Sponsored By

Atari calls on indie devs to pitch a new Bubsy game

Atari has put out the call for any indie developer with a love for Bubsy to try their hand at revitalizing the dormant character.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

October 12, 2023

2 Min Read
Key art of Bubsy in 2017's Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back.

Months after acquiring the rights to the Bubsy games, Atari has put out a call to any indie developer with a pitch for the long dormant series. 

In a recent interview with MinnMax, Atari CEO Wade Rosen said that if a smaller studio "wanted to reach out, we'd certainly be interested in hearing those [ideas]." He advised those interested to send their pitch over to Atari via its website. 

He further noted that pitches should be "interesting, innovative, and tongue-in-cheek. The last thing anyone wants is a really generic platformer these days. [...] It's an interesting challenge, and someone's going to crack it."

Bubsy was a series of platformers that first began with 1993's Bubsy in Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind for the Sega Genesis and Super NES. After three sequels during the mid and late-90s, the franchise went dormant for over two decades, with the most recent installment being 2019's Bubsy: Paws on Fire

By his own admission, Rosen acknowledged the mixed-to-negative response to previous Bubsy games puts future installments in an interesting position. "How do you make a great game while also acknowledging that he's been in less than desirable things? Eventually, a good Bubsy game needs to be made."

The platformer genre is in an odd place

Outside of Mario and occasionally Sonic, platformers mostly fell out of favor from the late 2000s up to the mid or late 2010s. Indie studios filled in the gap left behind by mascots like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon via original properties like Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee and Maddy Makes Games' Celeste

Meanwhile, veteran mascots were gradually retired by their developers or shut out of their own franchises. Rayman, for example, hasn't starred in his own game since 2013's Rayman Legends; his most recent appearance was as a DLC character in 2022's Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

Still, some platformer characters have managed a small resurgence in recent years. Toys for Bob has kept Crash and Spyro around via remasters (and in Crash's case, more games). And after putting the series on ice for five years, Insomniac returned to Ratchet and Clank with the 2021 game Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Another platformer character who may be back on the rise is Croc. In June, Jez San (founder of Croc's original developer Argonaut Software) revealed an HD remaster of 1997's Croc: Legend of the Gobbos was in development.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like