Activision Blizzard Buyout Could See King's Quest, HeXen And Other Classic Games Rebooted

King's Quest character Graham crossing a river
There are plenty of opinions to go around on Microsoft's deal to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, but I'll say this—if Microsoft goes on to reboot franchises like King's Quest and other classics, I'll be ecstatic. It may very well happen, too. Xbox boss Phil Spencer alluded to the possibility when gushing over the IP that Microsoft will own as a result of this acquisition.

Resurrecting older games is not why Microsoft is making such a monumental purchase, of course. This is about becoming a gaming juggernaut and bolstering its Xbox and PC Game Pass services. In a filing with the SEC, Activision Blizzard said it will honor existing commitments and not pull existing games from PlayStation. But there's no guarantee that future iterations of, say, Call of Duty and other iconic franchises will release outside of Xbox and PC.

That's a discussion for another day. As for potential reboots, Spencer appears excited about bringing back games and characters he played growing up. Which evidently includes Graham.

"I was looking at the IP list, I mean, let's go!," Spencer told The Washington Post. "King's Quest, Guitar Hero...I should know this but I think they got HeXen."

HeXen II Screenshot
He's correct, Activision does own the rights to HeXen, which it procured after acquiring Raven Software in 1997. Same goes for King's Quest, the rights for which Activision bought back from Telltale Games almost a decade ago. It was originally a Sierra Entertainment property, and that's where Spencer's memories likely stem from (as opposed to Telltale' reboot).

Microsoft is getting a bunch of studios in this deal, such as Infinity Ward, Toys for Bob, Treyarch, and others. And those studios comes a wealth of IP.

"We’re hoping that we’ll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood, and that the teams really want to get," Spencer added. "I’m looking forward to these conversations. I really think it’s about adding resources and increasing capability."

Microsoft, Spencer, and the rest of the gang will do whatever it is they plan to do. But if anyone wants my opinion, I'd like to see Microsoft get in touch with the original creators of these classic franchises. One of my favorite games in recent times is Thimbleweed Park, a spiritual successor to earlier point-and-click adventure Lucasfilm/LucasArts titles by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, the same developers who made Maniac Mansion in the 1980s (David Fox worked on both games, too).

I fully realize I'm in the minority in pining for more adventure titles, but there are other genres and franchises that Microsoft could successfully reboot if handled correctly. Here's hoping it happens.