British developer Rare mainly develops accessories for Microsoft’s Xbox Avatar system as well as the successful Kinect Sports series. However, in the olden days of the Nintendo 64, things were quite different for the company as they were responsible for a large library of diverse and critically acclaimed titles before a 2002 buyout led to them developing titles exclusively for Microsoft.
Among these older titles was a pair of platform games called Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie. Featuring a bear and bird duo traversing landscapes, using powerups, and collecting items in an expansion of the Super Mario 64 formula, the series was a big seller back then. While Rare did briefly revive the series with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the Xbox 360 in 2008, the overall reception to the game was mixed due to a heavier focus on vehicular construction and driving than actual platforming. That and low sales caused the series to be put on hold again.
While the series is not making an official comeback, several former Rare employees are making an effort to revive the style of play the original games utilized. Currently dropping tidbits on the new Twitter account @MingyJongo, the developers are planning on specifically making a new 3D platformer specifically in the vein of the Banjo series. The account has said that concrete details on the game are still a ways off, and that they may consider utilizing Kickstarter to get some funding.
The account has already gained over 13,000 followers since its creation, so there is clearly some subset of gamers out there interested in revisiting the now-niche platformer genre. It will be interesting to see what this team ultimately comes up with and as always, we will keep you updated as more news develops.