Daily Record

Blast into the past

Xbox fans face wait for return of favourites


IN JANUARY, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the firm would explore activision Blizzard’s vault of franchises for possible revivals and future games. Fast-forward nine months and, with Microsoft’s acquisitio­n of Activision Blizzard now complete, is it time to start getting hyped over the return of some beloved games? Well, not yet. Speaking on the Official Xbox Podcast last week, Spencer said it may take time to bring back some of those classic franchises – and that it should come from a genuine passion amongst the developers. He said: “I want to make sure that when we’re going back and visiting something, we do it with our complete ability – a motivated team that wants to work on something and make a difference, not just create something for financial gain.”

There’s also a frankly absurd number of hoops Xbox may have to jump through when resurrecti­ng old titles.

And even if they simply wanted to port some classics on to their Game Pass service, there are complicati­ons around licensed IP or hardware that no longer exists.

For instance, I’m sure lots of people would want to see Guitar Hero return. But there’s no way those aging plastic guitars (if you’ve still got them) would be compatible with modern-day consoles. Likewise, Skylanders and the literal army of toys-to-life products I spot at car boot sales.

Then there are licensing issues, such as music (Guitar Hero/Tony

Hawk) and car model rights (Blur), and perhaps even actor royalties. There’s also a slew of comic book titles. Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Hasbro has gone on record saying it wants to see the excellent Transforme­rs: War For Cybertron and Fall Of Cybertron titles on Game Pass again. The Simpsons writer Matt Selman “would love to see a remastered version of [Simpsons Hit & Run]”, even if he felt it might be “a complicate­d corporate octopus to try to make that happen”. Overall, it’s hard to say how many can and will return. If there’s even a slim hope of me being able to play 50 Cent: Bulletproo­f on my next-gen console, that’s good enough for the time being.

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