Banjo-Kazooie’s original developers are unsure if there’s an audience for a new game

by Danny Craig  · 
Banjo-Kazooie’s original developers are unsure if there’s an audience for a new game

Members of Rare’s original Banjo-Kazooie development team have stated that they doubt we’ll see a new entry into the series anytime soon.

The details:

  • In an interview with VGC to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo 64 platforming title, series composer Grant Kirkhope wondered if there was an audience for a true sequel to Banjo-Tooie, the franchise's second and final entry before Microsoft acquired Rare. "I feel like you’d have to get a team with the humor that we had back then, and that’s hard to replicate," he said. "I think Rare would be open to somebody if they found the right team, but I don’t feel like that team exists. Also, I’m not convinced the audience is there either. I don’t feel like there are that many Banjo fans out there."
  • Kirkhope went on to say that, while it was "spectacular" to see the bear and bird make an appearance in Super Smash Bros., he felt like fans live in a "kind of Banjo-Kazooie bubble, where it sounds like a great big noise," and he questioned how large the audience outside of that truly is.
  • Lead programmer Chris Sutherland also chimed in, saying that while Nintendo's platformers often perform well in terms of reviews and sales, that doesn't necessarily mean that the audience would be there for a Microsoft platformer to "justify the kind of scale of game you would need now." He went on to say that, while the reception to new characters in Smash Bros. has typically been positive, it does not necessarily imply that players love the games from which they came, and that, while "hopeful," another entry could end up like 2008's Nuts & Bolts, which was heavily panned by fans.
  • Character designer Steve Mayles believes that Microsoft's best option for giving Banjo another chance is to release a modern remaster of the original game, which would keep costs far lower than creating an entirely new title while also allowing them to gauge fan interest since it is the most popular game in the series by a long shot.
  • Sutherland and Mayles were among the Rare veterans who founded Playtonic Games in 2014, with Kirkhope joining later that year. The studio set out to create a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, which was released as Yooka-Laylee, and the game received mixed reviews, with many criticizing the game for feeling outdated in terms of gameplay and design, while others praised its old-school feel.

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