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There's some primal need buried deep within the human psyche that's fulfilled by performing repetitive, simple acts and watching numbers rise slowly and compellingly as a consequence. Ask anyone who ever got hooked on a Blizzard game; it's powerful stuff. Now imagine combining that need with another that's just as enslaving ... say, collectible action figures. Like...

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Breaking free with your own IP: Insomniac's CEO on what's next (besides Ratchet & Clank)

There's a big craze these days with independent developers, though the idea isn't all that crazy. Developers, as it turns out, like to own the stuff they create – Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac Games is no different. And here's something you might not know about Insomniac: the studio...

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Activision brings in $1.08 billion in Q2: more than expected, but less than last year

Activision Blizzard beat its outlook for its fiscal Q2 (ending June 30), bringing in $1.08 billion in revenue – the outlook as of May predicted $950 million. This still falls short of the same period last year. It's no mystery as to where Activision's money came from. "For the first six...

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Activision talks Skylanders Giants and the future of the franchise

We had a quick chat with Mike Graham, a design producer at Activision, about Toys for Bob's extremely popular Skylanders franchise, and the second release in the series, Skylanders Giants. Graham kindly let us in on the reasoning behind the new game and bigger toys, and what other possibilities...

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Skylanders weather report: Warnado warning, chance of Camo and Wham Shell high

The Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure roster has been expanded, with Warnado, Camo and Wham-Shell available for purchase right now. Hit up the gallery below for some screens or get over to your local brick-and-mortar if you're looking to bolster your ranks. ...

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GameStop testing Skylanders toy trade-in program

GameStops are about to be overrun with toys in an epidemic the likes of which we haven't seen since the late-90s Pokémon figure thing. Pixelitis published what appears to be an internal GameStop document detailing a nascent Skylanders figurine trade-in program being tested at some stores....

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NPD's top 25 includes at least eight 3DS games

No 3DS games sold enough in the US to place in the top ten last month, according to NPD data. But 3DS sales were happening just under the surface, with many 3DS games making it into the (undisclosed) top 25 games of February. The NPD told Joystiq that "some examples" of the 3DS titles that made the...

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Three new Skylanders shock, burn and boom into Spyro's Adventure

Spyro's universe is expanding -- much like ours, but without the physical, philosophical or scientific implications -- with three new characters. Lightning Rod, Zook and Sunburn, the last of which comes to Skylanders in the Dragon's Peak Adventure Pack, are all available now. Lightning Rod and...

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Rare Skylanders sell for more than $1,000 at auction

The supplemental toys surrounding Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure have become the latest in a long line of collectable merchandising campaigns to reach "You paid how much?!" levels, following in the proud footsteps of Pogs, Pokemon cards and Beanie Babies. An eBay auction for 6 apparently rare...

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Activision revenues up in 2011, claims #1 publishing spot

The world hasn't converted entirely to a Kickstarter-based economy yet -- Activision's fiscal 2011 earnings are up again, with net revenues at $4.76 billion dollars (vs. 2010's $4.45 billion), exceeding its most recent outlook. Activision claimed the number one console and handheld publishing spot...

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January NPD: Sales down without big launches, Skylanders a hit for accessories

Both hardware and software video game sales were down by a great deal in January, according to the latest report from NPD. Both categories dropped 38% year over year in the US, and video games sales in total dropped from $1.14 billion in January of 2011 to $750 million this past month. NPD's Liam...

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