Activision Blizzard is planning to roll out more “remastered and reimagined” games this year, following the successful returns of beloved series such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro.
In the company’s earnings call for the fourth quarter of 2019, Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin revealed that in addition to new games, Activision Blizzard “will continue to tap into our portfolio of beloved IP to bring several remastered and reimagined experiences to our players in 2020, which we’ll announce closer to launch.”
The meaning of “remastered” in the video game industry has evolved in recent years. It started out to only include visual upgrades, but some recent projects have rebuilt classic games from scratch and may be viewed more as remakes, similar to the treatment with the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro franchises. Durkin likely said “remastered and reimagined,” to hint that Activision’s plans cover different meanings of the term.
Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Spyro Reignited turned out to be popular remasters of the original PlayStation games. 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, meanwhile, is also considered to be a soft reboot of the 2007’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Activision Blizzard has no shortage of options for games that may undergo the remaster or remake treatment. Durkin did not provide any specifics, but choices include Diablo II, the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, the Guitar Hero series, and the Tenchu series.
Activision Blizzard, however, missed the mark with Warcraft III: Reforged, a remastered version of the massively popular Warcraft III, which was first released in 2002. Just about a week after its launch, Blizzard had to roll out updates to fix game-breaking bugs in response to massive criticism from players.
Activision Blizzard is not the only developer banking on the popularity of remasters and remakes in 2020. Nintendo, for example, will reportedly port two more Wii U games to the Nintendo Switch this year. Meanwhile, one of the most expected releases this year, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, is a modern reimagining of the 1997 classic RPG, featuring a combination of the return of familiar faces, new gameplay mechanics, and tweaks to a timeless story.
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