In a recent episode of the Official Xbox Podcast, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, suggested the possibility of Xbox revisiting their older franchises. This potential move comes as Microsoft’s ownership of Activision Blizzard provides access to an array of retro game titles.
Distinct from typical corporate strategies, Spencer clarified his intention to focus on what development teams are passionate about creating. He emphasized that projects should not be motivated purely by financial rewards. In Spencer’s own words, he wants to ensure that they could revisit older games "with our complete ability - a motivated team that wants to go and work on something and make a difference." He hinted that they have done a satisfactory, though not outstanding, job of reimagining older franchises, indicating there's room for improvement.
Meanwhile, the increasingly popular Xbox Game Pass may provide opportunities to revisit and rejuvenate select franchises every year. A case in point is the Quake 2 remaster, which debuted some months ago. He expressed his excitement over the possibility, stating, "With Game Pass, we have the ability to maybe pick a couple franchises every year and almost do like a 'revisited'...”.
Spencer enthusiastically endorses the idea of development teams revisiting old favorites and giving them a comprehensive touch-up. He specifically appreciated the recent Quake 2 remaster, commending the developers for successfully revitalizing the game while respecting its roots.
Anticipating the potential to rework more classic franchises with rich gaming history, there's a vast array of possibilities beyond Activision Blizzard. Yet, Spencer warns against rushing with cash-grab strategies. His emphasis remains firm on treating each game in their portfolio with the utmost respect to maintain the integrity of the original game while catering to current player expectations.
There’s no doubt that the potential can excite vintage game enthusiasts. Some may even start dreaming about the return of classics like Banjo Kazooie. Ultimately, it will depend on what the development teams are enthusiastic about. The future of gaming eras might witness the rejuvenation of many classics through the eyes of contemporary game developers.
While the idea is welcomed by many, the exact plans and which older franchises will get a revamp are still under wraps. As the gaming industry awaits further updates, the announcement has certainly stoked the flames of anticipation. The possibility of legacy games getting a fresh lease of life in modern times is more real now than ever. But only time will tell which classics will get a modern makeover. In the rapidly evolving gaming industry, such initiatives to revisit the past can create a nostalgic bridge between the gamers of yesterday and today.
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