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Crash, Spyro, Overwatch and others are now on the table for a future Killer Instinct following Microsoft's historic Activision acquisition

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • January 18, 2022 at 7:58 p.m. PST • Comments: 40

Microsoft pulled off the largest acquisition in the history of the video game industry with the announcement today that the makers of Xbox are set to purchase Activision Blizzard for a mind-boggling $68.7 billion.

While many are focused on the implications of the deal and future Xbox exclusive titles, it's also impossible to ignore the doors opened for future Killer Instinct guest characters too.

As one of the largest developers and publishers in the world, Activision Blizzard owns dozens of iconic gaming franchises that Microsoft will soon have full control over.

Although Activision doesn't really make their own fighting games (outside of like X-Men: Mutant Academy over 20 years ago), They still have a lot of characters who would certainly turn heads and generate hype if they were included / added to a new KI.

It's not even outlandish to suggest either because that's pretty much the approach Microsoft already took with the 2013 reboot of Killer Instinct by bringing in a handful of their first party-owned heroes and villains to the crazy world of UltraTech.

Halo's Arbiter, Gears of War's General Raam and Battletoads' Rash already made the jump into KI as DLC fighters, so there's already precedent set for interesting and unexpected choices to show up.

Let's dive a bit further into which Activision Blizzard series and characters would make the most sense or make the biggest splash in Killer Instict, and while Tony Hawk would certainly be funny, we don't really foresee that happen.

Crash and Spyro

Out of all of Activision Blizzard's IP, the potential guest fighters who would provide the largest reaction and pop off would be the likes of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon.

Fans of the classic gaming icons have clamored to see the pair receive representation in other fighters like Super Smash Bros. and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale for years upon years, and Microsoft just outright owning them would cut out any legal red tape that would exist to make that happen otherwise.

That being said though, it'd be quite interesting to see how Crash and Spyro could be expanded into having full fighting game movesets besides spinning, jumping and breathing fire.

They've already pulled off similar conversions by turning shooter characters like Arbiter and General Raam into fighters, so it's not much of a stretch to think they could do the same for these guys.

Plus, Crash and Spyro would probably have to receive a new redesign to fit into the KI world, which would be quite something to behold.


As for the franchise that would most easily fit the Killer Instinct aesthetic without really needing any changes, the cast of Overwatch seems to fit that bill well with their tech an bionic enhancements.

It's not hard to imagine characters like Tracer, Doomfist and Roadhog showing up on the same screen as Jago and Fulgore.

Having more fleshed out moves and abilities plus already being established in the realm of competitive gaming would also help bridge the gap, especially with Overwatch 2 in the works.

Warcraft or StarCraft

As for Blizzard's oldest and arguably most recognizable franchises, both Warcraft and StarCraft would have quite a bit to offer up to the realm of fighting games with decades of characters, races and classes to choose from.

Out of all of them though, Sarah Kerrigan would probably be our choice because the Queen of Blades already looks like a Killer Instinct character

Her pointy "wings", psionic powers and ability to control the Zerg Swarm could be implemented in cool and unique ways for a fighting game, especially one that likes to experiment with archetypes like KI.


Although Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was developed by the Dark Souls team at From Software, Activision were the ones to publish the great action game and retain its rights.

Some of the title's main characters like the Wolf or Owl theoretically wouldn't have a tough time transitioning over to fighting games with their swordplay, ninja tools, shinobi arts and focus on parrying offering up a lot of potential moves to choose from.

Their inclusion would likely depend, however, on whether Activision (or now Microsoft) want to do anything further with Sekiro or leave it as a one and done deal.

While there's no confirmation that a new Killer Instinct is on the horizon, there have been multiple rumors swirling around recently suggesting that another entry in the series is already in active development.

The latest of which says Microsoft and Rare's fighting game has shifted to Japanese studio Bandai Namco, who are already known for their Tekken and Soul Calibur franchises.

Even if a new Killer Instinct was already available to play, however, any Activision inclusions would be still a ways off in the distance since the Microsoft acquisition isn't expected to close sometime during the 2023 fiscal year.

With all of the studios Microsoft has been picking up as of late, including their other massive pickup in Bethesda, the possibilities of who could feasibly fight the Killer Instinct crew has grown exponentially too.

How that'll shake out in reality though will still remain to be seen of course.

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