Fans hoping for a return for beloved platform star Crash Bandicoot may feel disappointed, after Sony confirms Activision still holds the rights to the property.

Over recent years, a number of extremely popular but dormant video game franchises have seen triumphant returns to the industry. With so many series waking from their slumbers, many gamers were hoping that Crash Bandicoot, one of the darlings of the early 3D platformer age, would also make its way back to gaming – particularly after recent hints from voice actors. However, those expecting a return for the marsupial in the hands of its original developer might be waiting a little while longer than perhaps expected.

This is due to an issue with the rights to the property. Although the original Crash Bandicoot was created by Uncharted and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog, the series has fallen under the ownership of Call of Duty and Skylanders publisher Activision. As such, external parties such as the aforementioned developer, or publishers such as Sony, may have to come to the negotiating table to try and push another Crash Bandicoot game into development.

This ownership issue was recently reiterated by Sony. One Twitter user by the name of tulupowdan requested clarification on whether Activision owned the rights to Crash Bandicoot by going direct to Adam Boyes, VP of publisher relations over at Sony. The executive was quick to state that Activision did still hold the cards when it came to the character. The Twitter exchange between the two can be seen below.

@tulupowdan yes, as I've said before Activision owns the rights to Crash Bandicoot— Adam Boyes (@amboyes) May 8, 2016

This may come as a blow to those hoping for Crash Bandicoot to once more return into the hands of Naughty Dog. Without going into spoilers, fans of the franchise were given a sliver of hope via a recently discovered Easter egg in a much-publicized game. Unfortunately, it seems as though the move in question may have been more of a love letter, rather than a hint to things to come.

Those pining for the days of classic 3D platformers have had some luck of late, however. Last month saw the release of the reboot of Ratchet and Clank, with the memorable duo receiving a well-received update for the modern console generation. Meanwhile, Banjo-Kazooie also made a return of sorts last year, courtesy of the Rare Replay collection, joined by the likes of Conker’s Bad Fur Day.

This issue with the rights to Crash Bandicoot may not entirely rule out the chances of the character making a return through Naughty Dog, however. Taking a step into another medium for a moment, Sony and Marvel managed to put aside their differences to bring Spider-Man into the superhero showdown movie Captain America: Civil War. Who knows: maybe Sony, Naughty Dog, and Activision could also come to some kind of arrangement that benefits all parties.

Source: Twitter (via VideoGamer)