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Microsoft's Purchase Just Made These Sequels Possible

Game development can be a bit of a mess when publishers get involved. A studio might pour its heart and soul into a title, but at the end of the day, the publishing company usually owns the rights to the finished product. This can cause issues, especially since studios sometimes change hands rapidly. Even when a publisher purchases a developer, the publisher cannot ask that developer to produce a game based on a property owned by another company. Unless, of course, the former publisher purchases the latter publisher. That's essentially what happened when Microsoft agreed to purchase ZeniMax Media, Bethesda's parent company.


As part of the deal, Microsoft gained all the companies and properties that fill ZeniMax's library. Moreover, Microsoft has vacuumed up many game studios, some of which have a history with Bethesda. Thanks to this turn of events, Microsoft has all the tools necessary to reunite dev teams with their long lost properties. Here are some of the numerous sequels Microsoft could potentially publish due to the acquisition.

Fallout: New Vegas 2

Obsidian Entertainment used to be a gun for hire until Microsoft purchased the studio in 2018. It was synonymous with RPGs and created some of the best in the biz, including Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 – The Sith Lords, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and The Outer Worlds. However, Obsidian is probably best known for Fallout: New Vegas.


Many gamers consider The Outer Worlds a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas, partially because senior designer Brian Hines claimed as such. Audiences still love New Vegas despite its age. Bethesda even tried to use that love to tempt gamers into purchasing a Fallout 1st subscription.

Since Microsoft owns the rights to Obsidian's most popular title and Obsidian itself, Microsoft need only put two and two together and let Obsidian develop New Vegas 2. In the unlikely event that Fallout becomes an Xbox exclusive, New Vegas 2 could draw in a lot of profits and help sell the Xbox Series X.

Hunted: The Demon's Forge 2

Hunted: The Demon's Forge is essentially a flesh golem stitched out of Gears of War cover mechanics, a fantasy medieval setting, hack-and-slash combat, magic spells, and questionable armor and female attire. The game was developed by inXile entertainment, which used to work with a variety of companies before it joined the Microsoft family. Bethesda kept the rights to The Demon's Forge, but since Microsoft now owns Bethesda, it holds both the game and the team behind it.


You might question why Microsoft would want to create a Hunted: The Demon's Forge sequel. The game only received middling reviews, after all. The answer is quite simple: to improve on the original's mistakes. Many critics stated The Demon's Forge held potential but was marred by poor execution. If Microsoft asked inXile for a sequel, the studio would probably churn out a worthwhile medieval co-op experience, especially since it could tap some talent from The Coalition, another Microsoft-owned studio currently in charge of the Gears franchise.

Brink 2

Brink was published by Bethesda and developed by Splash Damage, but the title was ahead of its time. It implemented a parkour system to seamlessly traverse the environment, as well as a then-novel attempt at marrying multiplayer gameplay with story-based campaigns. Brink didn't quite live up to expectations, but reviewers like AngryJoeShow saw the title's potential hidden beneath its problems.


Splash Damage made a name for itself helping companies develop multiplayer modes, and Microsoft is one of its most loyal customers. Splash Damage has worked on Gears of War 4, Gears 5, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and Gears Tactics. The studio has a fairly solid relationship with Microsoft, which is exactly what a company wants when a publisher acquires the rights to its previous work and is in need of a sequel.

Thanks to many advances in the fields of video game parkour and multiplayer campaign melding — and the rich relationship cultivated with Microsoft — Splash Damage could be hired to create Brink 2. More importantly, Splash Damage could learn from its blunders and craft a multiplayer experience ripe for esports.


Prey 2

Thanks to Bethesda, Prey is one of the most confusing titles for a video game. If someone asks if you have played Prey, you don't know if they are asking about the 2017 game or the 2006 original. More importantly, if you questioned a Microsoft representative about whether the company would produce a Prey sequel, which game would they think you were talking about? Well, the answer very well could be both.


While many gamers are familiar with the more recent Prey from Arkane Studios, they might not know the property began as a Human Head Studios title, published by 2K. Though both games share the same name, they are completely unrelated. Arkane Studios' rendition stars a Chinese-German scientist wandering around a space station BioShock style. Meanwhile, Human Head's original is a linear FPS starring a Native American protagonist and his spirit guide hawk.

Because Microsoft purchased Bethesda, it owns the rights to the Prey name. More importantly, it owns Arkane Studios and Human Head Studios, which morphed into Roundhouse Studios. Microsoft could potentially ask either developer to produce a sequel to its respective Prey game. Microsoft might even answer the prayers of fans and finally publish what was supposed to be the original Prey 2.