Banjo-Kazooie (1998) on Nintendo 64 was one of the finest adventure games of its time, a delightful exploration of ideas about fairy tales and friendship.
It was just one of the great games produced and owned by Rare, during its Nintendo heyday, including shooter Perfect Dark and fighter Battletoads. But now that Microsoft-owned Rare seems to be stuck knocking out Kinect Sports games, can we hope to see updated versions of these classics for Xbox One?
According to Ken Lobb, creative director for Microsoft Studios, the company is planning to resurrect classic Rare franchises at some point in the future. "Will there ever be another Banjo, Viva, Blast Corps, Battletoads? Yeah, someday," he said, speaking on the Inner Circle podcast. "We know there's value. We have a lot of passion internally for each of the games. And we have surprises in store in the near and long future."
He said that Microsoft updates trademark ownership of these franchises, and that they come up in discussion on a regular basis. Games like Banjo Kazooie and its sequel Banjo Tooie were re-released on Xbox 360 as digital downloads in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
"Understand that what it's really about is we want to build this suite of IP [Intellectual Property] that we can add to a list of, 'let's build some new things, let's build some recent sequels, and let's do some crazy stuff like dig back into our portfolio of IP and build some games that people love,'" he added.
"I think the best message to give to your listeners is we love the old IP as much as you do. Please be patient because we can only build so much at a time."