Hearing that Activision Blizzard is planning on leaning hard into remakes and remasters this year will probably make you feel one of two things depending on how your past few years have been going for the aforementioned Activision Blizzard remakes and remasters. If you’ve been catching up on some pretty dope remakes like the classic PlayStation platformers in the Crash N’Sane Trilogy or the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, or more recently, Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, then that might sound like a pretty exciting prospect. However, if you’re dealing with some issues with Warcraft 3: Reforged remaster, you’re probably less stoked.
Whatever you’re feeling about that notion right now, Activision Blizzard said during a recent investor’s call that remakes and remasters are a big part of its 2020 strategy. Dennis Durkin, the Chief Financial Officer and President of Emerging Businesses, said the company plans to bring “several” old games and series to new audiences through this initiative, but didn’t mention any specific franchises or titles by name.
“In addition, our business units will continue to tap into our portfolio of beloved IP to bring several remastered and reimagined experiences to our players in 2020, which we will announce closer to launch,” he said.
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While the Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon series have had better luck on the remake front, Warcraft 3: Reforged launched just last week on PC and Mac, and has soured a fair bit of people on the proposition due to bugs and questionable delivery on promised upgrades and features. This has become such a big deal that some folks are requesting refunds. The blow is a little worse now for long-time fans too, as those who purchased the original game are finding they can only download the remake.
Warcraft fans might be miffed, but Durkin’s lack of specificity means that these proposed remakes and remasters might have nothing to do with Blizzard properties, and might be more on the platformer or Call of Duty side. Along with all the mascot platformer love, Activision and Raven Software released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered in 2016 alongside Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and eventually released it as a standalone product in the following year. Looking at other franchises Activision owns, a Guitar Hero remake of some kind could also come this year, but given the monetary investment of the peripheral-based franchise and how aggressively each of those games have shut down in the past (2015’s Guitar Hero Live lost hundreds of songs after its online mode Guitar Hero TV was shut down), that seems less likely, all things considered.
Whatever these games might be, it’s pretty much impossible to escape that it’s being brought up in the midst of a big controversy. Games are often a “what have you done for me lately” deal, but maybe if Warcraft 3 gets some fixes and updates more people will be open to the idea.