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The Bandicoot Is Now Everywhere

It has been confirmed this week: Crash Bandicoot will officially be on every console, starting with the next instalment in the series.
Author: Sam Bishop
Published: September 25, 2000
After a mountain of speculation, hearsay and rumors across the Internet and surfacing in print magazines, it has finally been confirmed by the inner parties. Crash Bandicoot will now officially become a multiconsole mascot, no longer restricted to the PlayStation console.

Such an incident was very well expected, following the recent decision by Universal Interactive Studios to bring the fourth instalment for Spyro The Dragon to the Nintendo Gamecube, the Microsoft XBox, and the Sony PlayStation2.

Universal Interactive Studios and Konami Corporation signed a new agreement earlier this week which will allow the duo to bring the series over to the other next generation consoles, including Sega's Dreamcast console. While Universal will produce the title, Konami will take the full responsibility of publishing it for the consoles.

It is expected that the fourth instalment of the platformer will also feature online capabilities along with wireless gaming applications. In the end, none of us really should be that surprised. Fact is, Sony ultimately had no intention on bringing the Crash Bandicoot series over to the PS2 console.

A fourth chapter in the series was almost a given two years ago when listed the title in a preview as a 'Rumored Game'. Just before the launch of Crash Bandicoot: Warped, we received new information that Naughty Dog; the developer of the Bandicoot series had apparently pulled out of it's alliance with Sony and that no further Bandicoot games would be marketed.

Such rumors would later be deemed untrue with Naughty Dog announced Crash Team Racing (CTR); a new racing title that would add new depth to the series. It was following the release of CTR that the fate of Crash once again seemed unclear. Executives speaking on behalf for Sony were able to confirm that the Bandicoot would never arrive onto the PlayStation2 console. Naughty Dog followed up on these statements by confirming that they had no intention on creating any further Crash Bandicoot titles.

Since Universal Interactive Studios actually owned the license for the Bandicoot series, a new developer; Eurocom was contracted to work on the fifth Crash Bandicoot title for the PlayStation console. The question going through much of the Bandicoot fanbase, was whether this new team would be able to match the innovations produced by the Naughty Dog team.

Already, the new title; Crash Bash has been labelled by many critics as nothing more than a Mario Party imposter. This is definitely not the innovation we were expecting. Further reports detailing how Universal would bring Spyro The Dragon; another mascot expected to lead charge onto the PS2 platform, to other various platforms created even more problems for the Bandicoot franchise.

The revelations this week were quite expected by most. In the meanwhile, gamers continue to question who exactly will lead a mascot-like role for the PlayStation2 console. Insomniac; the firm responsible for developing the first three Spyro titles for the PlayStation confirmed shortly after Universal's announcement that they would have no involvement in Spyro 4.

Instead, it seems that Insomniac will be producing a new title in direct correlation with Sony for the PlayStation2. Since such a title will be developed directly with Sony, no third party would be able to steal away the license.

Meanwhile, Jim Wilson; Senior Vice President and General Manager for Universal Interactive Studios stated the following in regards to the new Crash title:

[blockquote]"Crash Bandicoot is one of the only character action franchises to achieve equal success in North America, Europe and Japan," said Mr. Wilson. "Our choice of Konami as a partner is based upon its proven success of mega-hit titles such as Metal Gear Solid, through their strong marketing and distribution in each territory."[/blockquote]Kazumi Kitaue; Director of the Consumer Software Division for Konami Corporation followed up with this statement:

[blockquote]"Crash Bandicoot is one of the most successful character action franchises. Konami is delighted to publish the game as a partner to Universal Interactive Studios with our strategic alliance."[/blockquote]We hope to have more information on this title in due time.