Some unfortunate news has recently broken for those with fond memories of the iconic Nintendo 64 platformers, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. Back in 2012, several former employees of series creators Rare announced plans to create some sort of spiritual successor to the titular bear and bird’s original adventures, possibly funding the game through Kickstarter. After the initial announcement, things went quiet for a very long time. Unfortunately, there turned out to be a good reason for that.
In a recent online interview, Grant Kirkhope, the musical composer responsible for the original games’ soundtracks, confirmed that despite some initial group meetings and planning, the project has completely evaporated. The following quote from Kirkhope offers more information:
“The other guys actually had a secret meeting in a pub near Rare and we even got as far as having a character drawn up and a demo level type thing but it all fell to bits …. everyone’s got other jobs, etc.”
As someone who grew up loving the Banjo titles, and much of Rare’s older work in general back when they were Nintendo’s most revered Western developer, this is certainly a shame to hear. The platformer genre, despite continued support from icons like Mario, Sonic and Rayman, is now usually relegated to indie developers for most modern releases. Having veterans from Rare’s glory days return to their roots for a new Banjo-esque adventure would have truly been a welcome experience for many gamers, myself included.
Considering that Rare themselves are focused on the Kinect Sports series nowadays, I do hope that Microsoft, the developer’s current owner, takes the opportunity to revive the series via another developer like they did with Killer Instinct, but only time will tell if that will ever happen.
Would you have been interested in a game harkening back to the days of N64 platformers like Banjo-Kazooie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.