It’s only a few weeks into 2022 and Microsoft and Xbox have started out with one of the biggest announcements in gaming in a long time, maybe even the biggest ever. But how about some of the Activision/Blizzard Gamepass Future Games? They’ve already announced they are in the process of acquiring Activision/Blizzard for a whopping $68.7 BILLION.
Although the move will take time (it’s been noted they hope to close the deal between now and March 2023) there is also a chance it might not even be allowed depending on Antitrust regulations, which are monitored and enforced in the US by the Federal Trade Commission. That’s all a little over my pay grade to discuss. This will be front and centre across most gaming news sites for months to come and I’m sure their take on it will be more informed than anything I can offer.
There’s also the fact that this could mean that massive games like Call of Duty or World of Warcraft could become Xbox exclusives. To offer my brief take on this, I think that it may be similar to the Bethesda deal, with anything announced still showing up everywhere, but in the future? I think most of the biggest titles will be only on Xbox. However, could this be Xbox’s bigger tease to Playstation to try and get Gamepass on their consoles?…
This acquisition will bring even more developers to Xbox’s first-party suite and with that a large number of long-absent or faltering characters and intellectual properties. So in this article, I’ll be taking a look at the titles from Activision’s history that could and should end up being Xbox exclusives and who should make them.
Activision/Blizzard Gamepass Games
Much is made about the Xbox’s lack of 3rd person open story-driven games (Mostly from PlayStation fans) but Prototype could help to fill this gap if given the right team and a ground-up reboot.
The original titles were good but never great, but are fondly remembered by gamers of a certain age. This could act as a double shot across the bows of Playstation as bring the title from a AA production to AAA, might be able to combat both Spiderman and Infamous if it was good enough.
The first two games were mindless fun but the movement through the world with massive jumps and gliding from building to building was a blast. Open world games often live or die by how they feel to explore
With more budget and time, maybe a team like Beenox could make the step up. They’ve already had a shot at Spiderman games with Shattered Dimensions, Edge of Time and The Amazing Spiderman 2 which were by no means bad, they did however lack the polish and story that Insomniac has showcased so much in their own more recent spidey games.
Not only this, it would be saving a developer that appears to have been swallowed up by the work required on Call of Duty and that is a sentiment that you might hear a few times in the next few paragraphs.
Activision/Blizzard Gamepass Games | Gun: High Moon Studios
Gun was one of the first games I was able to play on the Xbox 360, it was massively ahead of its time at release. Although it would be surpassed 5 years later by Red Dead Redemption in nearly every way, I still think it offered enough that it could be worth another release and could be an interesting addition to the Xbox lineup. Although it’s been some time since I played the game, I remember the story and gunplay standing out and always thought it was a little strange that the game never received a sequel.
This could be another step in addressing the lack of story-focused games and given that Red Dead is pretty much the only other game showing off the old west just now, it’s hardly a market that’s flooded with competition.
Here I’ve picked High Moon Studios to work their magic and deliver an interesting approach to the wild west setting. Their previous work on the Cybertron Transformers series was outstanding and produced two of my favourite games ever. These games were fantastic 3rd person shooter games and the world they created was their own fresh take on Transformers lore.
They are also another team that have been roped into Call of Duty work in recent years and given what they have been able to produce in the past, they deserve to be let loose on this underutilized property.
Activision/Blizzard Gamepass Games | Guitar Hero: Vicarious Visions
This one is a bit of a cheat on my part as technically this studio was folded in to solely work on support for Blizzard games in 2021… but with a large number of the staff still likely to be around, there’s nothing to stop Xbox from getting them set up once again.
Guitar Hero might not have the same popularity now as it had at its peak, but it’s still a game that could pretty much print money for Xbox going forward. Although it peaked (in my opinion anyway) with Guitar Hero 3, after that there were too many new games and new additions for players to keep up with.
Bring it back to basics and support it with updates and new tracks via an online store (at reasonable prices). This could even work well with Gamepass as the Controller would be the only purchase required and then the DLC songs making the company profit in the long term.
I’ve picked Vicarious Visions due to their previous work on the franchise with the Wii and DS ports of Guitar Hero 3, which is one of the few Wii ports that wasn’t that different from the versions on PS3 and Xbox 360 (something that can’t be said very often).
However, a game of this size would probably need more than one developer so maybe someone like Double Fine could add the humour needed to keep the game from feeling too similar to what came before.
[EDITOR NOTE: In the meantime, the Clone Hero team are doing ridiculously cool things, as are the community but the need for more Controllers is becoming very apparent with them going for upwards of $50.00 for a used one on eBay]
Activision/Blizzard Gamepass Games | Hexen/Heretic: Raven Software
Xbox is really positioning itself as the go-to console for First-person shooter games. Once the ink dries on its latest acquisition, Halo, Doom, Quake, and Call of Duty (to name a few at least) could all be exclusive games. Although they won’t want to oversaturate the market, there could be space for one more classic FPS series to be revived.
Phil Spencer has already named dropped this one in an interview following the takeover hitting news outlets and old school gamers would be happy to see the series return. The original games were based on the Doom engine but unlike several other imitators, it brought new ideas to the table as Heretic was one of the first first-person games to feature the ability to look up and down.
Its dark world and puzzles would be an interesting change from the normal run and gun gameplay that seems to feature in most FPS titles and they could even work alongside their original publisher’s ID software. I’ve got one last wish or hope that I’m not sure could happen or not but here we go…
Activision/Blizzard Gamepass Games | Project Gotham Racing : Bizarre Creations
Once again this features another studio that sadly closed back in 2011 [by Activision] but before this, they created one of the best arcade racers ever to grace a console.
Project Gotham Racing.
Although some of the team would go on to join Playground games (this might explain why Forza Horizon feels so good), I’d love to see Xbox try and get the old team back together to reboot a long-dormant franchise.
Although this might seem unneeded due to the popularity and critical reception of the most recent Horizon games, it would be great to have another arcade racer that’s based on tracks rather than the huge open worlds that Playground games have been making.
If there’s no space for that, then why not look into an Xbox Kart Racer game, as they certainly have enough characters to that! 2022 was always going to be a huge year for gaming, but this move by Xbox is unlikely to be topped for the rest of the year.