Well… it wasn’t all that long ago we were all talking about Microsoft and Xbox joining forces with Bethesda and now the bombshell drops of Activision Blizzard joining Team Xbox. The full details of the announcement can be found here via Xbox Wire but much like the past discussions about Bethesda and its future games during their move the next year is going to have a lot of people (even me!) wondering what will happen.
The most obvious things are that Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Candy Crush will eventually be operating under the Xbox brand but there is a huge amount of other IP that comes with it that spans decades going all the way back to the Atari 2600. The odds of Pitfall! being turned into the next Uncharted or Tomb Raider are low but there is a massive amount of history there that might be tempting for studios to leverage. On top of that there’s also the Sierra properties such as their classic adventures – King’s Quest made a return on the Xbox 360 so it’s not out of the realm of possibility of more games returning. Even if a lot of these would make a comeback it’d probably take years before anything happens. But… there’s always chance we see a few surprise backward compatible games show up.
What might also improve is how Activision Blizzard’s studios are leveraged. Apart from Blizzard which for most of its time with Activision operated independently, a lot of the rest are now part of the Call of Duty machine, helping to churn out sequels. Raven was previously well known for shooters like Heretic, Hexen and Soldier of Fortune could get a chance to stretch out again and try something new. And both Infinity Ward and Treyarch might be happy too with more development time between games which could do wonders in terms of innovation and quality.
Considering how long it’s taken for Microsoft’s previous batch of game studio investments to pay off, especially during the last couple of years of pandemic, unless titles go full Xbox exclusive immediately it’ll probably be a few more years before it happens. Could be wrong though… no one expected this announcement and there’s probably going to be more to hear soon if the Xbox team do a roundtable like they did for the Bethesda announcement. Crazy times ahead! 🙂