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It was confirmed this week that Banjo-Kazooie character artist Ed Bryan has joined Playtonic, the independent studio behind spiritual successor series Yooka-Laylee.
Bryan’s appointment means Playtonic now employs the full character art team behind the Banjo-Kazooie games, as well as many other Rare veterans, leading to speculation this week that the studio could be set to develop a new entry in the series and even be acquired by IP holder Microsoft.
Both suggestions were addressed in a statement released by Playtonic on Twitter. “We hate to be the bearers of news that isn’t what you want to hear, but we thought it best to come out and say – we aren’t working on a new Banjo-Kazooie game and we remain an independent studio,” the studio said.
“While we would love to work with the bear and bird again, that ball isn’t in our court.”
Coinciding with the release of the eagerly anticipated Banjo-Kazooie DLC for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in September, the creator of the characters called for a remaster in the vein of Activision’s Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy.
Writing in a VGC column, Steve Mayles argued that following the Smash Bros. furore, a remaster project could prove there’s sufficient demand for a “no-expense-spared” new game in the Banjo-Kazooie series.
Playtonic recently released the follow-up to its debut game, 2017’s Yooka-Laylee.
The “platforming adventure hybrid” features 40 levels in total, including alternate versions, with secrets and puzzles found throughout the title transforming the game world.
See what critics thought of the game in our Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair review round-up.