It seems as though there might be a Crash Bandicoot PS5 game in the works if some recent merchandise is any indication. While gaming merchandise doesn’t always foreshadow an imminent game announcement, the merchandise in question contains some redesigns that haven’t been in any other title. In addition to having PlayStation as the license holder, these items also went live tonight — less than a day before Sony’s big PS5 reveal event.
Industry insider Wario64 tweeted out the link to the Blackfire shop where all the merchandise is. The link has Crash-themed keychains, USB cables, pins, statues, socks, cups, hats, and shirts (but sadly no jorts). Many of them have the standard, if slightly stylized, version of the classic bandicoot.
However, one of the pin sets contains a previously unseen version of Tawna, who was Crash’s girlfriend in the original game. With her new blue and yellow mohawk, she is a radical departure from the character that debuted in the original title as well as the more modest version Beenox added to Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled.
Crash’s sister Coco also has a different look in her pin. She’s now got some some goggles on her head, which are even different from the goggles she wore in the plane levels in the third game. Most of the others are more or less in line with their classic designs except for N. Gin, which may just be a result of heavy stylization. It’s unlikely that these new designs aren’t attached to any sort of game.
Everything on the Crash store page also has PlayStation — not Activision — as the license holder along with a summer 2020 release date and order deadline of June 11 (it is likely the European date configuration and not November 11, given the site’s European domain). These coincidences have even more merit when combined with Crash’s relationship with the PlayStation brand.
Aside from their obvious partnership in the PS1 days, Sony has courted the bandicoot in a few different ways over the past couple years. Sony announced the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy on the stage at PSX in 2016. The game then released on PS4 a year before hitting the other systems. Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled came out simultaneously on the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, but had an exclusive skin pack on the Sony system.
Crash was also featured in a PS4 commercial in November 2019. That isn’t too noteworthy in and of itself, but it did contain a mask not seen in any of the games. Around that same time, Beenox also added a completely new character to Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled: Hasty the moose.
All of this evidence doesn’t confirm that a Crash PS5 game is coming. After all, there have been hints of a new Crash game in the past before a Sony event in the past as well as a Crash mobile title. But, given the time since the N. Sane Trilogy and its success, it would be a little hard to imagine that Activision is abstaining from developing another Crash platformer.