In an interview with the Official Xbox Podcast, Spencer stated: “I feel that we have to be a great custodian for the content that we touch. These are memories from people on different platforms, different decades" (via VGC).
In the wake of Microsoft's high-profile acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the American tech giant now has access to an immense portfolio of gaming franchises including Call of Duty, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Overwatch, Crash Bandicoot, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. As well as covering a wide range of modern titles like Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, this list includes a wide range of classic titles, including cult classic platformer Spyro the Dragon and definitive turn-of-the-millennium RTS Warcraft 3: Reign of Chaos.
“The amount of franchises that we now have in our portfolio is kind of inspiring, it’s daunting," remarked Spencer. However, the Xbox chief also celebrated the opportunities presented by this broader selection of games past and present: "There’s just an amazing trove of things that we can go and touch again."
That said, Spencer doesn't intend to revisit any older titles lightly: "I want to make sure that when we’re going back and visiting something, that we do it with our complete ability, a motivated team that wants to go work on something and make a difference, not just create something for financial gain, or create something for a PR announcement and not deliver on the product."
Speaking of the potential of the Xbox Game Pass platform to resurrect some of these older franchises, Spencer admitted that there's room for improvement. “I think we’ve done an OK job as Xbox, I don’t think we’ve done an A+ job on looking at our franchises and revisiting them. It’s always a trade-off between what do you do that’s new and going back and doing something."
To address this difficulty, Spencer hinted at potential new plans for Game Pass: "We [now] have the ability to maybe pick a couple of franchises every year and almost do a ‘revisited'. [However,] I just made up that term, so it’s not a brand, it’s not on a box."
Though we've yet to see any concrete plans on this front, it's clear that the acquisition of Activision Blizzard could potentially lead to the preservation of older, classic titles - a welcome move in an era where game preservation remains a significant issue.
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Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.