Ubisoft has canceled development of physical toys for Starlink: Battle for Atlas due to poor sales. The 2018 starship game was Ubisoft’s first – and possibly last – attempt to break into the toys-to-life genre.
Developed by Ubisoft Toronto, Starlink: Battle for Atlas released in October of last year for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The third-person action game focuses on a group of pilots battling alien threats and exploring planets in the Atlas star system. Players can build powerful starships and increase their roster of playable characters by purchasing Starlink toys. The Nintendo Switch version features Star Fox protagonist Fox McCloud as an exclusive character.
Ubisoft has announced that the company will no longer release physical toys for Starlink: Battle for Atlas. According to the development team, sales for the game “fell below expectations.” However, Ubisoft hasn’t abandoned the game and will continue to add new digital content, including ships, pilots, and weapons for the foreseeable future.
The decision to end production on physical toys will come as a disappointment to fans, especially considering how important they were to the early promotion of the game. Starlink‘s toys-to-life elements were easily the game’s biggest selling point. Players could purchase additional pilots and ships, and customize them with various weapon packs. The weapon packs would supply the ships with different ways to fire at enemies.
The news that Starlink: Battle for Atlas underperformed wasn’t necessarily a surprise. At launch, the starter pack, which came with several accessories, had a retail price of $75. Two months later, Starlink had already seen a sizable price drop. At several outlets, the game was priced as low as $35, which was a strong indication that Starlink wasn’t performing nearly as well as Ubisoft had hoped. The Nintendo Switch version is currently going for $30 on Amazon, while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions are selling for less than $20.
Ubisoft’s decision to develop a toys-to-life game was certainly a risky move as the genre hasn’t fared well in recent years. Skylanders, which began as a massive hit when it was first released in 2011, has since lost a great deal of its momentum. The same can be said for LEGO Dimensions and Disney Infinity, which were both eventually discontinued. Starlink: Battle for Atlas is now falling into the same category, though it remains to be seen if its fanbase is strong enough to keep the game going without physical toys.