- Xbox head Phil Spencer expresses his desire to revisit the MechAssault series, which was one of the first Xbox Live multiplayer games.
- MechAssault helped establish features that became standard practice in online gaming, beating games like Halo to the punch.
- While a revival of MechAssault is unlikely given the current Xbox landscape, fans of the series have shown interest in its return.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has revealed that he would like to revisit the classic MechAssault series one day, which was released on the original Xbox console. While Xbox has built up a number of franchises emblematic of the brand, such as Halo, there are a few series that were left to the wayside over the years. One of these includes the MechAssault series, which was one of the first games to support the Xbox Live online multiplayer function.
MechAssault was first released in 2002, developed by Day 1 Studios and published by Microsoft for the original Xbox. Its notoriety comes from how it would help nail down the features that would become standard practice with its implementation of Xbox Live. This subseries takes place in the same universe as its more well-known brother franchises, MechWarrior and Battletech. While the game would get a sequel in the form of MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf, the series came to a quiet end after its 2004 release. However, Phil Spencer states that he’d like to revisit this series one day and revive it.
In an interview at the Tokyo Game Show, Spencer was asked about what IP he would like to see revived from Xbox’s lineup. He states he always wanted to go back and revisit the MechAssault and MechWarrior series, believing that there’s a lot of potential there. He acknowledges that both series had done a lot of things that were considered ahead of its time, even beating games like Halo to the punch in terms of incorporating online multiplayer.
Day 1 Studios would go on and rebrand itself as Wargaming Chicago-Baltimore, where it now works on the World of Tanks franchise after being acquired by the Wargaming parent company. Day 1 Studios once had Reign of Thunder in development, which was a game in the same vein as MechAssault. After its acquisition by Wargaming in 2013, the status of this project has been left in the dark. Its brother series MechWarrior got a brand-new game in 2019, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, which was the first single-player MechWarrior game since 2002.
While alluding to the big Xbox leak that occurred not too long ago, Spencer states that this idea isn’t necessarily a leak, and just hopes that there would be an opportunity to revisit the series one day. Fans of this underrated mecha series expressed their interest in MechAssault getting a revival, though note it’s quite unlikely considering the current Xbox landscape.