Xbox head Phil Spencer recently announced that Microsoft will show off 14 first-party studio games at its annual E3 press conference. While he didn’t hint at what exactly will be in store, this opens up opportunity for long dormant franchises Perfect Dark, Conker, and Banjo-Kazooie to reappear just like Battletoads did last year. The following are all the franchises that are poised for a comeback on Microsoft’s E3 stage this Sunday, June 9, at 1 PM PT/4 PM ET/9 PM BST.
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Perfect Dark
Given the success that single-player first-person shooter games like Doom and Wolfenstein: The New Order have had recently, now may be the perfect time for Perfect Dark to return. A new entry could have Joanna Dark once again face off against dataDyne in a sci-fi world filled with strange extraterrestrial creatures and powerful futuristic technology. A remake of the original Nintendo 64 title would also be welcome, as the franchise will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year and it would be interesting to witness Perfect Dark‘s world recreated for today’s hardware.
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Conker
It’s hard to believe that the last full-fledged Conker game, Live and Reloaded, released nearly 15 years ago. For those who may have missed out on this platformer series back in the day, it stars a squirrel who curses frequently and makes sexual innuendos whenever given the chance. Now would be a great time for everyone’s favorite rodent to make a comeback, as platformers have become relatively popular again thanks to indie titles like Yooka-Laylee and A Hat in Time. Plus, who doesn’t love the ridiculousness that is a foul-mouthed squirrel?
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Banjo-Kazooie
Banjo-Kazooie has to be on here. Every year, platformer fans hope to see the bear and his feathered friend appear on Microsoft’s E3 stage. Though we haven’t seen a new entry in the franchise since 2008, now may finally be the time for the pair to return either through a new game or a remastered trilogy. The characters’ inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will also be cause for celebration. Whatever the case may be, here’s hoping that Banjo-Kazooie fans will be rewarded for their patience soon. New merchandise from Exquisite Gaming has got to mean something, right?
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Blinx
The Blinx franchise was designed to be the Xbox-equivalent of Sony’s Jak and Daxter or Ratchet and Clank. Though it didn’t attract as much attention as Microsoft had hoped, a Blinx remake today could help the Xbox brand diversify its portfolio while introducing the anthropomorphic, time-sweeping feline to a new generation of kids. Of course, whomever develops the next game in the series should retain the ability to slow down, speed up, reverse, and stop time, as few games have dared to offer such a robust suite of time manipulation options outside of Persian princes since 2004.
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Brute Force
Brute Force is one of the original Xbox’s most successful exclusives, as it broke records for both first day and first week sales on the system. Despite the title’s impressive performance (it even managed to outsell Halo: Combat Evolved), Microsoft has made no mention of the property since its release in 2003. With Rainbow Six Siege attracting over 40 million players last year, it wouldn’t be surprising if Microsoft attempts to jump in on the squad-based shooter bandwagon by remaking Brute Force for Xbox One or its next generation of hardware.
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Shadowrun
A slew of turn-based tactical RPG titles in the Shadowrun universe released between 2013 and 2015, but the franchise hasn’t seen a new first-person entry come out in over a decade. Should a sequel or remake show up at Microsoft’s E3 conference this year, it could be just as multiplayer-centric as the 2007 game, though it should include more modes outside of Deathmatch. King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy all seem like they would be a great fit. Additionally, a single-player campaign inspired by the likes of Dishonored or Titanfall 2 could help introduce Xbox users to Shadowrun‘s mythical world and entice them to check out the tabletop role-playing game of the same name.
Microsoft may also be inclined to fund development on a Shadowrun action RPG game, seeing how the Xbox ecosystem lacks RPG exclusives. The title could be a remake of the 1993 Super Nintendo Entertainment System title of the same name and serve as an exciting throwback to genre veterans. Obsidian Entertainment, the Microsoft first-party studio responsible for such notable RPGs as Fallout: New Vegas and South Park: The Stick of Truth, seems like it could be up to the task.
Dormant Franchises at Microsoft’s E3 | Sunset Overdrive
Though the next Sunset Overdrive may release on PlayStation 4 and Switch, it only makes sense for a sequel to debut on Microsoft’s E3 stage first. Overdrive 2 could retain the bouncy action adventure mechanics that made the original so much fun to play while transporting fans around the world in an effort to contain the OverCharge Delirium XT outbreak. The fourth wall-breaking humor needs to make a comeback too, as the franchise wouldn’t be the same without it. Although it could do with a bit less of the tryhard comedy.
With a new console on the horizon and Sony skipping the show, there’s a good chance that Microsoft will dominate the conversation at E3 this year. Though an appearance by any of the franchises above could help win over lapsed Xbox fans, new IPs could spark their interest just as effectively. Even without a new Banjo-Kazooie game, the future looks bright for Microsoft and Xbox.