Phil Spencer says Xbox will talk with developers about working with Activision Blizzard’s older franchises

Cross “Guitar Hero revival speculation” off your 2022 bingo card

Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is, and will likely continue to be, the domineering story of the year so far. Both are giants in terms of industry scale and impact, with headlines both good and not-so-good. A new interview from the Washington Post touches on another aspect, however: the potential hidden in the Activision Blizzard vault.

Speaking to The Washington Post, Xbox head Phil Spencer references the laundry list of well-known but dormant franchises in the Activision Blizzard catalog. He name-checks King’s QuestGuitar Hero, and even HeXen. That’s right, HeXen showed up in an interview in 2022.

That’s not even counting series like Crash Bandicoot or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, which saw its studio get shuffled into support after the stellar remakes. While some damage has already been done, there does seem to be a hope to revive some older franchises. Spencer tells the Post that the Xbox team will talk with developers about working on “a variety of franchises” from the vaults of Activision Blizzard.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood and that the teams really want to get,” said Spencer. “I’m looking forward to these conversations. I really think it’s about adding resources and increasing capability.”

While a potential HeXen revival is tantalizing, there’s also the matter of Activision Blizzard’s ongoing internal issues. Spencer said he believes the leaders there, at Activision Blizzard, believe in the opportunity they have in their plan. He says he has confidence the issues will be resolved.

All that is swirling around what stands as a massive acquisition once the ink dries. Though there may be some changes in the company once affairs are settled, it sounds like there’s at least an interest in mining the depths of the Activision Blizzard vault sometime in the future.

Eric Van Allen