Crash Bandicoot Returning Soon?

There's been a lot of talk recently about a new Crash Bandicoot game potentially heading to consoles, particularly the PlayStation 4. We've been getting occasional hints and rumors for years now, but only recently have we started getting something more palpable.

It all started with Sony's PlayStation Experience presentation back in December. One of the first things we saw there was Shawn Layden, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, coming up on stage clad in a Crash Bandicoot t-shirt.

Shawn Layden pointing to the Crash Bandicoot shirt he's wearing at the PlayStation Experience 2015.

The rest of the presentation was a rollercoaster of emotions. Not because of the actual show (which itself was pretty lame), but because everyone kept expecting them to show or say something about Crash. It didn't happen, and no one at the presentation talked about Shawn's shirt, making the teaser that much more frustrating. On the other hand, it's hard to believe they'd go to such lengths just to enfuriate the fanbase. A popular interpretation is that this was their way of letting us know they're up to something but can't really talk about it yet. After all, it wouldn't be the first time Shawn wore a shirt related to an upcoming game.

One thing that seems to support this theory is actually a completely unrelated title: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. This game was published by Activision, who currently owns the Crash Bandicoot franchise. When asked on Twitter about why Crash couldn't be featured as a cameo in the game, the studio behind it, Robomodo, had this to say:

The "timing" bit is particularly interesting, as it seems to insinuate this would have only been possible later on.

Another hint we've recently gotten was a tweet by PlayStation Mid East. It's got a wanted poster with Crash on it, and a caption that roughly translates to: "Most Wanted Person. Where are you, Crash?"

Additionally, a member at the NeoGAF forum has been dropping some not so subtle hints about Crash's pending return to the PlayStation over the past few months. According to the community, he's always been trustworthy and his remarks have consistently turned out to be true. JumpButton has compiled a list of his hints, which you can find here.

Last, but certainly not least, fellow fan VEDJ-F has given us a heads-up about a video that was just released by PixelDan Eardley, which quite possibly contains a leak about an upcoming Crash Bandicoot game. The video features a conversation with Randy Falk from NECA Toys about their lineup at this year's New York Toy Fair. When talking about the toys they're making for Sony properties, Randy suddenly says something very interesting:

Looking at some of [Sony's] other titles, you know, I see they're bringing Crash Bandicoot back, which is really cool (...)

Let's think about this for a second and try to draw some logical conclusions. If what Randy said is true, then there's no denying that we're going to see Crash again in some way, shape, or form. Randy's remark was very straightforward and it didn't come out because he was asked about Crash — it came out because he was talking about what Sony's got up their sleeve. He wouldn't specifically name Crash if there wasn't something in the works.

There is the chance that Sony is simply bringing back some of Crash's classic titles to the PlayStation 4 (Crash was highly coveted when Sony asked about which PS2 classics people would like to see on the PS4). On the other hand, this conversation was all about Sony's upcoming toys. It wouldn't make sense to make a Crash toy in this day and age if it wasn't tied to the release of something new, especially considering the costs that would come with Activision still owning the franchise.

It seems more likely than ever that a Crash Bandicoot game is in the works, and all signs point to it being a PlayStation 4 exclusive. But hey, don't get too excited just yet. We still don't have an official word on the matter, and there's still a pretty big chance that nothing will come out of these hints and rumors. A grain of salt and all that. We'll see what happens at this year's E3, and until then, we, as Crash fans, can always keep voicing our interest in a new Crash game, just in case. I like to believe this is what's led us here.

UPDATE: NECA Toys has spoken to GameSpot about Randy Falk's comment, and they're denying any knowledge of a new Crash Bandicoot game, claiming the whole thing was just a misunderstanding:

Someone has misunderstood a comment he made. Randy saw a faked fan-made image right before he came to the show and said that if the game were coming back, we'd love to do figures. (Source: GameSpot)

If true, at least some good has come out of this, as it's given Crash the most attention he's had in a while. It also doesn't necessarily mean a new game isn't being developed as we speak, especially considering the many hints we've been getting. Only time will tell.



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