Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fuelled has been out for a little over a month now and in that time the nostalgic kart racer has shot to the top of sales charts while also selling over half a million copies digitally.
Unsurprisingly, it seems like PlayStation is the most popular platform for Nitro-Fueled. Stats pulled from the game’s first Grand Prix season show that there are over a million active PS4 players, doubling that of the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch combined. However, with the dust starting to settle and the smell of burnt rubber fading, many will be wondering what Activision has planned next after their string of 90s remakes.
It was three years ago, during Sony’s E3 press conference, that Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy was announced. From there, we had a good idea where Activision would look for its next remake and, sure enough, Spyro: Reignited Trilogy soon followed.
While there was no guarantee, it seemed very likely that Crash Team Racing would be the next PlayStation One classic to get a makeover but now that’s done, what’s next for this pair of revived game franchises?
Although both series went on to spawn numerous sequels and spin-offs, the departure of original developers Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games took its toll on Crash and Spyro.
After his original PlayStation trilogy, Crash Bandicoot returned in Wrath of Cortex which was then followed up by Twinsanity, Crash of the Titans, and Mind Over Mutant. Meanwhile, Spyro saw several new entries of its own including Enter the Dragonfly and A Hero’s Tail, before the Legend of Spyro trilogy.
While some of these games certainly have their fans, it seems very unlikely that Activision would set about remaking any of them. What made the N. Sane and Reignited trilogies so special was that nostalgia factor – revisiting Crash and Spyro while they were still relatively pure and their original developers still full of ideas.
Activision surely isn’t about to let these two characters fade into obscurity yet again, not while there’s money on the table. With Beenox, Vicarious Visions, and Toys For Bob all currently working on unannounced projects, it’s not hard to imagine that Activision is preparing for new games in the Spyro and Crash franchises.
Exactly what shape these would take is a mystery. Despite the recent 3D platformer resurgence, Activision’s trio of studios will need to do more than pump out glorified level packs for Crash and Spyro. At the same time, innovating within this genre is difficult – unless you’re Nintendo, of course.
Activision may have already found a stop gap game to give its studios more time, though. 2000’s Crash Bash is revered by some as an essential party banger, though it’s a divisive spin-off to say the least. While it would be great to see this final PS1 Crash title remade, it would stand out amongst Activision’s future lineup like a sore thumb. That said, if a developer took those bare bones and expanded Crash Bash into something bigger with online hooks, there could be something there.
Reaching into the past yet again (but not too far this time) we could see Crash and Spyro helm a new shared universe – one that revives the dormant Skylanders behemoth.
Right now there are no proper “toys to life” games on the market. While Nintendo’s range of Amiibo figures continues to grow with a steady trickle of new figures, these have always had more of a collector’s appeal to them.
In its time, Skylanders took some interesting twists and turns though got further and further away from the Spyro license that it originally built on. If it was to make a return, Crash and Spyro would need to be the crux once more – a familiar anchor point to draw in gamers.
Activision would also need to think carefully about any figures or peripherals it would want to sell in tandem with a new Skylanders game, though. Anyone who’s visited a GAME or CeX in the past decade will have bore witness to piles of tacky-looking figures slapped with discount labels.
Whatever Activision has planned, you can bet this isn’t the last we’ve seen of our orange furred friend and his fire-breathing rival.