We all know who Ken Lobb is, right? No? Why, he’s the Creative Director over at Microsoft Studios. Ken’s been on the Inner Circle podcast, talking about what the future could, and possibly should, include for some acquired Rare IP. Titles that you’ve probably played and enjoyed on other consoles.
So what has Ken suggested? Well, Ken has confirmed that, as part of Microsoft’s acquisition of Rare back in 2002, all of their developed IP, such as Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark, Battletoads and Blast Corps were property of Microsoft. Rather than let these slide, Microsoft have been renewing the trademarks for these, keeping them pretty much on the back burner, while allowing Rare to churn out Kinect Sports titles.
Going back to Ken’s podcast, then, as there is a relevance here, Lobb has revealed that there are plans afoot to bring back some of these older titles for next gen consoles in the future.
“Will there ever be another Banjo, Viva (Pinata), Blast Corps, Battletoads? Yeah, someday.”
“I think the reason you see things like these revived, is because we know there’s value. So we renewed the trademark. Does that mean it’s coming this year? No. Does that mean it’ll never come? Absolutely not. We have a lot of passion internally for each of the games.
We have surprises in store in the near and long future”
Before he moved on to discuss a specific IP, which I’ll come to, Lobb concluded this section with the following ray of hope,
“I think the best message to give to your listeners is we love the old IP as much as you do, please be patient because we can only build so much at a time”
Ken then moved on to discuss the future of the Perfect Dark franchise, revealing that it could move away from the original first person roots and also confirmed that Rare were not currently working on a new title.
“Today, no one is working on a new Perfect Dark. It’s in discussion a lot. In a world where you have Halo and you have Gears, having another Perfect Dark Zero-style game maybe makes a little bit less sense than something that’s a little more story driven around Joanna. Whether that’s third-person with steath, etc, etc, we like the IP”
Concluding, Ken left this nugget hanging there,
“Maybe we’ll see another Joanna Dark game with Joanna by 2020. That would be an interesting year to bring her back.”
The future is looking brighter for older IP then, under Microsoft Studios, if you could bring an older IP back to next gen consoles, which one would it be?