I was asked how I felt about how big a success Skylanders has been. How did I feel about it becoming a pop culture phenomenon.
Dazed? Unbelieving? Surprised? No single word could possibly describe the emotions I feel. Humbled. Awed. Ecstatic.
So instead, I will tell you a story.
As a kid, my mother and I played tons of video games. It was a family thing. But when the power would go out, we would bust out the board games and drag the whole family into a game of Monopoly. We occasionally played even when the power wasn’t out, but that was the only time everyone would play. Around the time I hit High School, Monopoly started creating all of these variations, generally licensed. Star Wars Monopoly, Nintendo Monopoly, Pokemon Monopoly, and so on. I LOVED IT. I bought at least a dozen different versions.
Me and my mom would cycle through them, playing all the different ones. We even came up with Uberopoly, a version that required NINE Monopoly boards, arranged in a grid, with special rules on passing Go, turning corners, moving to new boards, and the requirement that you had to have ALL of a color before you could claim a Monopoly. We played it for DAYS and had no idea who was even close to winning.
This year they are making a Skylanders Monopoly.
Does that one sentence sum it up? All the emotion and disbelief of how well our game has done. Right there, in one sentence.
It’s just not possible. It’s just unbelievable. World of Warcraft gets a Monopoly. Disney gets a Monopoly. Doctor Who gets a Monopoly.
A kid’s game for the Wii at the end of the console’s life cycle does not get a Monopoly. Except it does. When it becomes a worldwide phenomenon, sells 2.5 toys a SECOND, and makes over a billion dollars, it gets a Monopoly game.
And creates this huge ball of feeling inside me, that completely shuts down my brain, and makes me feel like… How can I top THIS? I am 30, and I am seriously asking the question, how do you top a game you worked on, becoming so big, you get your childhood all wrapped up in a licensed version of your work. Calling it a success seems superfluous at this point.
What do I do next? What is the encore?
Shocked. To the point of tears. I just sit here and think, I have the coolest job, working with the coolest people, on the coolest game ever.
I am sure Skylanders Monopoly will be the Monopoly I play with my son. “See, this is mommy’s game. This is your game.”