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How the development of 'Skylanders Trap Team' has become more of a family affair

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You'd naturally expect the opinions of children to play the role in a series like "Skylanders," but according to Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg, the kids of the developers have played a cardinal role in the franchise's development into one of the most popular video game series in the industry today.

“Kids are a big part of the creative process, through the development, at multiple stages we bring in kids for play testing, which is fairly standard,” Hirshberg told Examiner in an exclusive interview. “With Skylanders, a lot of the people that are involved with [the series] just coincidentally happen to have kids [of their own] in the right age zone, and so that’s become a big part of the process, it’s that our own kids have become these de-facto, built-in focus groups.”

It goes past simple play testing. A family affair of sorts, Hirshberg says developers and their kids actually have conversations regarding gameplay elements and even discuss the look and feel of new characters.

"When we’re designing new characters or working on some of their mechanics, they’re sort of the first ones we run them by,” Hirshberg added. “I think everyone who has had the lucky coincidence of having kids of the right age is really enjoying that part of the process.”

Are you a fan of the "Skylanders" series? Do your kids play the games? Sound off in the comments section below.


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