It hasn’t been a bad few days for iconic late-90’s platforming mascot Crash Bandicoot by any stretch of the imagination. With the N.Sane remake trilogy hitting shelves on June 30th, early reviews as well as sales looked promising; just over half a week later, and the pace isn’t letting up for Naughty Dog’s famous Bandicoot.
The clearest evidence of success can be found on Amazon’s UK site. Five days after release Crash has seated himself firmly at the top of the retailer’s bestseller chart; at the time of writing, ~84% of ratings awarding 5 stars is the icing on the cake. Gameindustry.biz confirmed that the N.Sane trilogy achieved the distinction of the year’s biggest single-platform release in the UK. In doing so Crash has managed to beat out both Breath of the Wild and Sony’s previous darling Horizon: Zero Dawn to take the top spot, overall only losing to Ghost Recon: Wildlands once sales of the game across all platforms had been totalled.
It’s the first time a Crash Bandicoot title has topped the UK charts. In doing so he joins the Wipeout: Omega collection, another remaster released earlier this year. His success, however, maybe should not come as to great a surprise. Unlike the US where Nintendo has always held a strong footing, Europe in general has long been Sony country; the PS3 was able to edge out in sales even over the Wii during the seventh console generation in Europe, while the original Playstation amassed a healthy 36.91 million European sales. It’s difficult to get precise data for the UK, but it isn’t presumptuous to assume that a fair degree of nostalgia for the orange marsupial may be responsible for his rocketing back into the spotlight.
What this portends for the future of the Crash Bandicoot franchise remains to be seen. While developer Vicarious Visions confirmed in 2016 that there were no current plans for a remake of classic racing game Crash Team Racing, they certainly don’t seem done with the Bandicoot; trophy data implies DLC restoring levels that were cut from the original game, such as Stormy Ascent, is coming soon. Crash’s recent cameo in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4 further suggests lingering affection for the manic marsupial from his original creators.
For now, however, Vicarious Visions can pride themselves on an undoubted success that seems unlikely to abate any time soon. One way or another Crash is back, and it looks like he may be here to stay for some time; of the year’s upcoming titles only Splatoon 2, a mainline Pokémon RPG, or Mario Odyssey look capable of taking his crown as the UK’s best selling single-platform release. This time, however, even the perennial plumber might find it a challenge to take his old rival down.
As Crash himself would say: “Woah!”
At age seven, Jordan wanted to be a paleontologist. That went well. He now fills the void by writing on all manner of mildly-interesting topics - when he finds time in between complaining how everything was better in the 'good old days', that is.