Speaking to Game Informer, Booty said he’s aware of the many dormant IPs that Microsoft owns, such as Rare’s Perfect Dark, but that reboot projects usually work better when a creator approaches them with a “personal passion” for taking it on.
“On my list that I keep is also a list of IP,” he said. “It’s right up there with the list of studios that we’d like to talk to! So I am aware [that we own Perfect Dark], yeah.”
Booty explained that the upcoming Battletoads reboot came about because its development team Dlala had a lot of enthusiasm for taking the franchise on.
“The way Battletoads came about was, some of the people who are involved in working on it approached Craig Duncan [Rare studio head] and said, ‘hey, we remember growing up on this game and would love to put our own twist on the IP’,” he explained.
“Craig and I had a conversation and we loved their energy… That’s the kind of thing I love. It’s been a few years now but I was fortunate enough to work with the team who rebooted Killer Instinct. That really came about because there was an energy and a passion for it.
“Those are the scenarios that I love and I think that those tend to work out a little better than trawling through a spreadsheet going, ‘ah, nobody’s done this in a while, maybe we could reboot that one’.
“I think when somebody has a personal passion for it, it can really work out.”
The Xbox exec’s words echo that of Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope, who told VGC in an interview that he felt Banjo-Kazooie 3 would only happen if a passionate creator was signed on for the project.
“They would need to find an external studio who really cares about the project and wants to do it, like they did with Killer Instinct and also similar to how Ubisoft Milan did a great job with Mario + Rabbids,” he said.
In recent years Xbox has launched a new initiative to significantly expand its portfolio of first-party studios.
As well as setting up The Initiative and a new Age of Empires studio, Xbox has recently acquired the likes of Ninja Theory (Hellblade), Playground (Forza Horizon), Obsidian (Fallout: New Vegas), InXile (Wasteland 3) and Double Fine (Psychonauts 2).
Xbox head Phil Spencer recently said the platform holder still has “work to do” with its first-party games output.