Phil Spencer hints at return of old Xbox franchise, could it be Perfect Dark?

Perfect Dark Zero – can Joanna make a comeback? (pic: Microsoft)

The head of Xbox has teased that The Initiative is working on an existing Xbox IP, as fans guess at everything from Blinx to Brute Force.

New Xbox studio The Initiative was announced back in 2018, but in all this time there’s been almost no clue as to what they’re working on.

The only hint is that their senior staff have worked on the likes of Tomb Raider, God Of War, and Uncharted – all of which are third person action adventures.

So when Xbox boss Phil Spencer made the tweet below, in which he implied they were working on new things and ‘old things’ it seems like that should narrow down the possibilities, but it really doesn’t.

Third person game Sunset Overdrive doesn’t seem like a big enough hit to bring back (although The Initiative’s lead designer Drew Murray did work on it) and it’s the same for ReCore.

And yet it’s not the first time Spencer has hinted about The Initiative working on an existing franchise, when in 2018 he mentioned how studio head Darrell Gallagher enjoyed working on the Tomb Raider reboot.

At that point he said that: ‘We were talking about some things in our past that might be interesting. Nothing to announce yet, but just some things that he might want to go work on.’

Perfect Dark is one franchise that fans might welcome back (and is by far the most common guess on Twitter) and it did introduce some minor third person elements in the second game, but it’s never been made by anyone other than Rare.

Although The Initiative did hire Apex Legends’ weapon designer recently, so that certainly implies whatever they’re working on has guns in it.

Beyond that you’re getting into deep cuts from the earliest days of the Xbox, including the likes of Crimson Skies, Azurik, Brute Force, and Blinx: The Time Sweeper. Although at this point all those seem more likely than Crackdown 4.

Or perhaps they’re working on a separate new Fable game, beyond the new one rumoured to be going on at Playground Games (or maybe they’re working on it as a joint project).

The truth is there’s still no real clue what The Initiative is doing and there’s nothing to stop Microsoft buying an older franchise from another publisher to work on, although that would be a lot of trouble and it’s still almost impossible to guess what it might be.

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