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Crash Bandicoot Might Be Making a Comeback… Or Is It?

As one of the most memorable video game franchises of the late 1990s and early 2000s, Crash Bandicoot video games have combined to sell over 40 million copies worldwide with a strong focus on the traditional level clearing format. The developers have also found a fair amount of success with the racing aspect of things, adopting many features from the likes of Mario Kart and turning it into its own unique game. For example, Crash Nitro Kart has received some attention from the speed-running community in recent years and has a sizable following today, with many players attempting to beat world records on a nearly daily basis.

Although the most recent game released that was dedicated to Crash Bandicoot was back in 2010, the series has been mostly dead for quite some time, with most fans seeking the nostalgia and frustrating entertainment they received from the earlier games on the Playstation. With so many games offering “hand holding” or little to no penalties for death, it’s difficult to find a video game in today’s gaming society that is unforgiving and sometimes absurdly difficult for no good reason. Typically, indie developers rise to meet that quota these days but there have been big titles too, such as Dark Souls.

The Crash Bandicoot series has recently disappeared from Activision’s website, which led many to believe that the series was no longer owned by them. This apparently isn’t true, because it turns out that Activision is actually actively seeking to bring Crash Bandicoot back to the gaming market. The only problem is, they don’t know how. This was a bit damning for fans of the series as many hoped that the disappearance meant Sony had reacquired2-Crash-Bandicoot1-600x300 the IP and were going to reboot it as a PS4 exclusive, but as of this minute that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Gameinformer decided to step up to the plate and get an answer from Activision that would confirm or deny the loss of ownership, and a representative had this to say in response: “Activision owns Crash Bandicoot and we continue to explore ways in which we could bring the beloved series back to life.”

However, there’s a twist to this. That statement from the rep is from last month (November 22nd) but there was a statement in October released by Activision’s community manager Dan Amrich that sort of contradicts what we’ve just been told. He said, “The game needs to have a really good reason to exist. Fan support is not enough to get a game made on the level that you’re looking for.” Dan also mentioned that there were no plans for a new Crash title, either.

Personally, I’d be fine with another Crash Bash game being released with next gen graphics. Anything else would be just gravy. What do you guys think? Will Activision bring back this title or will they let it fade into history? Do you want it to come back?

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Telltale Games and Star Wars, They Want It!

It seems like Telltale Games is actually pursuing something that was said in passing nearly a year ago on a community blog. In January 2013, Telltale’s Chief Executive Officer, Dan Connors, held an interview with Redbull U.K. and said something that their fanbase had a bit of gleeful time over, “Coming from LucasArts, we always felt we could do a great Star Wars story game. We also love the idea of building out a deeper story to a great game franchise — something like Half Life Stories or Halo Stories.”

How cool is that? It’s true that there are a few key members in the Telltale Games Studio that have migrated from LucasArts, a studio that was pieced together 8 years ago and has grown steadily to the hyped status they now enjoy. Of course, their Vice President made sure to swoop in right after and assure the public that they weren’t trying to act as a replacement for the Star Wars series or Half Life saying, “Dan Connors was speaking more to our goal of wanting to take on a major gaming franchise someday. We want to build a narrative game series that supports another franchise — as we passionately believe our game would not compete with or cannibalize Halo 4 or the next Half-Life.“

Star Wars Darth VadarAs always, companies have to cover their bases and I can’t help but shrug at it this instance. Allison didn’t say Dan was completely wrong about what they were trying to do but, that there was nothing conclusive about those specific titles. Eh, whatever – right? A hyped company with a great storytelling atmosphere expressing direct interest in something being redone like Star Wars is an excellent opportunity for the other party. For example, Star Wars Episode VII is being released only two years from today on December 18th, 2015. There’s a ton of attention from Star Wars fans, but how do you really catch the attention of people who weren’t all that into it? Or, haven’t had the chance to be a part of the strong fandom when it existed? You target the form of media that rules over all the rest – video games. If a chump like me can see the marketing gold just waiting to be utilized here, just imagine how badly the experts are celebrating in the confines of their offices while they piece a deal together to make it happen.

It turns out that Telltale Games was pretty serious about wanting to make an episodic series of a huge movie or game. On October 29th, the two founders of the studio headed over to reddit’s /r/games and held an AMA (Ask me Anything) with the huge community that exists there to answer any questions that they may have about past titles, future company directions, and pretty much anything else. It’s long, so I’ve listed the best ones I read below.

 

Dar434 asks, “If you could create a game with any IP of your choosing, what would you make?”

Dan Connor’s response, “Coming from LucasArts we have so many people here that love Star Wars and have worked with the license so that would be a great fit and very cool. In addition we will be working on a few licenses that definitely fall into our dream IP scenario and we can’t wait to announce those.”

Kevin Bruner’s response, “I’ll also say a Telltale Star Wars game would make me VERY happy! We’ve got some IP coming up that pretty much checks all of my personal favorites, which absolutely amazes/honors me.”

LightTreasure asks, “What plans do you have for SteamOS/Steam Machines?”

Kevin Bruner’s response, “SteamOS and Steam Machines look really cool! We pride ourselves on how many platforms we support and are adding new ones all the time (Ouya most recently). We’ll of course support the next gen consoles from Sony and MS, and I’m sure we’ll add more Android support in the future. Steam and Linux are on the radar, but perhaps a little further out.”

GoldenJoel asks, “400 Days was an awesome little experiment in putting the player in very immediate situations with characters we knew very little about. Do you guys like that type of storytelling over overarching stories, and if so, are you interested in doing more?”

Dan Connor’s response, “Yes we really feel like we are at the beginning in terms of figuring out ways to create compelling interactions between characters, so you are going to see a lot of different approaches as we build on what a Telltale experience is.”

 

Be sure to check out the full AMA for more answers and questions!

What I’ve taken away from reading this AMA and hearing this news are four things, all equally awesome.Star Wars Falcon

  • They are definitely serious about creating an episodic series over lore such as Star Wars or Half Life.
  • They take porting to different operating systems seriously and don’t seem to be the ones who will create a shoddy port just to earn more money (I’m looking at you Darksiders 2).
  • Their development of characters will continue to improve, rather than stagnate. The interactions between Clementine and Lee had me in tears, so I’m curious if they can expand that to more than just one personal relationship in the game.
  • This isn’t just a job, it’s a passion. These guys are actively pursuing their favourite games and movies to create storytelling video games about them. Like I said at the beginning of this, how cool is that?

While I don’t expect them to actually create a game about Star Wars, I can’t help but feel giddy over the idea. Star Wars has needed a great game for a long time and The Old Republic sort of fell flat on its face in the bigger picture. The last great SW game I can even think of is Knights of the Old Republic 2, and that’s from nearly a decade ago (one more year and it’ll be 10 years since release). I can’t be the only one who has a soft spot for the idea of bringing a series with such potential back into the light right before the release of the newest movie. Let’s hope the executives in charge of the Star Wars gaming license feel the same way.

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