Banjo-Kazooie developers fear the franchise is gone for good
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Featured Image Credit: Rare
We all love a bit of nostalgia and once in a while, it’s a fantastic feeling taking a trip down memory lane for a better version of a game that we love.
In this modern era of gaming, that immense feeling of nostalgia is a sure-fire money-maker with classic games being remade from the group up or perhaps a reboot to start afresh.
Take for example God of War (2018), a totally new game based upon Norse mythology, that still followed the events of Kratos’ Greek god massacring days. Then already this year, we’ve had two of the best remakes there have ever been with Dead Space and Resident Evil 4.
At this point, we’re seeing so many remakes, remasters and reboots, that the formula might be feeling a little oversaturated. However, one remake or reboot that some fans would love to see is the Banjo-Kazooi series from developers Rare that began on the N64 way back in 1998.
This beloved action-adventure 3D platformer starring a bear (Banjo) and his Breegull friend (Kazooie) was a sign of the times of the Nintendo 64, sitting firmly alongside other classics of its genre such as Super Mario 64, Donkey Kong 64 and Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
The Banjo-Kazooi series would later spawn various sequels that spanned multiple platforms and generations, the latter of which was Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the Xbox 360 in 2008.
Many years later, there’s still a lot of love for this series and fans have been wondering if Rare would consider bringing the Banjo and the Kazooie duo back for one last run. Sadly, it seems like that won't be the case.
As reported by My Nintendo News (via VGC), a group of developers behind the two Banjo-Kazooie games from the N64 were gathered to have a chat about what the series means to them and what the future holds.
“I don’t think that would work now on triple-A projects if Banjo-Kazooie was remade, because things take so much longer to make. But in those days that was a big part of it for sure,” said character designer, Steven Mayles.
“I can’t really speak for Gregg [Mayles, Rare’s creative director] but he’s really the custodian of the franchise,” he continued. “He doesn’t really like to look back and tread over old ground, so I don’t think he’s ever been bothered about doing anything else with the franchise. He’d rather move on to new experiences – as far as he’s concerned, he’s been there, done that.”
“I feel like you’d have to get a team with the humour that we had back then and that’s hard to replicate,” explained composer Grant Kirkhope. “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.”
Thankfully, the lead programmer, Chris Sutherland was a little more optimistic. “I would hope that somebody is going to bring out something… some kind of sequel or ‘next in line’ game,” he said. “At least before a point where I can still remember that the first one existed! But hopefully sooner.”
So there you have it, despite hopes of a reboot materialising back in 2021, if you were hoping to see the Banjo-Kazooie series revived, don’t hold your breath.