Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon PS4 comebacks are being considered, but Sony has stated that making them happen could be a problem. Sony doesn’t own the mascots, and could have problems getting the rights.
Back in the days of the original PlayStation, Spyro and Crash were Sony’s exclusives published under Insomniac and Naughty Dog, respectively. In case the latter of the two sounds familiar, it’s because they made the PlayStation 3 Game of the Year The Last of Us. Insomniac Games is currently making the Xbox One exclusive arcade-style action title Sunset Overdrive.
Now both are owned by Activision, who might not want to risk bringing back the mascots in solo titles, and could be even less interested in letting go of the rights. Naughty Dog had asked Activision if they would allow Crash to be used in a fan art contest, and the request was denied.
Bringing back the PlayStation exclusive mascots would be risky, since mascot comeback games rarely ever do well. Even the mildly successful Tomb Raider reboot in 2013 was considered almost a commercial failure, selling well below what Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix expected. It wasn’t due to a lack of quality as much as gamers with bad memories of Tomb Raider from before not wanting to get stung yet again.
Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon are both 3D platformers from an era when such a thing was new and innovative. Now nearly every game out there uses a 3D engine and gamers won’t be satisfied with a simple HD remake, as Nintendo has proven.
— VideoGamer.com (@VideoGamerCom) July 14, 2014
What worked over a decade ago isn’t guaranteed any success now.
Sony’s Andrew House explained the idea behind the possible comeback:
“This is very dangerous ground. In concept, it is something we’ve been thinking about and discussing, and this is a shift for us.
“We’ve started to say that maybe there isn’t anything wrong with going back and looking at characters that people still talk about, that were a big part of either their childhood or their youth. I definitely wouldn’t close the door on that.”
The chances are higher that Crash Bandicoot could join Spyro the Dragon in Activision’s Skylanders game series. That isn’t stopping Sony from considering a comeback for the mascots, but don’t expect those games unless Activision agrees to sell them the rights.