potential sales of other related products. OCD gamers will want to collect all the figures in addition to buying all compatible games to get as much mileage out of first purchases as possible. If done correctly, Sony should get a lot of repeat customers who are not only loyal, but are also willing to spend.