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Spyro's Kingdom was a defunct Spyro game concept that soon evolved into concepts similar to its successor, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.
In 2007, after Vivendi Games merged with Activision, Toys For Bob began working on ideas for the Spyro license. There were different early concepts for Spyro, including a "realistic, gritty" Spyro, a tiny Spyro that ran around the real world on book shelves, and an origami Spyro that can take shape. However Activision wanted to do more with the character, so Toys for Bob kept coming up with imaginative ways to use the Spyro license, with toys being the way to do this. One of those ideas included playable little toy dragons that hatched from eggs for users to play with. Eventually, Spyro's Kingdom came into light.
One of the original ideas for Spyro's Kingdom was making it a mature Spyro game with a much darker tone that included blood and the age range being 16 to adult. The developers of Toys for Bob lost their enthusiasm and felt that this direction did not feel like "Spyro".
It soon started life as a project, which Graham says still featured "the toys-to-life idea - taking your toys, putting them on a magic device, and having them come to life in the game. Spyro was going to be a full-grown dragon and the king of Spyro’s Kingdom. You would go to him for quests, and he'd tell you where to go and help you on your adventures.
Graham says this version of the game "was very close to something we were going to go forward with. I think it was April or May of 2010 where we were almost ready to hit alpha with Spyro's Kingdom, and it was time for the go/no-go call. That’s where we said, ‘this is fun and cute, but it can be so much bigger.'"
At this point, one of Skylanders' key elements - "toys with brains," which remember your characters' progress as you level up — wasn’t in the mix. If the action figures had memory inside them, the save functionality would be hassle-free and invisible, plus they’d be platform agnostic — a huge win for kids who might not own the same game system as their friends. "The goal was to make it very reminiscent of something you would do as a kid," says Graham. "You could put your toys in your backpack, go to your friend’s house after school, and you could play with your Star Wars characters with your G.I. Joe characters with your Transformers characters; it didn’t matter that they were from different worlds. We looked at consoles that way too: How great could it be if you could share in an experience regardless of what console you were on? So there was this big idea of what this game could be."
With Spyro's Kingdom nearly at alpha but an ambitious alternate plan on the table, the decision was up to the top brass, including Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. But as Graham reveals, "Bobby believed in it completely. He said, 'What do you guys need?’ And from that point on, it was this little idea that continued to grow to what we have now, which is a team of fantasy superheroes - Skylanders."
- A MMORPG game concept for Spyro's Kingdom was proposed by Helios Interactive with the game based on The Legend of Spyro series, but it was rejected by Activision. However a playable demo of this version of the game was available for download on the Helios website for the game, but was deleted sometime after the website was discovered.
- Though Toys For Bob was initially tasked with creating a main Spyro game, only for their Spyro's Kingdom pitch to be accepted and eventually made into Skylanders, they would later be the first team to work on the Spyro series again, in Spyro: Reignited Trilogy.