Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Ubisoft’s toys-to-life game, won’t be getting any more physical toys. The announcement came last week, in a blog post made by the game’s development team. Additional digital content is on the way, along with a major game update in April.
“Despite the immense and continuous support from our players, the sales for Starlink: Battle for Atlas fell below expectations,” said the Starlink development team. “Consequently, we recently made the decision to not release any additional physical toys for the Spring update and in the future.”
Starlink arrived in October 2018, well after other toys-to-life products had already exited the market. The game featured space-based and terrestrial flight combat in the style of Nintendo’s classic Star Fox games. The Nintendo Switch version even included Star Fox himself and an articulated model of the iconic Arwing fighter, as well as a series of exclusive themed missions. Despite favorable reviews, including here at Polygon, it appears that the physical toy line was not sustainable.
The end of the Starlink physical product line is maybe the final nail in the coffin for the toys-to-life business model, which was popularized by the Skylanders series. Starlink’s most recent competitor, the Warner Bros. multiverse-inspired Lego Dimensions, was wound down in 2017. Nintendo is still creating its amiibo line of figures, but they aren’t tied to a specific game or franchise.
Luckily, Ubisoft hedged its bets with the design of the Starlink. While the reconfigurable toys do confer some benefits, they aren’t actually required to play the game. That means the digital product can live on without a line of physical products on store shelves.
“We are currently hard at work on our biggest update to the game so far and are pleased to tell all of you that there will be new digital ships, pilots and weapons to collect,” the team stated. “Additionally, there will be a ton of free content to expand your games such as additional missions, challenges and new activities to engage in throughout Atlas, including content that was inspired by community suggestions, such as Outlaw Racing.”
Digital versions of Starlink are still available for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and the Xbox One. They all currently retail for $59.99, and only the Switch version comes with the additional Star Fox content.