The endless runner spin-off of console franchise Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot: On the Run, will be shuttered on February 16th 2023 with in-app purchases already disabled according to an announcement made on the game’s Facebook page. The announcement comes after the game first released only last year in March of 2021.
The move to shutter the Crash runner game may raise questions about King’s priorities at the moment, and whether the ever-present shadow of the Activision-Blizzard acquisition may have influenced it. Crash Bandicoot: On the Run saw success upon its initial release with 38m downloads and $700,000 of revenue in its first weekend. Although reviews were somewhat mixed, many praised the attempt to bring a character who’s games already bore some resemblance to the endless runner format into the genre.
Take the Crash and run
However, since February of this year the social media channels for the game have been silent, with no new posts on either Twitter or Facebook until yesterday’s announcement on the latter. Many irate fans pointed to the lack of communication in the lead-up to the shuttering, as well as the abrupt nature of it as a point of contention. We spoke to then creative lead at King, Stephen Jarrett about the development of the game at the time of release.
The abrupt nature of the shuttering of Crash’s in-app purchases suggests that this decision has been a long-time coming. However, for many the lack of communication will be confusing, especially with the success the game had at first. Mobile games tend to be increasingly reliant on live-ops services, constant updates and additions, to keep the game fresh. But Crash seemed to, ironically, gotten out of control of King, with one of their last major updates being a cross-promotion with pizza chain Domino’s.
Recently, veterans from Crash Bandicoot: On the Run joined the new Wildlife affiliate studio 8-Bit Bandits, including former creative lead, Stephen Jarrett.