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Isle of Skye Meets its 'Virtual' Twin - World First as Scottish Island Teams up with Skylanders Swap Force™
Oct 16, 2013 (10:10 PM EDT)

LONDON, October 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --


VisitScotland, the Highland Council and Activision Publishing Partner on the First Ever 'Virtual' Twinning of a Real World Destination with a Video Game World

VisitScotland, The Highland Council  and Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), today announced that the Isle of Skye in Scotland has 'virtually' twinned[1] with Skylands, the home of upcoming game, Skylanders SWAP Force™. The stunning Scottish Highlands have been brought together with the virtual islands of Skylands, to celebrate the month of SWAPtober and the launch of Skylanders SWAP Force™.  The virtual twinning marks the first time a video game world has twinned with a real destination. Skylanders SWAP Force will be available at retail stores on 18th October.

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Located off the west coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye boasts stunning mountain scenery, sea lochs and wildlife and attracts visitors from all over the world.  

VisitScotland's Alan Mackenzie, who is based at VisitScotland's Information Centre in Portree, said: "The Isle of Skye is renowned for its stunning landscapes, which possess an almost ethereal quality, and its abundance of wildlife, making it the perfect place to virtually twin with Skylands, home to Skylanders SWAP Force. We're thrilled to be teaming up with the SkylandersTM franchise for this unique partnership, which will help raise the profile of this beautiful part of the world, encouraging families to enjoy a real-life adventure on the Isle of Skye - nowhere else on Earth comes close!"


1. No official deed of twinning has been signed by the Highland Council.  As the Skylands are a magical land - it makes it difficult to get paperwork in the post  

To commemorate the virtual twinning, Activision and VisitScotland brought the virtual world of Skylands to the stunning Scottish Highlands through:

  •  An inaugural visit to the Isle of Skye by Wash Buckler, one of the new Skylanders SWAP Force characters; Wash Buckler toured some of the island's most famous landmarks and  visited the children at Portree Primary School.
  • A SWAP takeover of the Isle of Skye website, where Skylanders franchise fans worldwide can type SWAP on the homepage to watch the magic unfold.

The Skylanders franchise pioneered the genre of 'bringing toys to life' by combining physical figures with the virtual world of video games. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise with its signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding a dimension to the "toys to life" innovation.  The game introduces an all-new play pattern - swapability - that lets gamers reconfigure 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the inter-action figures*.

"We're thrilled to continue to combine physical and virtual experiences through the Skylanders franchise, and what better way to do so than making the Skylands the first video game world to twin with a real destination," said Michael Sportouch, Vice President and General Manager, Activision Publishing. "With the launch of Skylanders SWAP Force around the corner, it was perfect timing to merge the magical world of Skylands with the beautiful Isle of Skye. We're sure this partnership is going to spark the imaginations of families whenever they visit the Highlands, but fortunately they don't have to worry about seeing any Chompies[2] on Earth."  

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chair, The Highland Council's Planning Environment and Development Committee, commented 'We're thrilled to welcome the Skylanders characters to the Highlands.  This is an unusual project, as we can't sign an actual deed of twinning due to the limitations getting paper work to the Skylands.  However, we were delighted to see Wash Buckler visiting the Isle of Skye, and hope his visit encourages many more people to look for adventure in the Highlands'.  


*Requires purchase of all 16 SWAP Force Skylanders.

VisitScotland, Scotland's national tourism organisation, is providing in-kind promotional support to the virtual twinning project.


2. Chompies are one of the most common monsters in the Skylands, they do not exist on Earth.  

SOURCE VisitScotland, The Highland Council and Activision Publishing, Inc.