The eagerly anticipated Banjo-Kazooie DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was released on Wednesday.
Writing in a new VGC column, Steve Mayles argued that following the Smash Bros. furore, a remaster project could further prove there’s sufficient demand for a “no-expense-spared” new game in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which updates all three original games in the platformer series, has sold more than 10 million copies.
“Now [Banjo and Kazooie] have returned in Smash [Bros. Ultimate], I’ve been surprised by the reception,” Mayles wrote.
“Part of it is being away for so long, and a part of it is returning to a Nintendo console. And maybe just a small part because they are decent characters!”
He added: “Could the reaction of fans to Banjo and Kazooie in Smash persuade Microsoft to make another Banjo game? The revival of Spyro and Crash went pretty well after all… I think a fairly safe way to gauge demand for a new game would be a remaster of the original two games.
“Then if the interest is there perhaps we could see Banjo return in the new no-expense-spared game he and Kazooie deserve.”
Another of Banjo-Kazooie’s original creators, composer Grant Kirkhope, said earlier this year that he wasn’t sure if there was sufficient demand for a new game.
Kirkhope, who created music for the Banjo-Kazooie Smash Bros. DLC, argued that it’s “easy to get wrapped up” in the excitement when a new game in the series might not make much business sense to IP holder Xbox Game Studios.
“My honest opinion is I don’t know if they’ll ever be a new Banjo,” he said. “It’s easy to go, ‘look at these numbers’, but it might be a drop in the ocean for Xbox.
“Is there a market for it? I just don’t know. I would think that Rare probably doesn’t have the appetite for it. They’re super busy with Sea of Thieves and that’s a gigantic game: it’s going to take the whole studio to keep making content for that.
“Maybe the E3 reception has made Microsoft think about it,” he added. “But the trouble is, if I say anything more definitive than that then the fans will think I’m in the know! When really, I’m just a composer.
“I have no connection to that decision what-so-ever. Gregg Mayles and Tim Stamper are the real inventors of Banjo… I’m just the most visible on social media.”
Kirkhope said he feels the only way a new Banjo-Kazooie game will get made in the future will be if Rare and Xbox can find an external studio who “gets” the project.
“Rare need to find somebody like that who gets the game, who really loves it, gets the humour, comes up with a great plot and then kicks on,” he said.