The Killer Instinct series hasn’t been locked away in a vault lately, but Head of Xbox Phil Spencer is talking about it like it is. The fighting game franchise was rebooted as an Xbox One launch title in 2013, which saw support well into 2017 with new seasons of content. That’s pretty damn respectable for a modern fighting game, and even though it had to swap hands from Double Helix Games to Iron Galaxy Studios, Killer Instinct did pretty well for itself. The free-to-play fighter reached 10 million players by 2017.
In an interview with the Dropped Frames podcast, Spencer said that he’d like to see the series revisited with the “right team and right opportunity.”
[Transcription via VGC]
“There are so many good games in our catalogue that we’d love to visit,” he said. “The response when we redid KI at the launch of Xbox One was fantastic.
“I will just say, [Xbox Game Studios head] Matt [Booty] and I have discussed many times KI and where we would like to go with it and it’s not out of our minds that—it might be out of our minds—but it’s in our hearts and in our minds that we want to continue to do something with KI.
“It’s about finding the right team and the right opportunity,” Spencer added, “but it is not due to any kind of lack of desire on our part that we’re not doing more with KI because we love the franchise and the community response.”
Microsoft has several projects in the works that it discussed at its E3 presentation, and from the sound of it, a fourth Killer Instinct isn’t among them. But seeing as the series had such a strong comeback, I’d like to remain hopeful that it’s in the cards. The reboot was the game that pushed me to get an Xbox One at launch, and a new game would make an Xbox Series X/S more tantalizing on my end. Rare’s stable of IP has always been my favorite of Microsoft’s catalog, but while Rare is thriving with Sea of Thieves, those classic characters are only really showing up in crossover bullshit these days.