10 popular video game franchises we may never see on PlayStation again

Andrew Highton
crash bandicoot, doomguy, and tracer

Microsoft’s gradual accumulation of Activision Blizzard, and even Bethesda, could spell big trouble for PlayStation fans. Microsoft will soon own the licenses to many popular franchises, and here are 10 that we may never see on Sony’s hardware ever again.

Needless to say, the world was left shell-shocked after the sudden report of Microsoft’s ongoing acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The near $70 billion deal rocked the gaming world to its very core.

As well as financial implications for all parties, there could be long-term worries for owners of the blue brand. That’s right, Microsoft are presumably going to add Activision Blizzard to the 2021 purchase of Bethesda, meaning the company will have the rights to a whole smorgasbord of gaming’s biggest brands.

For PlayStation loyalists, this could be a huge issue if they’re hoping to play certain franchises moving forward. We’ve picked out 10 mammoth names that could fall victim to console exclusivity, leading to many disappointed Sony fans.

xbox and activision blizzard
What does this purchase truly mean for PlayStation and gaming in general?

Activision Blizzard & Bethesda owned by Microsoft

In case you’re wondering how the process works, by officially owning Activision Blizzard and Bethesda, Microsoft are in control of each companies releases and which platform they can be published on. As an example, it’s already been confirmed that Bethesda’s Starfield project will release as a Microsoft exclusive.

Microsoft CEO Phil Spencer has been quoted as saying: “I’ll just say to players out there who are playing Activision Blizzard games on Sony’s platform: It’s not our intent to pull communities away from that platform and we remained committed to that.”

As with everything though, never say never.

10. Crash Bandicoot

crash bandicoot looking for something
Could one of PlayStation’s original mascots really become an Xbox-exclusive brand?

It would be unthinkable to suggest that gaming’s most famous orange character will become a permanent employee of the Xbox brand, but it could be the case. Crash could very well become one of several franchises that will gain a fixed place on the Microsoft money train.

With the success of the N.Sane Trilogy and Crash Bandicoot 4, any further releases might be spinning their way into X-boxes.

9. The Elder Scrolls

dovahkiin walking through town

It’s all but official that The Elder Scrolls VI will be setting up shop in the Microsoft camp and nowhere else. If this is the case, then there’d be no reason for any future Elder Scrolls releases to see a simultaneous offering on PlayStation.

The best we can hope for for the blue brand is a 47th re-release of Skyrim on a Sony smart kettle in 2031.

8. Overwatch

Torbjorn holding tools
Given Overwatch 2’s long development time, maybe the first game was actually its last stand.

Overwatch was a solid game on the PS4 and proved to be very popular. On the other hand, Overwatch 2 seems to be stuck in some kind of development hell that would make Lucifer blink twice. Its projected release date keeps being pushed back, but will still be available to PS4 and PS5 users.

A fully-functioning, cross-play Overwatch 2 is something the world needs, but if there’s a third entry, this could prove to be the end of the line for Sony.

7. Guitar Hero

hitting notes during a guitar hero song
You know Guitar Hero will come back at some point.

Guitar Hero has been resurrected more times than Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger combined. The iconic music game is bound to reappear in the public spotlight again and flash its multi-colored fretboard once more.

Microsoft could easily use Guitar Hero as a lure for some additional sales. Additionally don’t forget the sea of plastic peripheral devices that will be inevitably be broken as people forget how difficult Through The Fire and Flames is on expert mode.

6. Diablo

fighting enemies in a diablo dungeon
Blizzard’s dungeon looter that began it all has been a monumental hit for the company.

It’s no secret that Blizzard like to take their time on games development. It’s been 10 years since the release of Diablo 3, a hugely successful game that has generated millions of dollars through millions of sold copies.

PlayStation has been able to bear witness to its greatness through a Diablo 3 release and remakes. Diablo 4 has been confirmed to be coming to the PlayStation, but it could also be the last to do so.


revenant enemy shrugging in DOOM
Even the Revenant looks confused about DOOM’s future.

DOOM 2016’s reboot has to be one of the best reboots of all time? Surely? Dispensing with DOOM 3’s survival-horror elements, DOOM reinvented itself by adopting elements of the original games’ winning formula and escalating the chaos, blood-letting, and banging tunes.

DOOM: Eternal did all the above and added a frickin grappling hook! But with no DOOM 3 on the horizon and Bethesda under Microsoft ownership, was Eternal the last new DOOM game we will see on PlayStation?

4. Spyro The Dragon

spyro running away from enemy fire
Sony’s OTHER legendary mascot could be set for a PlayStation exile.

They wouldn’t, they couldn’t, lord have mercy they shouldn’t…but they could. Spyro is another beloved childhood figure that is known by gamers and casuals worldwide. The Reignited trilogy has beautifully reignited many people’s love for the purple dragon, and it seems likely that a new game is a given, surely?

PS5, PS6, PS7, etc, users may have to invest in the green brand if they want to torch any new sheep thanks to a potential, draconian separation of Spyro from PlayStation.

3. Fallout

brotherhood of steel helmet
Will a Brotherhood of Steel helmet ever be donned again for the blue brand?

With both The Elder Scrolls and Starfield presumably the key focus in terms of Bethesda’s sprawling RPGs, there’s every chance that Microsoft will actually set the world on fire by taking Fallout away from Sony.

It will be a massive shame if the lasting memory of Fallout on PlayStation is the disastrous Fallout 76 that we are all eager to forget through a cocktail of Radaway and Nuka Cola Quantum.

2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

player grinding a rail in tony hawk's
Tony Hawk’s got its start on the original PS1 and produced some of the most critically acclaimed games ever.

The HD remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 saved the skateboarding series from abject limbo. It’s rejuvenated and relevant once more. It’s also unknown if more remasters are being planned by Activision, or if an entirely new game is in the half-pipeline.

With that being said, don’t be surprised if Microsoft forces the series to ollie its way into exclusivity.

1. Call of Duty

cod vanguard's main operators posing
Never. Say. Never.

Despite assurances that Call of Duty will continue to get a run out for PlayStation, everything can change with the click of a finger. Truth be told, no one knows about any possible behind-the-scenes vitriol and bitterness. Microsoft could take CoD away from Sony, just because.

PlayStation has had exclusivity rights on Call of Duty content for several years and it sells millions of copies on the brand every year – it’s been the best-selling franchise in the US 14 years running. However, Microsoft have the power now, and if they want, they can turn around and make the upcoming, rumored Modern Warfare 2 the final one to ever be properly multi-platform.

Then when you factor in Warzone’s microtransactions, Microsoft could recoup a hefty amount of that $70 billion investment back through CoD alone.