Updated: We originally reported that the game was available in the Google Play Store in most territories. Today’s “launch” is actually only a limited playtest available in Malaysia. Crash Bandicoot Mobile is not currently widely available.
Original: Crash, how could you? The once and former mascot of all things PlayStation has been known to spin-jump around to other consoles in the past. Once Activision bought the licensing rights from Naughty Dog long, long ago it was clear the Bandicoot’s loyalties were for sale in this dog-eat-wumpa fruit world. And now another hardware divide separates Crash Bandicoot from the green pastures of PlayStation as he butt-stomps his way into a mobile game.
First leaked back in February this year, a Crash Bandicoot endless-runner mobile game from King appeared on the Google Play store yesterday. If you aren’t well-versed in mobile publishers, the Activision Blizzard-owned King is the company responsible for the insanely successful match-3 game Candy Crush Saga, its multiple spin-offs, and for essentially changing the mobile gaming market thanks to its success and psychological warfare-esque practices.
News from Activision Blizzard last month said that it planned to “tap into its portfolio of beloved IP to bring several remastered and reimagined experiences to players in 2020.” Despite the rampant success of the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, it seems Activision wants to tap into the easy money that comes along with going mobile. After all, who doesn’t have a phone, right? Nintendo has been doling out its franchises in the same way. With franchise names that big, it makes sense to want to monetize them.
So if you want to get your Crash on for now, it looks like you’re going to suffer the slings and arrows of the endless-runner genre, complete with all the mobile trappings. Help Coco build her base while waiting for timers! Collect multiple kinds of premium currency! Allow the game to sit idle on your phone for months on end because you installed and played it one time then forgot about it! All the classics are here while we wait for the next proper console entry in the franchise.
Maybe the time of Crash Bandicoot is long past, but as someone that grew up on the Naughty Dog originals, it still leaves pangs of regret to see the sorry state our once proud marsupial is now in. Perhaps the PlayStation 5 will see a return to form, especially given the huge successes that were the N.Sane Trilogy and Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, but at this point, the wumpa fruit is in Activision’s court.
Crash Bandicoot Mobile is available in most territories on the Google Play store, a thing that is not the PlayStation. (See Update above.)