Xbox Reviving A Classic Fighting Game Franchise?

By Jason Collins | 3 weeks ago


The ‘90s had some of the best gaming releases in history, many of which have received a modern-day remaster. Castlevania and Age of Empires games are just some examples of remastered ‘90s gaming titles that had favorable receptions among the audience, proving that classics genuinely are timeless. One such classic was 1994’s fighting arcade video game Killer Instinct, which might also make a comeback on Xbox.

Rare’s cult classic fighting game series Killer Instinct isn’t dead just yet, as Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently mentioned his interest in revisiting and reviving the series, according to GameSpot. However, as he stated in his interview for the Dropped Frames podcast, another revival of the series will require the right team and the right time and opportunity. Spencer also added that he discussed the future Killer Instinct prospects with Xbox Game Studios’ vice-president Matt Booty, who’s supportive of the idea of another KI revival.

“Another” is the real keyword here because the Killer Instinct franchise already received a reboot with the release of 2013’s Killer Instinct video game for Xbox One and PC. Though it was a reboot of the series, the game retained some plot elements from the original Killer Instinct and Killer Instinct 2, released in 1994 and 1996, respectively. The game received positive reviews for its combat mechanics and engine. Still, it was criticized for its initial lack of content – something that was rectified in the following seasons.

killer instinct

Needless to say, the nostalgia did its thing, and the Xbox reboot of the game quickly became a massive hit. The game’s second season was even more praised, making 2013’s Killer Instinct a rising star in the genre that’s already dominated by big-name titles like Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Tekken, the Injustice series, etc. Though the game was published by Microsoft Studios, which became the Xbox Game Studios in 2019, the reboot of Killer Instinct was developed by three different developers. Double Helix Games developed the first season of the game, while Iron Galaxy developed both the second and third seasons. Both developers were aided by Killer Instinct’s original developer Rare.

Developing and publishing a remake/remaster of a particular game is almost always a good business move, especially if the original game was popular, or had good sales performance, which was the case with 2013’s Killer Instinct. So much, in fact, that Xbox is considering reviving a previously revived gaming franchise. But that’s hardly the first time we hear about making a profit off the original game’s popularity – even arcade machines are being remade.

We live in an era of remakes and remasters, which only proves that classics genuinely are timeless. However, as is the case with gaming, said classics need to keep up with modern hardware, hence the need for remakes. Killer Instinct gained a cult following when it was released 27 years ago, which remained dedicated to the franchise to this day. Popular titles do make good launch releases for consoles, and with Xbox expanding its ecosystem, we might witness another Killer Instinct as a launch release for the new and improved Xbox service. But only when the time is right.