Of all the Microsoft video game franchises out there, Phantom Dust is the last I was expecting to to see receive a full fledged revival. In a world where a new Killer Instinct exists though, I'm willing to bet that just about anything is possible.
Between that game's original creator Yukio Futatsugi being fully on board with the Xbox One after directing Crimson Dragon, Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer teasing an "awesome" Japanese exclusive, directly mentioning interest in a new game before, and a most revealing, brand new Phantom Dust trademark filed in Europe, the USA, and the UK, the stars seem to be aligning to indicate that such a revival will be happening.
For those who have never played the original, Phantom Dust was a very strange third-person shooter-esque game in which magical powers and ammo are dealt through a kind of card-game battle system. It's definitely one of the most unique titles available on the original Xbox and worth tracking down if you ever get the chance.
Futatsugi, creator of SEGA's Panzer Dragoon series as well, has always sighted it as one of his favorite games he's created and has stated in the past that he would love to get back into the franchise if given the chance by Microsoft.
"Of all the games I have created so far, Phantom Dust is my favorite," he said in an interview last year with Siliconera. "Microsoft owns the IP, so if Microsoft would say they want to do it, I'm ready to jump on board immediately.
"I've already got ideas for a sequel in mind. Perhaps it's also good to note here that the art lead for Phantom Dust is a member of our company and participated in the Crimson Dragon production."
If a new Phantom Dust were to join the fray as a major Xbox One exclusive, then Microsoft definitely has my attention at this point. I think it's safe to say at this point that the typical AAA scene is quite far removed from my field of interest, but Microsoft it is will to play up these quirky Japanese exclusives, then sign me right up! Between D4, Crimson Dragon, and a new Phantom Dust, Microsoft is doing more for Japanese gaming than even the PlayStation 4 is these days!
Plus, Sunset Overdive looks downright awesome too.
I'm going to call this as an E3 announcement. Expect to see Microsoft mention something about a new Phantom Dust game during its press conference. Thanks to its multiplayer nature, I'm also going to bet it will be free-to-play, just like the aforementioned Killer Instinct.
Be sure to check out the original Xbox cult-classic in the meantime. It is available cheaply no matter where you look for it, so you have no excuses if you haven't played it come June 9.