Despite the last game in the Crash Bandicoot franchise coming out in 2010 (Nitro Kart 2, developed for the iPod Touch and iPad Apple Products), and the last game in the main series in 2008 (Mind over Mutant, developed for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox 360, Wii, and Nintendo DS), fans of this classic PlayStation platformer have never given up hope at seeing a franchise revival. Long pauses between releases of franchise installments aren’t uncommon in the video game industry- the Duke Nukem franchise had a fifteen-year hiatus between Duke Nukem 3D and Duke Nukem Forever. However, other than conflicting statements from original developers Naughty Dog on the future of the franchise, news of future Crash Bandicoot titles has been sparse at best. The recent discovery of a Crash Bandicoot easter egg in the upcoming Naughty Dog title Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has reinvigorated interest in seeing a franchise revival, especially as the Crash Bandicoot franchise will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary this September.
On May 5, 2016, a voice actor named Lex Lang made a now-deleted post on Facebook in which he discussed his current voice acting work involving characters from “3 different games gone by”. Crash Bandicoot fans took this to mean that Lang was potentially confirming the long-awaited franchise revival, as he was the most recent voice actor for Crash Bandicoot’s enemy, Dr. Neo Cortex – a doctor was mentioned as one of his three different characters. As the Facebook post by Lang has been deleted, the only original source that exists for his post is from NeoGAF.
Despite interacting positively with a “Bring Back Bandicoot” account on twitter following his Facebook post, Lang has since clarified his statement, saying that his voice acting isn’t in a new Crash Bandicoot game and that he has no knowledge of any upcoming titles in the franchise. As this statement was also deleted from Facebook, the only original source for it is also from NeoGAF.
The characters that Lang could have been talking about for current voice work are very limited. Aside from Crash Bandicoot‘s Dr. Neo Cortex, the only other “doctor” character in Lang’s voice acting career has been a role as Doctor Doom in the Gazillion Entertainment and Secret Identity Studios developed Marvel Heroes 2016 , released for Microsoft Windows. Lang’s “demon character” may very well be Overlord Zenon, the antagonist of the PlayStation 2 title Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. Pinpointing his “droid/AI character” is similarly easy, as the only roles that Lang has had as either a droid or an AI have been as the Spyglass unit from Titanfall, WarGreymon from Digimon, and a Magna Guard from Kinect Star Wars. As Marvel Heroes 2016 was published in 2013, it’s doubtful that Lang’s role as Doctor Doom would count as from a “game gone by” especially given that the game still is getting updates to this day. Without further clarification from Lang on what constitutes as a “game gone by”, however, it’s left up to the individual reader’s interpretation.
All the speculation going on has caused Sony (the owners of Naughty Dog) to confirm that Activision owns the IP for Crash Bandicoot on twitter.
@tulupowdan yes, as I've said before Activision owns the rights to Crash Bandicoot
— Adam Boyes (@amboyes) May 8, 2016
Unfortunately, until Activision Publishing, Inc. – the publisher that currently owns the rights to Crash Bandicoot – publicly confirms that new titles are in the works, it seems fans of the fearless Australian marsupial will have to continue to wait for the revival of their beloved franchise.
Do you think that Lang meant he was doing voice acting for a Crash Bandicoot title? What do you think this means for the future of the Crash Bandicoot franchise? Let us know in the comments!