The original Croc is a platform game published by Fox Interactive and developed by Argonaut Software (AKA Argonaut Games) in 1997 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. A sequel, Croc 2, was released in 1999 but the third chapter of the series was never released, even if development was started. The game was called Croc 3: Stone of the Gobbos (also known as Croc 3: Barons Revenge and Croc 3: Croc Returns! during development). It was to launch on Playstation 2, Gamecube and Xbox in 2005. The game would of been a direct sequel to the events of Croc 2, and would feature 2 player on all 3 platforms. In this game, Croc was to yet again, be faced with stopping Baron Dante and saving the Gobbos. However this time Dante has a spell that is not able to be stopped unless Croc finds the Sacred “Stone of the Gobbos”.
Sadly after Argonaut Software closed in 2004, the IP for Croc was sold to Zenimax Media Inc, and Zenimax Media had Mud Duck Productions continue development of Croc 3: Stone Of The Gobbos. However, the game was cancelled after trouble with the developer and thus, ended the Croc Franchise.
The world shown in the render below is the Croc 3 castle hub. In Croc 3, rather than the former games, Argonaut Software were using Full Explorable Hub Worlds sorta like Spyro The Dragon. This way it was more easy for younger kids to play the game. Some of the Croc 3 inspiration was coming from Spyro Year Of The Dragon (One of the biggest being hub worlds with portals).
Croc 3 started development in the summer of 2001. Argonaut Software had split into three teams to work on their big games, Malice (Which started development in the 90`s but later bumped dev up to PS2), other small projects (like Carve), and Croc 3. Croc 3 was having trouble finding a publisher. They had contacted Fox, and they wanted no part of Croc 3 due to the sales of Croc 2. Argonaut then contacted EA and they said they would publish it, but their fees were too high. The Publisher they stuck with was Activision, who said they would publish it and help Argonaut work around their budget. With a team of only 10 people working on the project, Croc 3 went through many changes.
First it was in development for Dreamcast, Playstation, Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube and PC, however with the failing sales of Dreamcast (And due to Croc 2 never appearing on sega), Argonaut stopped working on the Dreamcast version and focused more on the PS,PS2,XB and GC versions. They later cancelled the PC version as well.
The next problem Argonaut ran into was the voice actor for croc had no wish to return to the role. So they would need to recast. The engine they were developing on was an unstable version of their in house engine, BRender, which also powered Malice and a couple of other Argonaut games. This version was a new updated one exclusive to Croc 3 to allow for certain things to try to push the 4 consoles to their limits.
What started to take more time was the Playstation 1 version. This was due to the fact that Argonaut were using croc 1/2 version of BRender because BRender for Croc 3 was not compatible on Playstation 1 due to the “Next Gen” graphics. The new console versions would feature top of the line graphics developed in house to push them to their limits, while the PS1 version was simply the same graphics as croc 2. The reason Argonaut were insisting to release Croc 3 on PS1 was to keep the trilogy in line with each other on Playstation. The series was always planned as a trilogy and the third was supposed to be the final one.
Croc 3 on PS2, GC and Xbox would of been 2 player. Player 1 was Croc, and player 2 was a new crocodile named Ginger, who was a love interest to croc. (Kinda like a Amy/Sonic relationship). To appease players who hated multiplayer, Ginger would only appear in the story IF you were in 2 player. If not, she would disappear. As for the soundtrack, Justin Scharvona from croc 1, who composed the C1 soundtrack would make a return to compose it in this game.
Thanks to former Argonaut Employees from the Croc 3 Team for the contribution!