Following the critical and commercial success of Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, Activision is keen to continue creating similar projects, according to the recent second quarter earnings call transcript.
Speaking about the broad range of games offered and their performance so far this year, Coddy Johnson, President and Chief Operating Officer for Activision Blizzard, stated that, “our strategy of remastering our rich library of Blizzard IP continue to deliver with the Q2 release of Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled. The game enjoyed positive critical reviews and strong sales particularly through digital channels.”
This is evident in the numerous reviews online and the number of units sold, which is often sufficient reason to consider expanding the project to other areas, as consumers seem more than willing to purchase games from their youth in remastered form with the innovation that has occurred in the time between its release and now.
Currently, there is no formal plan in place for future remasters, however during the concluding question and answer period of the call, an individual asked about what lies ahead, which revealed that there is strong interest in continuing with this trend of gaming projects. Rob Kostich, the General Manager and Executive Vice President of Call of Duty, stated:
“If you look at Crash N. Sane Trilogy, that one sold through over 10 million copies. So, they're obviously having a big impact on our bottom line and a real impact there, but I'd say what's really important is that it's reaffirming the enduring nature of these franchises for us and as you mentioned, when you look at our IP library, we think there's a lot of IP in there. The fans are going to want to experience again. So on that one, I'd say stay tuned for some future announcements, but just beyond pure remasters, there are also a lot of opportunities now to innovate and think about totally new content within these IPs. So as we think about it, there is a lot of growth opportunities for the business over time within Activision based on our library of IP.”
This indicates that remasters are not the only option for these older IPs, but also new projects within those existing universes. There is no doubt that a well-made game fueled by nostalgia can sell well, and it will be interesting to see where exactly this leads in the coming years.
However, we should also keep in mind the negative consumer reaction following the implementation of microtransactions into Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled. This occurred only recently, but it stuck out in the minds of consumers who felt betrayed after being told in explicit terms that no such monetization would be occurring.
There is potential for remasters to sell well, but if they are offered at the premium AAA price point, only to also be filled with additional microtransactions, consumers may be driven away.
For now, it is great to see that these well-made remasters have performed to a sufficiently satisfactory level for the management at Activision to justify a continued focus on future projects of this kind.