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Does Sony Own Crash Now?

Update: The previous article has been removed until Uncharted 4's release due to sensitive spoilers. Mild spoilers to follow below!

Uncharted 4 has been a hot topic for Crash fans recently, thanks to the game containing a playable recreation of one of the first game's levels. It's the most recent indicator of our orange boy's likely comeback, but the good news doesn't stop there.

As explained in the previous article, there is no way Crash could have been in Uncharted 4 without some sort of agreement between Sony and Activision. This much is a given, but there are two ways around that: Sony could be under a contract or they've actually gone the whole hog and bought the franchise off Activision's hands. Given the latter's track record with the franchise, the second scenario would be the best one. Thankfully, it's also shaping up to be the most likely turn of events, and here's why.

The credits for Uncharted 4 have been posted online, more specifically in the NeoGAF forum. What's interesting is that there isn't a single, passing mention of Activision in there from top to bottom. If Crash was still Activision's property, Sony would be legally obliged to include their name in the credits as the owners of Crash Bandicoot. Right now I hear the most skeptical of you asking:

Maybe Activision doesn't mind?
Activision definitely would mind. Let's not forget that when PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale came out, they didn't even let Crash become a playable character, regardless of how much sense it made or how much the developers wanted him there.

Perhaps they just forgot to credit Activision?
Oh, this isn't just something you'd forget about. Every trademark Sony doesn't own (such as Polaroid, for example) is mentioned in the credits. This is a requirement enforced by law, and failing to comply can lead to a hefty fine and a lot of trouble. Not even Naughty Dog's 30th anniversary art book was exempt from including Activision in the credits, since it contained pictures of Crash. As you can see, this is something that even applies retroactively.

What if they just patch the credits before release?
Impossible. Even ignoring the previous points, consider how many people don't have their console connected to the Internet, meaning they have no chance of installing patches. This kind of copyright notice needs to be available and visible to each and every customer buying the product.

So is it true? Does Sony really own Crash now?
Well, the cat's not out of the bag yet, but you can see its tail sticking out.

My money is still on E3. This long wait of ours may finally end one month from now, just in time for the series' 20th anniversary. If we're going to get more details regarding this and (one can only hope) a new game, E3 is when it'll make the most sense. Fingers crossed...

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