Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently spoke to Windows Central on the prospect of rejuvenating games from Activision-Blizzard’s history now that the publisher owns the company, but stressed that the process is a delicate one with lots to consider.
“We look at the back catalog from Activision and Blizzard, we get really excited about the things we can do,” Spencer said. “It’s early days, so we need to be talking to the teams that are fully staffed and working on things already.” The Xbox boss elaborated on how the team may balance putting studios on resurrection projects while also letting them create brand-new experiences–and even name-dropped Banjo-Kazooie in the process.
“I’m not one to come in and take a franchise from a team and remove them from the discussion or development process on how something new gets built,” Spencer told Windows Central. “I think the original creators, the culture–frankly, some of the lessons we’ve learned from past experiences here are very important. You’ve seen from our history that we haven’t touched every franchise that people would love us to touch–Banjo fans, I hear you. But it is true that, when we find the right team, and the right opportunity, I love going back to revisit stories and characters that we’ve seen previously.”
This is not the first time Spencer has hinted that such projects are being considered, even as nothing concrete has been announced just yet.
Spencer also spoke at length about Game Pass, and how it allows the many Xbox Game Studios teams to chase their own passions and create different kinds of games, both in terms of size and genre. “If you look at things like Pentiment, Hi-Fi Rush, and long-term investment in games like Grounded, all of these games have had real success for us in our subscription and in our platform.
“What we see in Game Pass is a service that supports all kinds of games, from the biggest games, to the unknown indie games that you didn’t know you would love until you played it. If you’re an individual publisher, you really have to think about ‘how do you get everybody playing my game.'”