Right before Christmas Napnok Games announced their toy/game concept Temari is on it's way. In the wake of launching Frantics and Chimparty as PlayStation PlayLink titles. With moderate success. Cutting the staff in Copenhagen and creative director partner Lau Korsgaard leaving the company.
A unique and original concept. But also hugely complex and ambitious. Been in development for understandably, quite a while now.
It IS an interesting and extraordinarily risky space they are trying to enter with a (possibly too complex concept and technical side? offering on a new IP). With potential huge financial gains to bag if successful. But isn't that always the trick.
The good news is that there are no dominant force at the moment offering anything in that space is seems. Besides Nintendo Amiibo. Not locally at least. So that's a theoretical opening. All the priors success stories has seemed to vanish from the shelves in Denmark. Skylanders, LEGO dimensions, Disney Infinity (pulled after 3 generations). Ubisofts StarLink was pulled quite quickly. The kiddo loved them in his earlier years! With a huge (now dust collecting) collection to prove it.
I guess Nintendo's Amiibo concept didn't really explode over here. But more serves as a steady thing for collectors. It's still being supported to a moderate degree on the various Nintendo platforms.
A note on Ubisofts Starlink. They did an (I guess optional) but still HUGE design flaw. Kiddo played it on the Xbox One. And in order to play is 'as inteded' You would have connect a gigantic spaceship with attachments sitting on top of your controller. So you would literally sit with a large chunk of plastic on top of your controller. Which would end up just being too tiring to physically hold for longer durations.
I can't believe Ubisoft let this design though. Some simple USB wire connection would have been the way to go. Or optimally wireless.
Also they went EXTREMELY narrow with their target audience. Targeting the older end of the spectrum and going for a niche scifi audience. With the primary focus being on cool looking space ships. On a broad scale I don't thing space ships can compete with characters in connecting with an audience. There was also character figures in StarLink. But it was never the main focus unlike Skylanders etc.
Temari seems to have a mechanical side with some strange unreadable contraptions. The characters seems to be some sort of class/team based something in 2 color schemes. They all look pretty samey. So that's another risk factor. They will have to spend a lot of energy on just telling what the concept and appeal actually is. Before they can sell it. As it is not immediately apparent.
The physical portal on LEGO Dimensions was such a weak build (the cosmetic LEGO pieces). That it would fall apart just by touching it ever so slightly. Not optimal. But was otherwise functional.
The Skylanders portal just worked. A solid piece of USB connected plastic. No bullshit! And cool kids friendly characters in solid builds.
Though the wire on the portal was sort of short (LEGO Dimension was even shorter) and you would have to get up walk back and forth every time you would have to switch characters. Depending on your setup. And there was some annoying screens popping up all the time when switching characters. But it was a pretty solid approach.
Another global factor concepts like these face is even harder to get around. "Kids don't toy for very long anymore". They all have such a short window of age to capture these kids interest. It's maybe around 5-8 years old? For these toy lines mentioned.
And after that, the physical toys impact on kids lives fades off really really quickly. And those dreaded video games and video streaming has taken up most the kids time and interest.
Temari looks like it's aiming for the older end of the spectrum which would increase the risk factor.
NapNok has huge challenges ahead and will need one heck of a partner with super deep pockets (and balls of steel) for marketing, manufacturing and distribution muscle to pull it off. And a product that works just PERFECTLY for the kids on all fronts. Potential partner companies does indeed exist. But it's a small hand. And none of their names was on the packing shots just yet.
With the right partner things could possibly turn very interesting. But the product and appeal to the target audience has to be spot on.
All in all it's a really tall order. I will remain sceptical until proven wrong. Which I hope I will.
Best of luck to NapNok!