After much demand, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon have been resurrected in all of their nostalgic glory. The form of their returns are unsurprisingly from-the-ground-up remakes of the trilogies in which they made their respective debuts. Most recently there’s been a palpable excitement in the air as fans continue to rejoice about a non-Skylanders appearance for the purple dragon via the aptly titled Spyro Reignited Trilogy, but after September 2018 has come and gone there’s a big question pertaining to what comes next for the duo.
An easy answer would be a Crash Team Racing remake, something that Vicarious Visions’ Narrative Director David A. Rodriguez has admitted is something that consumers (and even members of his team) are fans of. In truth, this would be a fantastic and time-efficient way for fans to keep getting their Bandicoot fix – and the odds of it happening are higher than they’ve ever been before – but then there’s the very real question of “then what?”
That’s where things become interesting because there’s really only one route that both Crash and (presumably) Spyro can take.
It’s possible that further remakes in each core series will occur, but if Activision is keen on maintaining a steady stream of revenue from these franchises then at some point it is going to have to buckle down and create something original. So, in a post-Super Mario Odyssey world, how does Activison stand to maintain the relevancy of these platforming franchises with high-calibre gameplay? It’s a tricky situation to be in, as the composition and gameplay featured within the Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy was a wonderful homage to the previous entries – but the formula can’t hold water forever.
Fortunately, the price point for that game reflected the range of content included, arriving at a discounted cost. In this light, perhaps the future will mean that the series will remain a budget platforming property in order to crank out a steady stream of releases for each IP, but this creates another interesting dilemma. After all these years, is that really what fans want from Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon? Furthermore, is this what will keep the franchises viable in the longterm this time around?
Truthfully, much more can be done in order to keep these series relevant, so how do Toys For Bob and Vicarious Visions (responsible for Spyro Reignite Trilogy and Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, respectively) proceed? Assuming they’ll be kept on as the core studios behind each franchise, they’ll need a lot more development time in order to ramp up the scale of each venture. This also means a larger investment from Activision in order to develop titles capable of retaining an audience, which is certainly an option given how well Crash in particular has sold so far but poses a greater financial risk for the publisher.
The real challenge wasn’t making Crash and Spyro relevant again, it’s keeping these properties relevant in the years to come. This is what needs to happen, it’s what fans deserve, and it’s far more expensive and difficult than it may initially sound.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy arrives for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 21, 2018. Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy is currently available on PlayStation 4 and arrives on PC, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One on July 10, 2018.
You can find Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle, where he’ll probably be trying to convince the masses that Spyro and Crash Bandicoot should be in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch.