Activision still owns the rights to the Crash Bandicoot series, Sony’s Adam Boyes has confirmed in a tweet.
@tulupowdan yes, as I've said before Activision owns the rights to Crash Bandicoot
— ᴀᴅᴀᴍ ʙᴏʏᴇs (@amboyes) May 8, 2016
The status of Crash, and associated ownership rights, are being questioned again due to an Easter egg in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End in which Nathan Drake – and by extension the player – plays through a level from the original Crash Bandicoot. You can watch the scene here or wait to get the game tomorrow if you want to avoid seeing it beforehand.
Both Crash and Uncharted were developed by Naughty Dog, which was acquired by Sony between the two series.
In July 2014, Naughty Dog said they were open to working on the series again at some point in the future. Activision removed all mention of Crash from its website and support forums in November 2013. At the time, the company said it retained the rights to the franchise and was looking to “explore ways in which we could bring the beloved series back to life.”
In February of this year, the PlayStation Middle East Twitter account asked “Most wanted person… where are you Crash?” along with a picture of the character. A toy company also suggested the series was coming back this year, but later retracted their comments due to a “misunderstanding”.
PlayStation boss Andrew House has said he “definitely wouldn’t close the door” on the possibility of Crash returning to Sony.
Hopefully, if a new Crash Bandicoot game is in the works, we’ll find out about it during Sony’s E3 press conference in June.