Microsoft's Activision Deal Paves The Way For Return Of These Classic Shooters

philspencer hexen tshirt
Microsoft's purchase of Activision-Blizzard is practically a done deal at this point, and while it does result in the formation of a gargantuan gaming juggernaut the likes of which the world has hardly seen, there are some good things that could feasibly come out of the conglomerate entity. Microsoft's game publishing arm now constitutes not only its own titles, but potentially all of Activision's long history, all of Blizzard, and all of Zenimax, which includes not only Bethesda, but also Id Software, Tango Gameworks, and others.

Suffice to say that there are an incredible number of game properties that Microsoft will own. Many of these properties were either languishing in limbo—with last releases being decades old—or mired in legal hell, with rights spread across disparate developers and publishers, some now defunct. Now that Microsoft is acquiring Activision, though, we could feasibly see a resurgence in some of these older franchises as well as a return to stores for missing beloved releases.

wolfenstein 2009 boxart

One key example, as pointed out by /u/Assured_Observer over on Reddit, is 2009's simply-titled Wolfenstein. Developed by Raven Software and published by Activision under the watchful eye of franchise creator Id Software, the game was largely a flop. Wolfenstein at that time was largely known for being the progenitor of the extremely popular Enemy Territory series, and launching a story-focused single-player Wolfenstein game with a lackluster multiplayer component was a quick path to mediocre sales and middling reviews.

The game still has its fans, though, and both as a single-player shooter and as a Wolfenstein title it does some interesting things. By all accounts it's not a bad game, but even if you're interested, there's no easy and legal way to play it right now aside from grabbing a 7th-generation game console and a physical copy. The PC version isn't available on any digital stores, and old PC games are hard to find.

wolfenstein 2009
Wolfenstein (2009)

Wolfenstein (2009) actually was on Steam at one point, but Activision pulled it from stores not long after launch, likely due to the licensing being a mess. After all, Zenimax still controls the Wolfenstein trademark, while Raven, the developer, is under the Activision umbrella now. Fortunately, all concerned parties are now under the Microsoft tent, which could open a path to re-release for this potential cult classic.

Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix

Raven actually has a whole litany of legacy titles that we would love to see come back around. Classic shooter series like Heretic and Hexen could use Night Dive-style remakes or remasters; the second Heretic game is completely unavailable by legitimate means. The same goes for Soldier of Fortune and its sequel, Double Helix; while these games are available on GOG, they could use some technical touch-ups for modern machines. Even better would be sequels in these storied franchises; a new Hexen game is near the top of this author's wishlist.

hexen gzdoom
Above: We'd love to see a new Hexen sequel. Top: Phil Spencer apparently agrees.

The full list of classic game franchises that we'd like to see revitalized under Microsoft's stewardship is insanely long, so we won't list them all here. We've barely scratched the surface, though. How about cult classic shooter SiN? Or a new Star Trek: Elite Force title? (With how edgy Star Trek's gotten recently, this could really happen.) We'd love to see a new Tenchu game, or a sequel to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Heck, a new Tony Hawk game, or even a remaster of 3+4 like was supposedly planned after the success of the 1+2 remake.

Interstate '76 is a horribly-underrated classic that deserves a remake with modern controls.

Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Mechwarrior 2 and its expansions, classic PC titles Interstate '76, Interstate '82, and HyperBlade, the Heavy Gear games, and even furry fighting series Bloody Roar—the list of games published by Activision is insanely long, and we haven't even talked about Blizzard or Zenimax titles yet. If you can come up with a classic video game, particularly on PC, there's a good chance that Microsoft will own the rights to it very soon.

What legendary games would you like to see get a re-release, remake, or sequel? Sound off in the comments so everyone can judge your taste.