Crash Bandicoot is coming back.

You’d be forgiven if you didn’t know what a “Crash Bandicoot” is. The orange cartoon marsupial with crazy eyes and a proclivity for spinning hasn’t been in a video game since 2010, and that was long after his heyday. In the late 1990s, Crash was the de facto mascot of the original Playstation. He starred in games similar to those of other major mascots, like Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario.

Over time, Crash slowly drifted into relative obscurity, with his own games taking a back seat to go-kart racers and guest roles in other titles. Now, after a six-year drought, Crash is seeing a resurgence, first appearing as a guest character in Activision’s upcoming Skylanders: Imaginators, and in three other games next year.

But those three games are “remasters,” graphically amped-up re-releases of Crash’s previous titles. The character is returning, but not necessarily evolving much. Instead, Activision is mostly reselling Crash as he was when he first appeared on the scene way back in 1996.

Re-releasing old games is becoming a fairly strong trend in the latest generation of video game consoles. There are several remakes, reboots, and remasters coming even this year to Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Activision is releasing a remastered version of 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare along with its yearly iteration of its shooter franchise. Publisher Bethesda had a pretty big hit this year with Doom, a new game rebooting the storied shooter franchise from the mid-1990s, that mostly feels like a resurrection of 1990s game ideas. Bethesda is also offering a remastered version of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim this fall, bringing a game from the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 era to the current console generation. Which is a little crazy, considering Skyrim only came out in 2011.

It’s tempting take a cynical look at the situation. Do a quick Google search and it’s easy to find articles opining on whether Hollywood is running out of ideas as it churns out a huge number of sequels and reboots each year. As games continue to turn toward re-releases, the discussion is moving in a similar direction. Is the video game industry out of ideas?

The answer is more nuanced. The games industry has always been built on sequels. Players like a game and they want more of it, to put it bluntly, and the companies making those game are all too happy to oblige. For them, sequels are easy to produce, since developers have already solved a lot of the programming and production problems that crop up in a particular game’s design. Turning a successful game into a franchise is a proven investment with lower risk. And it’s hard to argue against overwhelming evidence: the Call of Duty franchise is on its 13th game this year—to say nothing of spin-offs and mobile and handheld games—and its iterations are still among the very best-selling games on the market each and every year.

Differences between movies and video games might also explain why moviegoers complain about sequel fatigue but gamers tend to dish out for reiterations of their favorite franchises. Where movies get bogged down by sequels with tired stories and even more tired characters, games, and how games are judged, usually focus on other aspects of the experience. Where stories suffer from rehashing, the tougher-to-pin-down concept of gameplay—ie. what you actually do in games—improves with each iteration. The first game in a series might start with a good idea, but its sequels refine and hone the experience of playing it to turn the good idea into a great one.

On the consumer side, demand for remasters is also high. Look through game forums on sites like Reddit or NeoGAF and it’s easy to find lengthy discussions of games players would like to see re-released. Crash Bandicoot has his own subreddit section on the site.

“Maybe a new Crash game getting announced at Sony's E3? One can only dream,” wrote Reddit user shawntails on a post from May that showed off a fan-made mock-up of box art for an imaginary Crash Bandicoot reboot. Turns out that for some fans, dreams like these really come true.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first Crash Bandicoot game, said Joshua Taub, senior vice president on Activision’s Skylanders business unit. That timing, coupled with interest from fans, made it sensible for Activision to bring the character out of retirement.

“There is a fan base that this character is beloved to,” Taub told me during an interview at E3 2016. “For years they’ve been saying, bring him back, bring him back. We worked with Sony and really felt like this was a great time going into next year.”

Taub mentioned an incident at last year’s Playstation Experience expo in San Francisco, in which Sony exec Shawn Layden appeared on stage wearing a Crash Bandicoot t-shirt—an event that kicked off heavy discussion in gaming circles and press over whether it meant a new Crash game was in the offing.

Taub said he thinks nostalgia for old, beloved games plays a big part in the demand for those things to be made new again.

“There are places in your history that you really love and that you remember and that you want to continue to experience,” Taub explained. “And to be able to go out and do that, and with a new twist that really gives people a way to enjoy it in a fresh way, I think that’s what’s informing [demand for remasters].”

Technology seems to be a driving force for remasters, because newer gaming hardware makes it possible to improve on old designs that were limited by the technology of the time. Activision reportedly plans to fully remake the original Crash games, which will undoubtedly alter them with two decades of intervening improvements in how games are made.

And that might be the key component: Fans of video games want remasters because they want to play versions of things they already love, which becomes increasingly difficult as new game consoles render old games on old hardware outdated.

While it might appear that video game makers are out of ideas, the reality is that this is an industry still trying to find its footing when it comes to maintaining its own history. It’s possible to pop in a DVD of the original Ghostbusters. Finding an old copy of Crash Bandicoot, and an original Playstation to play it on, on the other hand, is a bit tougher. 

And from the game industry’s standpoint, there’s clearly money to be made on re-releasing old titles. As long as fans keep reacting positively to the chance to pay for their old games again, video game makers will be happy to indulge them.