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Activision Blizzard Scores a Surprise Hit With Its Crash Bandicoot Revival

Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ: ATVI) remake of the first three games in the Crash Bandicoot series seems to be a surprisingly big sales hit, with Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy claiming the top spot in the weekly U.K. sales chart and posting the best single-format debut of 2017.

That means that the PlayStation 4 exclusive outperformed high-profile 2017 releases including Sony's (NYSE: SNE) own Horizon: Zero Dawn and Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe -- an impressive feat, especially considering that the Crash series hasn't had a big hit in nearly two decades. The game also posted the second-best overall debut in 2017, trailing only Ubisoft's Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

Strong sales in the U.K. aren't a surefire indicator that the game will be a hit elsewhere, but it's pretty rare that there's a big relative performance disparity between the U.K. market and the U.S., and Activision's orange marsupial appears to be back in a big way.

Image source: Activision Blizzard.

Why it matters

Outside of upcoming releases Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2, Activision Blizzard's slate of 2017 games is somewhat sparse compared to most years, so for N. Sane Trilogy to emerge as a sales hit could play a significant role in pushing the company's fiscal year performance above expectations. The game did launch at a lower price than where most major releases debut, but it also likely cost significantly less to produce and didn't appear to have a huge advertising push behind it -- indicating that it will likely be a very profitable release for Activision.

Impressive sales for Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy suggest that the property has even more room for a successful resurgence. A remake of the 1999 hit Crash Team Racing now seems to be an obvious move, and the great reception for N. Sane Trilogy could pave the way for Activision to remake or reintroduce other classic series like Spyro the Dragon. With the Skylanders series seemingly in decline, the reemergence of some of the company's other family-friendly properties is welcome news for investors.

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Keith Noonan owns shares of Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Activision Blizzard. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.