A recent preview of the upcoming Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled appears to indicate that the aptly named Trophy Girls will no longer appear in the results screen following a race.
In the original release of Crash Team Racing, upon completing a race, players would be presented with a short cutscene which showed the top three racers in their respective positions on the championship podium. These short cutscenes would also feature one of four ‘trophy girls’, Isabella, Ami, Megumi, or Liz (all named after individuals involved with Naughty Dog games) who would present the podium, and specifically the winning racer, to the players. The Trophy Girls’ appearances can be seen in this video by YouTuber Castcoder which features every victory screen that can be seen in Crash Team Racing:
Yet, in a preview of Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled hosted by developer Beenox and uploaded to the official PlayStation YouTube account, the victory screens appear to have been redesigned to remove the fan-favorite characters. While discussing the complexity and details of the new podium animations, viewers are greeted to an updated podium screen which features a spinning trophy in place of the lively and animated Trophy Girls (which can be seen at the linked 9:05 timecode in the below video):
The decision to remove the Trophy Girls from the podium screens is reminiscent of the real-world ban on grid girls enacted by the Formula One Group ahead of the 2018 season. Though the Formula One Group stated that “this custom does not resonate with our brand values and clearly is at odds with modern day societal norms,” many grid girls criticized the ban for, in the words of grid girl Melissa James, “[saying] we need protection and that we’re so vulnerable – [when] we’re not”.
As of writing, no reason has been publicly given by Sony, Beenox, or Naughty Dog for why the Trophy Girls have been removed from the podium screens. It is also unknown whether the girls have been removed entirely from the game.
Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled releases on June 21st for the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Xbox One.