Bubsy: Paws on Fire and the top 10 failed gaming mascots

We are on the verge of getting a second new Bubsy video game this generation. Bubsy: Paws on Fire may even be good, as it’s in the capable hands that brought you the bit.trip Runner series. Many thought that the world was rid of this accursed bobcat for good. Maybe that’s why his ironic comeback started in the first place. Whatever the reason, if you weren’t around during Bubsy’s heyday, you missed a whole host of also-rans trying to steal buzz from Sonic and Mario. These 10 failed gaming mascots just couldn’t sneak their way into the ongoing mascot wars of the 1990s. Let’s dredge up their memory in the hopes of learning something.

With mega-successes like Fortnite and Minecraft around, the days of the mascot may seem quaint. Having an entire company put their fortunes behind a cartoon marsupial is a bizarre pattern, one that everyone grew out off as games evolved. Sure, we still get these types of platformers today, and gaming icons are still important to a company’s success. However, branding for all types of companies has evolved in the age of social media. Company heads want their customers married to the brand itself, not a specific franchise tied to a developer and possible IP insanity.

With the death of the age of failed gaming mascots, we also lost a small thrill. It is easy to remember when you first saw a Sega logo flash up on a PlayStation or the thrill of seeing Snake and Sonic join the battle in Smash Bros. It truly felt like worlds colliding, even if it made total sense in the long run. With Microsoft possibly turning Xbox into a console-agnostic name and Sony producing mature adventures that don’t clash well with other’s titles, those days are long over. It makes for a healthy industry, but it’s just a little less fun.