Xbox is open to bringing back old Activision franchises. At the start of 2022, Microsoft announced it was going to making a massive move with a bid to purchase gaming giant Activision for just under $70 billion. This would give Microsoft access to Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and a number of other franchises along with the developers who make them. It's something that has obviously been heavily scrutinized as that would give Xbox a ton of power. After a ton of battles with regulators and even other platform holders like Sony over the course of 20 months, Microsoft won and has closed the Activision deal.
Naturally, many are wondering when we'll get to see Xbox's impact on Activision. We won't be getting any Activision games on Xbox Game Pass in 2024 and Call of Duty will not be a day one Game Pass title until next year at the very earliest, so the benefits may not be as immediately obvious to players right out the gate like it was for Bethesda. However, speaking on the Official Xbox Podcast, Xbox boss Phil Spencer spoke about the idea of revisiting old Activision franchises. The publisher has largely been in Call of Duty mode for a number of years, leaving key franchises to gather dust. Of course, Activision lost the rights to things like James Bond and Spider-Man/Marvel games, but it still has its own unique franchises like Spyro the Dragon, Guitar Hero, Hexen, True Crime, and more.
Spencer noted that he is going to be spending time with the Activision teams to hear what they're most passionate about and then helping them make that a reality, regardless of what he wishes to see brought back. He also noted that with the luxury of Xbox Game Pass, Xbox has the opportunity to do a "revisited" (a term he claims he just made up) and go back to classic games and bring them back every now and then. Ultimately, it sounds like he's leaving it up to the developers to figure out what franchises they may want to bring back for the most part. It's possible this could also lead to some of these teams working on Xbox franchises.
Activision has been heavily criticized over the last decade as it has continued to put more and more developers like Toys for Bob into the Call of Duty machine. Whether or not there is room to lighten the load there remains to be seen and use other Xbox teams to help out on Call of Duty so Beenox or Toys for Bob could do something new is unclear. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick reportedly suggested a Guitar Hero revival was already in the works at Microsoft, but that has yet to be firmly confirmed.
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