With an updated version of Xbox game Phantom Dust available now available for free on PC and Xbox One, a Microsoft representative has suggested that the company is still willing to move ahead with a reboot.
Responding to a viewer question during a live Twitch playthrough of the game, Adam Isgreen, a creative director at Microsoft, said that a new entry in the series may be made if the recent re-release proves successful. Given the free-to-play nature of the release, a decision on the possibility of a series revival will not be based on revenue, but popularity.
“So, here’s the deal,” said Isgreen, “the more people that play this version of Phantom Dust . . . that makes the conversations about doing more with Phantom Dust in the future super easy.” While talking, Isgreen specifically mentioned the multiplayer portion of the game, but the re-release does include a slightly-modified version of the single-player campaign of 2004’s original.
A Phantom Dust reboot was previously in development at the now-closed Darkside Game Studios, which had previously contributed work to Borderlands and Sunset Overdrive, with Phantom Dust planned to be the studio’s solo debut. That title was originally planned to be multiplayer only, though Microsoft later also requested a single-player component. At the time of the cancellation back in 2015, Microsoft announced that it was still interested in continuing the series, but would need to find a new developer to take on the project.
The Phantom Dust re-release seems an opportunity for Microsoft to determine whether a fanbase for the game is still present, which will make the decision of whether to greenlight a new reboot easier. The game launched, for free, on PC and Xbox One on May 16.