Online Game Characters Go Offline

 Amazon will offer a game that connects the virtual world with the real world through the use of physical characters from a new Skylanders console game,

The online retail giant Amazon has announced a partnership with Activision and the mobile edition of its Skylanders game that connects the virtual world and the real world. Amazon says the partnership makes it the first and only game seller offering in-app purchases of physical goods that will be delivered to your real world doorstep. In a special offer, players of Skylanders Cloud Patrol on the Kindle Fire will be able to buy actual, physical characters from the new Skylanders Flameslinger console game, and all it takes is one click on an in-game offer. In essence, the offer means players can play a game on a tablet device and buy a $10 game character product that they can play with in real life too.

Activision's Skylanders console game aimed at children is available for Wii and PS3, and is focused on the adventures of over 30 different game characters. What’s really new about this game adventure is that Skylanders players will choose their game character by placing a small plastic model of it on a separate portal that's plugged into the console and once the game piece is identified by the portal using NFC technology, the game play will resume. Extra game worlds and special powers are also accessed with characters on the portal too.

Because the game character toys are highly detailed, attractively crafted plastic models, it means they are also playable toy in the offline mode in the real world too, and at $10 each, Activision hopes the kids will buy the characters as long as they continue to play the game. Activision says it also has plans in the works to offer an alternative mobile edition of the game that will play on iOS devices by using a similar Bluetooth powered “portal” that connects in the same way that the original console games does now. The iOS version of the digital game will also recognize all Skylanders figures from the console version and will allow kids to take their favorite characters from the console game into the new world of the iOS mobile game, and play with them as simple characters offline as well. Although Amazon may be claiming to be the first to offer this type of physical-to-digital type of game interaction, it’s a good bet that it won’t be the last as Flameslinger could just be the start of a rapidly growing future trend.