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Phil Spencer Wants to Work on a Variety of Franchises from the Activision Blizzard Vault

Phil Spencer Wants to Work on a Variety of Franchises from the Activision Blizzard Vault - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 03 February 2022 / 2,147 Views

Microsoft Gaming CEO speaking with The Washington Post expressed his excitement for the collection of IPs owned by Activision Blizzard he grew up with.

"I was looking at the IP list, I mean, let’s go!" Spencer said. "King’s Quest, Guitar Hero. ... I should know this but I think they got HeXen."

He added, "We’re hoping that we’ll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood and that the teams really want to get. I’m looking forward to these conversations. I really think it’s about adding resources and increasing capability."

Activision developer Toys for Bob is the studio behind Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time before it started to work as a support studio on Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has said he is excited for the opportunities for Activision Blizzard will have working under Microsoft with the amount of resources available. He has wanted to make a new Guitar Hero, as well as a new Skylanders. However, he says the company did not have the resources to make this happen.

"We didn’t really have the ability to do that," Kotick said at the time. "I had a really cool vision for what the next Guitar Hero would be, and realized we don’t have the resources to do that. And Skylanders too. One of the great disappointments of my career is that other people came in and they came out with crappy alternatives."

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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2zosteven (on 20 January 2022)


  • +7
Mnementh (on 20 January 2022)

Sure, Kotick hadn't the resources to make these games happen, because he fired all the devs.

  • +6
Manlytears (on 20 January 2022)

Lost Vikings! Make it!

  • +3
Kakadu18 (on 20 January 2022)

That is the good part of this acquisition. Finally many franchises get a chance to return after getting vaulted by Activision for not selling 20mil+ with every entry.

  • +2
aiwass (on 21 January 2022)

Actually taking a vested interest in the franchises they've bought and pushing for active development of them is an interesting idea (and might make this whole thing slightly less of a nightmare), a la Disney + Star Wars.

If they have Hexen, it would add to an already insane monopoly of FPS franchises--DOOM, Wolfenstein, Quake, Call of Duty, Halo, Rage... what's left?

  • +1
scrapking aiwass (on 22 January 2022)

Battlefield would be the only currently active AAA shooter Microsoft wouldn't own. There'd be a few AA or indie shooters (Metro, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.), and the potential for a revival of Crysis perhaps?

  • -1
Azzanation (on 21 January 2022)

Now we are talking. With 30+ plus studios at their disposal now, i am sure its not just Activison Blizzards vault they will be opening up.

  • +1
smroadkill15 (on 20 January 2022)

Hell yeah! This is what I want to hear. Too many of Activision's studios are on CoD support. Let Toys for Bob, Beenox, and whoever else make new games! Let Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer be the only studios making CoD games and let them have 4 year dev cycles instead of 3. Raven can stay as the main support for Warzone since I'm not sure who else would do it.

  • +1
The Fury (on 20 January 2022)

Who owns Nightmare Creatures? game was basically a Souls game, Activision publised in the US but Sony in EU.

  • +1
SecondWar The Fury (on 20 January 2022)

Looks like Sony only covered the European version on the PS, all other platforms were Activision so I’d guess Activision own the IP.

  • +1
Vendrom SecondWar (on 20 January 2022)

Looking at the trademark in EUIPO, the IP is owned by Ubisoft. Same in the US but it’s dead there.

  • +1
The Fury Vendrom (on 21 January 2022)

Wonder how it ended up there. Good info, what website is EUIPO thing?

  • +1
Vendrom The Fury (on 21 January 2022)

Yeah it’s weird how Ubisoft owns the IP now, since afaik they weren’t involved in the first game or the sequel, but anyways. So this is a website of the EU trademark office where you can search for the availability of trademarks, designs etc. within the European Union. I searched about Nightmare Creatures from their home page via their “eSearch plus” search bar:

  • +1
The Fury Vendrom (on 21 January 2022)

Thanks dude. Very interesting. I Searched 2 games from my younger years out of curiosity. Swiv, which is owned by SquEnix (it was SCi yay back when) and Mad Professor Mariarti, which came out as not even a thing on that website but that's real obscure.

  • +1
Vendrom The Fury (on 21 January 2022)

In that case the developer or publisher didn’t mind to register the IP in the EU trademark office, which happens many times especially for games of a smaller scale. It could be trademarked in other regions though, but it’s a hassle trying to find whether it was filed in any country. In general this, along with other important trademark offices (like the USPTO, which is more or less the equivalent of the EUIPO for the US) should suffice to comprehend the status of a forgotten IP.

  • 0
The Fury Vendrom (on 21 January 2022)

To be fair, it's obscure and may have only been released in the UK so no need to register in the EU. But a great link, thanks

  • +1
thevideogameninja (on 20 January 2022)

Or Phil will just double down on the already huge money making franchises for that guaranteed return on Microsoft's investment.

Personally, I would love to see some franchises that have been relegated to the back of the line in Activision/Blizzard's stable make a return but at the end of the day we all know what franchises Microsoft had in mind when they made that deal.


  • 0
Kakadu18 thevideogameninja (on 20 January 2022)

I hope you're wrong.

  • +1
smroadkill15 thevideogameninja (on 20 January 2022)

Why would they double down on something that is causing issues within Activision?
As Phil stated, they are looking at this as a long-term investment. I also have to think they will treat them like they have treated all their other recent acquisitions.

  • -1
Chicho thevideogameninja (on 21 January 2022)

Bringing some franchises from the vault will be good , some people will buy it just because it has been dormant and is now back and it would help with franchise fatigue to have more variety.

  • +3
scrapking thevideogameninja (on 22 January 2022)

I think Call of Duty in its current form is in gradual decline, so doubling-down on Activision's current strategy may not guarantee a return on investment.

  • +4
scrapking (on 22 January 2022)

Time to bring back Pitfall! but rebuild it as a 3D single-player narrative action/adventure game to compete with the likes of Uncharted and Tomb Raider!

  • -1
ClassicGamingWizzz (on 20 January 2022)
  • -14