Killer Instinct is a curious franchise. The height of its popularity peaked in the mid-90s when violent arcade fighters were in high demand. It then disappeared for over 15 years, resurrected by Microsoft for the Xbox One. The brand seemed strong, but Killer Instinct never found the footing it needed for modern success. Rumors are now growing of a new Killer Instinct in development. But few could have predicted that Bandai Namco's name would be attached to the project.
The rumor comes from Windows Central and, to be clear, is described as the "vaguest of unsubstantiated rumors." According to the report, one of Bandai Namco's fighting game development teams could be involved in making a new Killer Instinct game for Microsoft. The rumor goes on to explain that an Xbox representative previously said a team with fighting game experience was "difficult" to find. Bandai Namco certainly has that experience, and has shown with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that it's willing to work with partners' IP.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate isn't the only game that Bandai Namco has developed, though. The company has many different licensed fighting games. Bandai Namco is responsible for the Tekken and Soul Calibur franchises, as well as working with Dimps, CyberConnect, and ArcSystemWorks on anime fighters like Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. Bandai Namco could support the development of a new Killer Instinct in a variety of different ways.
While Bandai Namco's involvement with a new Killer Instinct project may be unreliable, the general rumor surrounding the existence of a new Killer Instinct game seems to be better substantiated. Rumormonger and XboxEra podcaster Shpeshal_Nick recently claimed to have heard about the project. It's described as a reboot, which would be understandable given the amount of time since the 2013 release for the Xbox One.
Rumors or not, it wouldn't be a surprise for Microsoft to try and resurrect Killer Instinct. The PlayStation platform has secured some significant fighting game exclusives in recent years, with Street Fighter 5 being the most prominent. PlayStation also purchased the EVO Championship Series, a major fighting game tournament. More than anything, the goal is likely just to make sure that there's something for the fighting game community that can only be found on Xbox.
As for when Killer Instinct fans can expect to hear more information about Microsoft's rumored plans for a new game, potentially developed by Bandai Namco, it's anyone's guess. It could be an announcement for 2022, or it could be years yet before word is shared. Of course, the rumor may be unreliable, too. All fans can do is wait and hope that Killer Instinct will be coming back soon.
Killer Instinct is rumored to be in development for Xbox platforms.
Source: Windows Central
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