Top 10 Video Game Franchises Xbox Now Owns



Top 10 Video Game Franchises Xbox Now Owns

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Watch out PlayStation, Xbox is making moves. For this list, we're looking at various IPs, most notable from the Activision Blizzard acquisition, that Xbox now has at their disposal. Our countdown includes “Tenchu” series, “Guitar Hero” series, “Call of Duty” series, and more!

Top 10 Things Xbox Now Owns

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Things Xbox Now Owns.

For this list, we’re looking at various IPs, most notable from the Activision Blizzard acquisition, that Xbox now has at their disposal.

Think any of these franchises will find a home under new leadership? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

#10: “[Prototype]” series (2009-12)

“Prototype” was originally Activision’s answer to the PlayStation 3 exclusive “inFAMOUS”. Both games focused on open world gameplay and protagonists gaining superheroes at the expense of becoming outcasts. Even though Cole MacGrath took much of the spotlight and became a PlayStation icon, there was a healthy enough following for “Prototype” to garner a sequel. Unfortunately, the franchise has not seen a new game since 2012, and the PS4 and Xbox One ports were some of the worst ports we had seen. Perhaps Xbox can resurrect the franchise under one of their many studios. We can definitely see The Coalition working on this IP as it fits the gritty nature of the “Gears” franchise.

#9: “Tenchu” series (1998-2009)

“Tenchu” hasn’t been around for quite a long time with the last game, “Tenchu: Shadow Assassins”, launching for the Wii and PSP in 2009. With new developments made in stealth games, open world, and linear narrative games, there hasn’t been a better time than now to revive the world of “Tenchu”. The IP could certainly benefit under the wing of Compulsion Games, developer of survival game “We Happy Few”, or even hand it off to one of Bethesda’s studios like Arkane, a studio known for stealth-heavy games like “Dishonored”. There’s potential here!

#8: “Blur” (2010)

“Blur” was one of many Activision IPs to be wrongfully neglected, having launched within the same month as “ModNation Racers” from Sony Interactive and “Split/Second” from Disney. What you had was an exhilarating blend of “Need for Speed” gameplay with “Mario Kart” mechanics. Sadly, the game only sold half a million copies. Under Xbox, there is a chance to breathe new life into this IP. Playground Games, the studio behind “Forza Horizon”, would be the obvious choice to develop a new game, but we’d like to see Turn 10 Studios, the minds behind “Forza Motorsport”, take a crack at a slightly less realistic racing game.

#7: “Candy Crush Saga” (2012)

One of the biggest pieces of this acquisition came in the form of King, better known as the studio behind the famous (or infamous) “Candy Crush” franchise. This was a huge get for Microsoft as the mobile game has made billions of dollars over the past decade. Despite King having put out several dozen more titles on the mobile market, “Candy Crush” has remained their biggest and most profitable. Microsoft will most likely leave King to their toys and let them keep operating the way they have been, and that’s probably the best course of action. But what do you think are the chances for a “Candy Crush” spin-off, like a full-blown adventure or 3D platformer for the console market?
Candy Crush Saga - Wikipedia

#6: “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” series (1999-)

The “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” franchise had a rocky life under Activision’s wing. Sure, things were looking bright after the success of the 2020 remake, but since Vicarious Visions was folded into Blizzard Entertainment, a sequel seemed unlikely. With Xbox as the new license holders, the “Pro Skater” franchise has more than a glimmer of hope. The games have always had an arcade-like approach in its design, and the vibe of the franchise tells us Playground Games could certainly carry the torch with no trouble. The 200-employee studio is busy toiling away at the “Fable” reboot and content for “Forza Horizon 5”, but maybe they can put together a small team to get started on a new “Pro Skater”.

#5: “Spyro the Dragon” series (1998-2018)

Much like another respected platformer mascot (who we’ll get to in a bit), Spyro has gone through some turbulence when flying alongside that dragon Activision. Despite the rousing success of the “Reignited Trilogy”, there has been no word on the fire-breathing fury’s future. However, we’re willing to believe Xbox has a place for him. This is a chance for the new generation at Rare to try their hand at a 3D platformer of their own. The studio hasn’t made an original game similar to its N64 3D platformer classics since the “Conker” remake on the original Xbox. Maybe Spyro could help the new Rare learn from the teams that made its legacy.

#4: “Guitar Hero” series (2005-2015)

“Guitar Hero” is one of those franchises that we may never see again. The series proved to be too costly even in the 2010’s with music licenses being pricey, especially when dealing with mega-popular artists. Activision tried to find a new way to profit off its style with “DJ Hero”, but it flopped hard. Microsoft’s meaty wallet could help resurrect the IP, though, especially since it could fit within Xbox’s subscription model focus. Imagine a free-to-play “Guitar Hero” where the tracklist is updated on a weekly or monthly basis, and all you really pay for are whatever characters and guitars you want as your avatar. Easy money, right?

#3: Everything Blizzard

Of course, one cannot ignore the big buffalo that is Blizzard Entertainment. Through this acquisition, Microsoft has nabbed “World of Warcraft”, “Overwatch”, “StarCraft”, “Hearthstone”, and several more Blizzard IPs old and new. These franchises already had a dominant presence on PC, but the real question is whether future products will become exclusive to Xbox. “Overwatch 2” and “Diablo IV” have been facing troubling developments, especially with the legal turmoil Activision Blizzard found itself in since June 2021. Could Sony possibly miss out on these long-awaited sequels? Either way, there’s most likely going to be a serious change in management and leadership.
Diablo IV - Wikipedia

#2: “Crash Bandicoot” series (1996-)

As most fans of the marsupial already know, Crash started life as a PlayStation mascot back in the PS1 days before Universal Interactive/Vivendi Games took their ball home and brought him to other platforms throughout the 2000’s. Activision did the same thing after acquiring the IP via a merge with Vivendi Games in 2007. But like “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater”, Crash’s future is hanging on a ledge thanks to Activision having folded Vicarious Visions into Blizzard despite having two successful remakes and a sequel. Now’s the chance for Xbox to give Crash a proper home. Double Fine Entertainment could certainly make an entertaining sequel, given the critical success of “Psychonauts 2”.

Before we reveal our most obvious number one pick ever, here are a few Honorable Mentions…

“HeXen” series (1995-98)
The id Trifecta of DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Hexen is Once Again Complete

“King’s Quest” series (1980-2016)
Activision Botched the 2015 Revival By Making It an Episodic Release

“Geometry Wars” series (2003-16)
A Small-Budget Franchise That Died Off Too Quickly

“Pitfall” series (1982-2012)
One of Activision’s Oldest and Most Famous IPs That Deserves a Triumphant Return

“Gun” (2005)
A Cult Classic Shooter From the OG Xbox Days

#1: “Call of Duty” series (2003-)

Really, this is the most shocking portion of the acquisition. For the past decade, “Call of Duty” catered primarily to PlayStation’s audience, locking content behind timed-exclusivity deals with Sony. To this day, console players primarily play “Call of Duty” on PlayStation (if not already on PC). While we don’t think the FPS franchise is going to go full-on Xbox exclusive within the next few years, we do have a hunch Xbox is going to enact its own timed exclusive maps and add-ons from here on out. “Call of Duty” may be multiplatform, but we all know that Xbox is going to get top priority after this deal.