Bring It Back

These 4 studios would be the best choices for Killer Instinct 2

Microsoft is waiting for the right developer to bring Killer Instinct back.

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Fighting game fans want another Killer Instinct game on Xbox Series X. A direct follow-up to 2013's Killer Instinct would be a great way to shake up the fighting game scene. This fast-paced fighting game was a bright spot in Xbox's otherwise meek lineup for most of the last console generation.

While the 2013 game was supported for several years, that eventually died down. Now, prominent people in the fighting game community like Maximillian Dood are begging Microsoft to bring Killer Instinct back. They have even held new tournaments for the game and spread #BringBackKI across social media platforms.

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Apparently, Xbox also wants to bring the game back but is struggling to find a team for the job. On a February 5 Xbox Two podcast, reliable insider Rand al Thor said, "Microsoft wants to do Killer Instinct, it's not like they didn't want there to be a sequel, it's just that they had nobody to make it."

Venture Beat reporter Jeff Grubb and XboxEra podcast host @Shpeshal_Ed backed this up, with the latter saying, "There's no dev, no nothing. MS just aren't done with it." While it definitely seems like any Killer Instinct follows up is a ways off because development hasn't started yet, these are four studios that Xbox should partner with if they want to make it a reality.

4. Iron Galaxy

The most obvious choice would be Iron Galaxy, the developer who took over post-launch support for 2013's Killer Instinct. That game was initially developed by Double Helix, but they were acquired by Amazon in 2014. Development was then handed off to Iron Galaxy, who supported the game for a few more years.

Iron Galaxy's support eventually died off, and it seems that Microsoft didn't immediately assign them to a sequel. Still, if Iron Galaxy is available in between porting jobs and other new games it's working on, it would make the most sense for Xbox to hand off development to.

3. Arc System Works

If Xbox wants to lean into the stylish aspect of Killer Instinct, Arc System Works is the best choice. This Japanese fighting game developer is best known for games like Guilty Gear Xrd and Dragon Ball FighterZ with a unique style that makes 3D models fighting look like fluid 2D anime animation.

Arc System Works has a pretty full plate right now with several projects in the works, but there would certainly be a lot of goodwill and hype around a Killer Instinct game with Arc System Works' trademark graphics and style.

2. nWay

nWay is the dark horse choice on this list, but it makes sense. Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is this developer's biggest console release, and it successfully channels the exciting, fast-paced fighting game mechanics that make games like Marvel vs. Capcom and Killer Instinct so engaging.

Killer Instinct is a flashy fighting game that's fun to play and hard to master, just like Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid.

Xbox Game Studios

nWay is an underrated fighting game developers, and its fast-paced, combo-reliant fighting game style could actually translate pretty well to Killer Instinct if Microsoft ever decided to partner with them. It would need to be in better shape at launch than their Power Rangers game though.

While Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid was a mess at launch, nWay improved it over the next year with several updates that added new modes, characters, and cross-progression. This would be an unexpected choice for a Killer Instinct sequel, but they would actually be a surprisingly good fit.

1. Rare

Rare is the company that first created Killer Instinct all the way back in the mid-90s and collaborated with Double Helix and Iron Galaxy on the last Killer Instinct. As such, it'd make a lot of sense to hand the franchise back to its creators for the next entry. This just might not be the best time for Rare is who actively supporting Sea of Thieves and developing Everwild.

There are some hurdles to making this a reality. Rare has explained that they've moved on from old IP and likely don't have many developers that are super familiar with fighting game design anymore. Still, if Rare and Microsoft are willing to put the resources behind the project, Rare could produce an awesome new entry in this beloved fighting game franchise.

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