It won’t take long before Spyro the Dragon will be refreshed on the main generation of consoles. With a remaster of the original (and best) games in the series, he will once again compete with a rival that received the same treatment last year: Crash Bandicoot. While Spyro might have a massive fanbase, recent news might award Crash the title he’s been longing for since the 90s.

Reports this week made it clear that only the first game will be featured on the disc. This collection consists of the original trilogy, which means that the other two entries must be downloaded. For a lot of people, this feels wrong, and that’s why they decided to cancel their pre-orders of the game. On social media, many fans asked why only the first game will be featured on the disc. I also asked Toys for Bob and Activision on Twitter and by e-mail why only the first game will be featured on the disc, but they have yet to respond. The only statement provided was to PlayStation Lifestyle by a representative of Activision, which reads:

“The global launch date of Spyro Reignited Trilogy is Sept. 21, and we’re excited for fans to play all three reignited games on that day. As with most games today, downloading an update after purchase is quite common. The language on packaging and on the web is to let players know the requirements for Spyro Reignited Trilogy.” [1]

spyro remastered

While It’s not uncommon for games to receive day one patches after release, It’s more than a little strange that the disc only includes the first game. Especially when a Blu-ray disc can hold up to 50GB of data. This leads to the thought that the download size of these two games might be enormous. Strangely, the PlayStation Network says the file size of Crash Bandicoot N Sane Trilogy will be 23.23GB, so you might think this game could be perfectly printed on a 50GB Blu-Ray disc. [2] Still it might be possible that they are using a cheaper 25GB single-layer disc so perhaps there isn’t enough space on a physical disk for two of the three games?

Another explanation of why the other games might also be download-only is because the discs must be printed earlier than the full game is ready to be shipped. In game development, it often happens that things can be changed until the very last moment and with patches/updates games can also be changed after release. Take No Man’s Sky for instance, which seemed incomplete when it first released but won back a lot of fans with the Next update. That a game will be shipped does not always mean it is fully completed yet and this content download will give Toys for Bob more time to work on the games.

spyro remastered

There are also other examples where a disc version is only needed to contain the first part of a game. Take the TellTale titles for example, which have several episodes that are not all released at the same time. Usually, the first episode is printed on the disc and then it will be shipped to stores with access to the Season Pass. The next episodes must be downloaded whenever they’re released later on. But with their considerable resources and wider reach, why is this the case for Toys for Bob and Activision?

I can understand why some people might be disappointed when they expect a full retail version. They might easily run into storage issues where they have to delete something from their library before they can play other games, or they have a terrible internet connection and therefore downloading a single game or update could take ages. Others just love to be able to resell their games or have those pretty boxes there to show everyone else their collection. Now, the retail version is almost a complete digital download.

I definitely love Spyro the Dragon and I think the trailers and other promotional stuff already showed us that there will be improvements to the beloved first three entries. That means I won’t follow in the footsteps of the people who stopped supporting the game due to a lack of a complete trilogy on disc – though I must admit I am disappointed in Toys for Bob and Activision with for their lack of transparency.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy will be released September 21 on PlayStation and Xbox One.

References:

[1] http://www.playstationlifestyle.net/2018/08/01/spyro-reignited-trilogy-download-disc/#/slide/1
[2] https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0002-CUSA07402_00-CRASHNSANETRLOGY

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Kevin de Bruin
Freelance game, tech and movie journalist from the Netherlands.

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2 Comments

  1. This is your part that confuses me “They might easily run into storage issues where they have to delete something from their library before they can play other games”. Why are many journalists getting this part wrong? How would storage ever be a problem in this circumstance?

    If the 3 games were on the disc and took up 48gbs, guess what, you need at least 48gbs free storage, maybe even more if patches took up more after that. We all know that games install fully to the storage on PS4 or Xbone with digital OR physical so why mention that with this specific Spyro 2 and 3 disc issue?

    The major problem is that you don’t have the 3 games, or 99% of them anyway, on disc. In 15 years time, will you be able to download Spyro 2 or 3 or will access to those servers be gone because THAT is what you WANTED to be paying for when you bought it?

    Also it’s a pain to be downloading 20 to 40gbs of data when you have 5mb or less internet.

    It IS going to affect sales whether we like it or not. There will be parents in stores that will walk away from a purchase when told “your child has to go online to get 2 of the games”. They will simply be saying “PASS” to that.

    1. If the game if bigger than what can be printed on a disc then this actually is a problem for storage, meaning the size will be enormous. ^^

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