Phil Spencer on reviving old Activision games as Microsoft positions itself as tech’s gaming company

The newly minted Microsoft Gaming CEO discussed how his company plans to approach its new intellectual properties and its employees.

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4Sh0w118d ago

I'm all for revitalizing some old IP's as long as its gonna be quality vs a cash grab....but I'm so sick of hearing about the "metaverse". Look until you got something to show a real thing worth buying into just shutup and show me the games.

CaptainHenry916118d ago (Edited 118d ago )

I can almost guarantee it will be a cash grab. Activision don't care about quality anymore especially all the money they make from Call of Duty every year

itsmebryan118d ago

It's not Activision alone anymore. They have the backing Microsoft now.

From what has been reported Activision approached Microsoft for that reason. Now, they have the money to develop their other IPs. That will give GP more games.

CaptainHenry916118d ago

It's not about the quantity It's about the quality of games. I don't think Microsoft cares about the quality all they care about is money and gamepass

porkChop118d ago

You say Microsoft doesn't care about quality, and yet every game they released last year was very high quality. They have so many studios, each with multiple teams. They can release a game every 3 months and every team would still have years to work on each game. The idea that quality would suddenly disappear makes no sense. If anything, we've been seeing the quality of Xbox's games get better. That's because the teams are being given more time and more resources to build the games they want.

CaptainHenry916118d ago (Edited 118d ago )


High Quality is subjective. The only game I liked from Microsoft last year was Forza. That was the only high quality exclusive if you're into racers. I really enjoy the Forza games

porkChop118d ago (Edited 118d ago )

You don't have to like them, that's totally ok. But that doesn't really mean they aren't high quality games.

MagUk117d ago

@ CaptainHenery
Look at what MS did with Double Fine. They even said going in house with MS gave them more time and extra resources to help improve Psychonauts 2.
I think they will use there old back catalogs of games to bulk out there offerings on game pass until these new games are ready.

JackBNimble117d ago

How can "You " guarantee anything, are you on the inside? And you could say that about pretty much any company really.
Games cost money to make and to buy and MS just spent $70billion . I doubt they'll recoup that money anytime soon so your opinion really doesn't make any sense.

Didn't MS buy Activision to make games?

northpaws117d ago (Edited 117d ago )


So are you saying before Activision was acquired, they didn't have the money to develop their other IPs? The biggest publisher in the world didn't have money to develop anything else other than yearly CoD?

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thorstein118d ago

I am not sure that everyone understands the "metaverse." VR is in it's toddler stage right now. Just like how in the 1970s and 80s the internet was in it's toddler to adolescent stage. It was great, but then the world wide web (basically a graphical/ windows version of the internet) changed everything.
The metaverse is the next iteration. There won't be anything you can't do in it.

therealsasquatch118d ago (Edited 118d ago )

VR has been around for a long time. I was playing around with it in a arcade in Tahoe in the 90's. It's like fusion energy. It's always only a few more years away from being great. Problem is it never arrives. The "metaverse" was just a flashy catch phrase old fuckerberg used to distract everyone from all the negative publicity Facebook was getting when that employee went to congress and explained what a dumpster fire the company really is. It's vaporware. Just a smoke screen that other tech companies glommed onto to sound like they were in the know. Trust me. I'm the real sasquatch.

leejohnson222117d ago

It can't replace real life and should not try to. I don't want to live in a technocracy or false reality. It's bad enough now with children addicted to screens. No one can police the Internet and it's free they shouldn't but that comes with its own problems and dangers

JackBNimble117d ago

Everyone is addicted to screens now , not just kids.
Everywhere you go people are starring at there phone or some device. We are already in the metaverse whether you have a VR headset on or not.


I want a new True Crime. We need more GTA alternatives.

bradfh118d ago

I hope Scarface: The World is Yours gets a remake.

Terry_B118d ago (Edited 118d ago )

Does Activision even still own the Scarface IP ?

edit: Does Vivendi still own that IP? Usually those are just contracts to sell such games based on IPs for a few years.

bradfh118d ago

yes, Activision owns Vivendi Games so it's Mircosoft now.

darthv72118d ago

I never even thought about the previous companies like universal interactive who merged with vivendi games to be vivendi universal. Combined they have a shit ton of titles like FEAR and Simpsons and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. And all of which would likely need to be relicensed in order to be rebooted.

porkChop118d ago

They actually don't have the Scarface license anymore. They were working on a sequel but it was cancelled. The rights eventually reverted back to Universal. I would love to see them purchase the rights again though and reboot the franchise. Both Scarface and True Crime deserve reboots. And Microsoft does have the rights to the originals now, so hopefully we see them added to BC.

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brewin118d ago

Didn't True Crime eventually morph into Sleeping Dogs?! I'll have more "GTA Clones" all day because those can be just as good if not better than GTA.

Activision118d ago

Activision cancelled the next True Crime game, Square Enix purchased the publishing rights then changed the name to Sleeping Dogs.

porkChop118d ago

Black Lotus changed its name to True Crime: Hong Kong, and that changed its name to Sleeping Dogs.

ThatsGaming118d ago

Agreed. GTA has made money off the same game now for its third generation.

I really would love it if they reimagined Pitfall. It was a really good game and would like to see it re-imagined as a cross between Uncharted games and Indiana Jones movies.

Obscure_Observer118d ago

True Crime would be awesome. That game had great soundtrack! It introduce me to Grade 8!

Amazing band!

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Terry_B118d ago

Microsoft can't even reviving their own old IP's or the ones they bought 10-20 years ago. "Conker, Fable, no new Killer Instinct or even anything announced, rather mediocre-bad sequels or revived old IP's like Battletoads.

Crows90118d ago

Even the ones they door revive are mediocre at best and not very groundbreaking in any capacity.

Hoping thats not the case with the new fable and perfect dark.

Terry_B118d ago

Yup, hopes are on the new Perfect Dark. Would love to see it being great.

northpaws117d ago


And that they still needed to hire Crystal Dynamics to help finish the game, it is puzzling to me.

smashman98118d ago

Don’t they update Ki every year or so. Plus We all know a new fable is in full production at playground. The only one here not in production is conker.

Terry_B118d ago (Edited 118d ago )

Nope, KI was not updated since its last 3 dlc characters back in 2017, and those last 3 dlc characters were just variations of 3 existing ones.

A new Fable is in development yes, but will it be good? My statement regarding "they can't even revive Fable" was because they fabled..errr..failed with their attempt to revive it years ago already if you remember. There is also no release window..not even real details about the new one so far.

TheRealTedCruz118d ago

They revived Killer Instinct, and it did well, and was supported for years.
They have one of their best teams working on a Fable revival as you typed that.

Well, they're just sitting on old Rare IPs, and I have no idea why. I've been saying for a while to offer Playtonic (Yookalaylee devs comprised of much of the Banjo and Goldeneye veterans) to work on a new title for either franchise.

porkChop118d ago

It's because Rare's management doesn't want to work on their old IP. I think Microsoft should make a new studio specifically for games like Banjo, Crash, Conker and Spyro. Bring over the people who worked on Crash/Spyro at Activision, some people from Rare, and hire some other devs that work on platformers. I mean, shit, they could even make one game with all 4 characters.

TheRealTedCruz117d ago


That's legitimately why they should really bring on Playtonic as either 1st or just 2nd party.
Everyone blames Microsoft for the lackluster releases from Rare after the acquisition, but the actual facts is most key talent left before the acquisition due to poor management of Rare, itself.
Playtonic is comprised of much of the oldschool rare talent.
Yookalaylee was a spiritual successor to the Banjo series, being they have no access to the IP.

I know people are sick of these MS acquisitions, but this should be a no brainer for MS.
You get new school Rare, who want to do their own thing and finally found their stride.
And then you have old school Rare, happy to dive back into their old IP.

It's time to bring back Banko and Conker.

ThatsGaming118d ago

Killer Instinct was pretty much the highlight for MS the last generation as far as I was concerned. They just kept making it better and better.

And they have Playground on Fable. So I am confident that will be good.

People think that once a company says they are making a change it just magically changes. It takes years. They are getting there and with each of these acquisitions it will take time. They buy the company, then wait for regulatory approval, then they start the work going forward. In this case we probably won't see regulatory approval until next year. Then, it will be dependent on each studio's schedule and work when they start projects as an MS studio, then each project could be 2-5 years before they actually ship. Like it or not that is the reality. Obsidian, Ninja Theory, Compulsion, Playground, inXile, etc. are in process on truly MS projects. Bethesda are in the process of finishing the projects they had before MS... Starfield, Elder Scrolls VI, Deathloop, Ghostwire, and other stuff unannounced yet and hasn't come out yet.

Terry_B118d ago

Killer Instinct got indeed really good at around 2014-5 when season 1-2 were completely done.

But we have 2022 now and there are zero confirmed details about a new KI yet.

Obscure_Observer118d ago

"Conker, Fable, no new Killer Instinct or even anything announced, rather mediocre-bad sequels or revived old IP's like Battletoads."

Killer Instinct 2013 is an great FG game.
So Fable by Playground will be mediocre-bad? Wow!
What about Flight Simulator 2021? Yeah, that game suck S/
Battletoads is indeed mediocre-bad, but it wasn´t RARE

Terry_B118d ago

I totally agree, KI was excellent. But it is also the only revived Rare IP that became a great hit and a success since MS's acquisition of Rare around 20 years ago.

You are right about Flight Simulator 2020 being great, but we were talking about reviving old IP's here. Flight Sim. however got new games until 2006, and that game got an updated version back in 2014 still, totally not the same as reviving an old IP that got almost forgotten.

Battletoads was not made by rare..but was even one new game for an old Rare IP made by Rare? ;P

ps360owner09118d ago


You can say the same thing about Sony or Nintendo not reviving their old IP's. Socom, Syphon Filter, Primal, The Mark of Kri, Wild Arms, The Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Legaia, etc

4Sh0w118d ago (Edited 118d ago )

Right, if you've been in business awhile of course you have old IP's that are due for a revival but saying it vs actually having the creative minds/talent in place to do it is two very different things. It's actually very hard to reimagine a old 16bit gen game & breathe new life into it for modern times, while of course keeping the core of what it was intact= Thats why it's not done too often & even less often with AAA superb results.

Terry_B118d ago

Yes I could, but I think this article and topic was not about Sony, Nintendo, Sega or any other company, it was about Microsoft.

DiRtY118d ago

Killer Instinct saw a release last gen.
Fable reboot is announced and in development.
Perfect Dark is announced and in development.
Battletoads saw a release just recently.

Yeah, we all want our retro-highlights like Conker, Crimson Skies or maybe a new Banjo Kazooie, but you can’t complain that they don’t do anything with their old IPs.

Terry_B118d ago

KI saw a release in 2013.

Fable was set to return years ago and the game got cancelled, that a new one is in the works is not any indication that it will be released and will be good.

And Battletoads? Thats why I mentioned mediocre games..because that one is almost terrible in comparison with other revived beat'em ups like Streets of Rage 4.

Crows90117d ago (Edited 117d ago )

They screwed up Fable Legends and perfect dark is a fairly recent announcement also nothing to show yet.

I'm hoping for the best because I love those two IP but that's not pretend Microsoft is this great company that revives old IPS tremendously well.

Killer instinct is their only successful IP Revival but even then it's not the most popular fighting game out there. There are many many other options for fighting fans.

They also screwed up the sequel to perfect dark

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fitofficial118d ago

Man. I figured gaming was going downhill a decade ago with the insistence on "AAA" titles but to see how dystopian the industry has become surprises even me.

Hopefully we can at least keep some good indie devs around and companies like From Software stay independent.

darthv72118d ago

tomorrows news headline: "From Software to join Sony Computer Entertainment"

It could happen.

Killer73nova118d ago

From software is to big for them I think. Just with the news Sony lost 20 billion

porkChop118d ago

FromSoftware is owned by Kadokawa. Kadokawa isn't going to sell off their biggest money maker. Kadokawa itself is worth $2-$3 billion, so I don't see Sony buying them just to get From. Sony can't afford to just go around buying companies like Microsoft can.

VersusDMC118d ago

When you said From Software i had to look up if activision owned the Sekiro IP...but thankfully From Software owns it. Could still be an exclusive sequel but at least it's not guaranteed.

Killer73nova118d ago

Just give us an other guitar hero

Terry_B118d ago

...Kinect guitar hero ;P

Felinox117d ago

OMG yes. There is an entire generation of kids who are now adults with expendable income that would throw handfuls of money at some plastic guitars.

IanTH117d ago (Edited 117d ago )

Hell, you're seeing how much people are willing to spend on it from a nostalgic POV even. Have you seen second hand pricing on Rock Band? PS3 era complete bundles going for $200 (and sometimes $300), and the guitar + game for last gen $175+. There's clearly money to be made, they just have to find the right balancing act this time around.