When Xbox's purchase of Activision Blizzard is finalized next year, the company will own two of the biggest icons of the original PlayStation era: Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. While neither of these characters has ever been owned by Sony, the two were closely associated with the original PlayStation console, and were long considered the company's answer to Mario and Sonic. Early advertising for Crash Bandicoot, in particular, positioned the character as a Sony mascot, providing some of the most memorable commercials of that console era. For longtime fans of the PlayStation brand, Xbox's purchase is a pretty big deal!
The original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games were published by Sony Computer Entertainment, and were developed by two of the company's most well-known studios: Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games. However, the rights to both characters were owned by Universal Interactive. Following multiple successful entries on the original PlayStation, Universal decided to bring in different development studios, and offer multi-console releases for Crash and Spyro in the PlayStation 2 era. As a result, Crash and Spyro began to appear on Xbox and Nintendo consoles.
Universal Interactive would eventually become known as Vivendi Games, falling under the ownership of Activision Blizzard in 2007. After falling to the wayside for a while, things started looking up for Crash and Spyro over the last few years. The Crash Bandicoot and Spyro games for the original PlayStation were remastered as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited Trilogy in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Crash even received a critically-acclaimed new game in 2020 with Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time. All of these titles were developed by Toys for Bob, and fans were quite excited to see the franchises resurrected. Unfortunately, last year, Activision announced that Toys for Bob would shift to working on the Call of Duty franchise. It looked like Crash and Spyro would once again slip into limbo.
News of Microsoft's purchase has already led to heavy speculation that Call of Duty could move away from its yearly release schedule, which could free up Toys for Bob to work on Crash and Spyro games once again. That would be welcome news for fans, and it's possible the Xbox deal could lead to a number of older Crash and Spyro games showing up on Game Pass, as well. The former PlayStation mascots may have moved to a different platform, but on Xbox, they could finally return to iconic status!
How do you feel about Xbox acquiring Crash and Spyro? Do you hope to see the characters get a bigger focus? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!