We wished. We hoped. We were teased. We were rejected. The anticipation for a new entry in Rare’s Killer Instinct franchise has been strong and hyped for ever since the conclusion of Killer Instinct 2 (Arcade) and Killer Instinct Gold (Nintendo 64) with fans constantly asking that a new game be developed. Rare has continueously teased over the years in their other games from visual teases in Grabbed by the Ghoulies to verbal references in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, but has never gone beyond that. We have taken all of the teases in stride and kept hope that Killer Instinct 3 would finally, one day enter the development stage and our wishes would come true. But alas! In light of recent news, Killer Instinct 3 may never be more than a hopeful dream and will forever cease to exist.
A couple of days ago, a former Rare 3D modeler, Donnchadh Murphy, shed light on some really bittersweet news in regards to Killer Instinct 3. As it turns out, Rare actually wanted to develop the game, but Microsoft rejected the idea. They prefer Rare to focus on a different demographic that targets a younger audience and families, thus the reason behind Rare’s recent focus on the Kinect Sports franchise. But the key question here is… why not both? Rare certainly has the staff to handle multiple projects and the financing would definitely be there, so why not have a team focus on the family titles and another on Killer Instinct? If ever there was a time for the revival of one of gaming’s biggest fighting games, then the time is now.
The fighting game scene has been huge in recent years thanks to the revival of Capcom’s hard hitting Street Fighter IV. It revitalized a genre that had long been dead and reawakened it in a way that hadn’t been seen since the mid-1990s. Street Fighter IV was just the beginning, however, as other games came out of the wood works as well such as Mortal Kombat and King of Fighters that once again had their own fair share of success. With upcoming titles like Injustice: Gods Among Us and yet another entry in the King of Fighters series, fighting games won’t be slowing down any time soon. With that in mind, the timing is perfect for a new Killer Instinct and it would have a very distinct advantage for Microsoft over the other fighters.
Killer Instinct is, of course, an exclusively owned intellectual property by Microsoft and Rare. The significance of this means that a game developed in the franchise would be exclusive to the Xbox platform and given the aforementioned hype and anticipation surrounding the series, it would surely be a system seller. Both old and new fans alike would likely flock to the game and Microsoft would have it’s own exclusive fighter. It sounds like a no brainer, right?
Maybe Microsoft is wary to make it happen due to lackluster sales of Rare’s previous non-Kinect efforts? Even if that’s true, then why not at the very least develop a hi-def Xbox LIVE Arcade remake of the original game? The cost would be significantly less and the undoubted success of it could potentially pave the way for the Killer Instinct people are starving for.
As of now, the hopes and dreams of all Killer Instinct fans have been tossed out the window. But we will still continue to hope, continue to dream, and continue to wait for the day a new Killer Instinct becomes a reality.