As popular as remastered franchises are, there's still a couple of publishers out there who have yet to give a lot of their back catalogue a proper touch of paint. One of those was Activision, who until recently stubbornly held onto a lot of IP from the '90s and early '00s. But with the recent success of Crash Team Racing and particularly Crash Bandicoot, the company has told investors that it's definitely on the remaster train now.
Activision held a quarterly earnings call Thursday Australian time. It's one of the most impactful quarters for the company, as a lot of investors, hedge funds and other brokers use the projections and expectations laid out in this quarter to gauge whether to buy, hold or sell stock into the busy Christmas season.
And there was plenty to talk about. Activision warned those on the call to expect a drop in year-on-year users and revenue, as Destiny isn't part of their portfolio anymore. But the latest Hearthstone expansion has done well for Blizzard, and the Candy Crush train and the associated mobile advertising business continues to print money for Activision.
But the biggest successes of the year so far have come from the revival of older titles, specifically Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy. Crash and the N-Sane Trilogy combined have sold over 10 million copies combined, according to a transcript of the earnings call, and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said the company was definitely looking at bringing back more titles back.
"I'd say, for example, if you look at Crash and Sane Trilogy; that one sold through over 10 million copies," Kotick said. "So they are 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 now what I'd say stay tuned for some future announcements."
"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 and frankly more broadly across the company, where the company did collectively have the ton of great IP."
As a small reminder, here's just some of the titles Activision could give a second lease of life to:
- Soldier of Fortune
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Star Trek: Armada
- The Movies
- TONY HAWK PRO SKATER
- Heavy Gear
- Interstate '76
- Zork Nemesis / Zork Series
- King's Quest
- Geometry Wars
Activision also bought out the Sierra brand, although some of the games Sierra was due to publish were passed onto other firms, like Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and WET, which was bought by Bethesda. Whether or not the actual Sierra name is something Activision would use going forward is doubtful — Activision sold the Sierra domain name to TJX this time last year — but that's unlikely to affect Activision's ownership of the old Sierra IP.