Phil Spencer really wants someone within Xbox Game Studios to develop a new witch game. First, he wore this witch t-shirt at the Xbox Games Showcase earlier this year. And now he keeps mentioning Witches as a franchise that he wants someone at Xbox to somehow revisit. However, Spencer notes, only if the team doing it has real passion for it – or whatever other older franchise is chosen from the Xbox catalog to refresh it.
On the official Xbox podcast, Spencer talked about the company’s strategy for allocating its own IP catalog to its development studios and asserted that Xbox is not forcing anyone to revive older franchises that he is not interested in. He often meets with Xbox- Teams to find out what they’re passionate about and happily lets teams search the Xbox Vault for franchises they’re personally interested in.
Every video game franchise Xbox owns following its acquisition of Activision Blizzard
“I just don’t think a team working on something that isn’t their passion will produce the best outcome,” Spencer said. “So maybe I’ll make a list of things from my memories and history that I want to see again. Everyone will do that.”
“Just thinking about it, not just Activision-Blizzard-King, then you add Bethesda, you also add the history of Xbox, Rare… the amount of franchises we have in our portfolio now is kind of inspiring, it’s disheartening, I believe we need to be good stewards of the content we touch. These are memories for people on different platforms, from different decades, and I want to make sure that when we go back and visit something, we do that with our full ability – a motivated team that wants to work on something and make something happen, and not just something for financial gain or creating something for a PR announcement and not wanting to deliver it.”
Spencer continued, calling Game Pass a useful way to revisit franchises that might deserve a little attention but don’t necessarily warrant something more intense. And he admitted that while he thinks Xbox has “done a good job” looking back at its older franchises, it hasn’t done an “A+ job,” and he hopes to do the same in the future through both Game Pass and Xbox One inflated by completely new projects.
This isn’t the first time Spencer has spoken on this topic either. In fact, the Xbox boss seems keen to encourage studios to dig into the Xbox vault for gold, especially when that gold is 1995’s Raven Software FPS Hexen, which Xbox now owns. “If teams want to go back and re-examine some of the things we have and fully focus on that, I will be all in,” he reiterated during the podcast today. In the same interview, he also reiterated “100 percent parity” for Call of Duty across all platforms and explained why there were no major Activision games on Game Pass after the acquisition officially closed.
What else might interest Spencer and co? At the Tokyo Game Show, Spencer said he would like to see a revival of MechAssault. Meanwhile, Sarah Bond, a colleague at Xbox, said she was aware of fan requests to revive Blizzard’s StarCraft series and wondered aloud whether the popular real-time strategy series could make a comeback.
As soon as Microsoft announced that it had purchased Activision Blizzard, fans laid out their wish list for resurrected games. Activision’s dormant Guitar Hero series has been a popular sign of revival, as has Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.
That being said, the message that Spencer screams loud and clear is that he’s all about remastering classic Xbox games, especially when they involve witches. Now, for Spencer’s sake, please someone introduce a new witch game so the man can rest.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Do you have a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.