In case you somehow missed the industry-shaking news earlier today, Microsoft has announced that they’re buying Activision Blizzard. This means that we’re due to see a vast selection of Activision Blizzard games coming to Game Pass, and it only cost Microsoft close to $70 billion - what a steal!
But this all begs the question, what does the future hold now that this deal is in play? What possibilities could now maybe be a reality now that these two giants are coming together? Well, we’ve got a few ideas ourselves, things that we’d love to see in the future as a result of this crazy announcement.
Crash Bandicoot/Spyro/Banjo Kazooie crossover
Let's start with a wild one. As a result of this deal, we’ve got three OG video game IPs all under one roof. Banjo Kazooie has always been a Microsoft darling, but Spyro and Crash Bandicoot are now being brought into the fold. These once-upon-a-time fierce rivals are now in a position where they can show up together, in some kind of wild 3D platformer crossover that I’m sure would cause a big chunk of the 30-something population to lose their collective minds.
If there was a love letter game Microsoft could green light, an indicator that they’re making the most of the new properties under their belt, this would be it. Whereas it was easy to feel dejected when faced with the news that Toys for Bob were moving onto a support role for Warzone, there’s a spark of hope that we may see our beloved orange marsupial again on Xbox.
World of Warcraft on Xbox
Here’s a weird one. Everyone knows Final Fantasy 14 is the big dog right now in the MMORPG marketplace, with a dominating presence on PlayStation consoles and PC alike. With World of Warcraft under the giant golden Microsoft umbrella, it’s potentially possible that Blizzard’s legendary title could come to consoles at last. After all, they added controller support for the game back with the launch of the Shadowlands expansion, why shouldn’t it be possible.
Regardless of your stance on the current state of World of Warcraft (and it's slowly dwindling playerbase) it’s a name everyone knows. Having the game launch on the Xbox would be one hell of a statement from Microsoft. They’d have to work around binding dozens of abilities on an xbox controller, and maybe figure out a new way of targeting allies and enemies, but if they can work it out this might lead to a fresh wave of players keen on jumping into Azeroth.
Arkane making a Singularity spinoff/sequel
Anyone remember Singularity? It was a neat first person shooter released to the Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2010. Created by Activision Blizzard, it allowed players to mess around with time with the TMD, a gimmick that helped set it apart from other FPS games at the time.
You know who’s shown they can create some proper mint FPS games with time shenanigans? Arkane. These lot were able to show off their stuff back with Dishonoured and it’s time stop ability, and then took it to the next level with the seventh mission - A Crack in the Slab. Put the good folk over at Arkane in the driver’s seat on a new Singularity game, and they’ll be right in their element.
World’s Edge making Warcraft 4
Look, Warcraft fans are in a rough spot right now. We’re talking about those wayward souls who still have fond memories of the original RTS games that introduced the world to Azeroth way back in the day. With Warcraft 3 Reforged, these fans didn’t exactly get what they had in mind. With that in mind, we say that a new high-quality Warcraft RTS is just what the world needs, and who better to make it than World’s Edge.
For those who aren’t familiar, World’s Edge is the Microsoft-owned developer behind the Age of Empire games. Their recent entry into their own adored RTS series went down a hit, receiving great reviews across the board and showing without a doubt that a good Real Time Strategy game can still be a hit, even today. With them still well able to produce cracking titles in the genre, they’re the perfect studio to plot the course for a future Warcraft game.
Playground Games X Crash Team Racing
We’ve already seen Playground show off its racing chops with the esteemed Forza Horizon series, but what if we put the studio to task on making something a little bit more… goofy? After the success of Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled on both Xbox and PlayStation consoles a few years back, it’s safe to say the tarmac is primed for another foray into the manic kart-racing genre. And – if Beenox and Toys for Bob are put to task elsewhere – who better to employ for a fast-paced, explosive racing game than Playground?
The studio clearly has the right mindset to take Crash, Coco and pals a step beyond what we’ve seen to date; the Lego and Hot Wheels expansions for Forza Horizon 4 have flirted with races that are a bit less grounded in reality. Adding a couple of fuzzy marsupials (and whatever the hell Pinstripe is supposed to be) to that formula sounds like a winner to us. Maybe we could even get some Killer Instinct characters in there as unlockables?
Tim Schafer’s Spyro the Dragon
If you’ve played Psychonauts, Brutal Legend, Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle or many other games you’ll routinely find in ‘funniest games of all time’ lists, you’ll know that Double Fine, and studio head Tim Schafer, knows funny. It’s in their bones. Whether it’s a visual pun, a stupid gag or a more pervaise, thematic kind of funny, the studio just gets how to make people laugh in the interactive entertainment space.
Of all the incoming IP that Microsoft will soon have to play with, I think Spyro is the best fit for a Double Fine game; the world is colourful, full of ludicrous things, with logic that can be bent and stretched on a whim. A great core cast of characters in Spyro, Sparx, Hunter, Elora, that greedy bastard of a bear, and more besides would make great NPC fodder for Double Fine, and the sorts of adventures you could concoct in a world seemingly run on gems and magic are practically infinite. It’d be like Terry Pratchett via Monkey Island – and I can’t think of a better pitch than that.
What would you like to see come about from this monumental moment in the video games industry? Let us know your dream Microsoft x Activision Blizzard game below, and why you’d love to see it happen?