The Banjo-Kazooie and Conker games hold a special place in the hearts of gamers, but neither franchise has seen a new entry in quite some time. While fans of the characters consistently ask Microsoft for new games based on the properties, it seems that the option rests in the hands of Rare. In a new interview with Kotaku, Xbox boss Phil Spencer was asked about the future of games starring Banjo-Kazooie and Conker. According to Spencer, Microsoft gives its studios a lot of freedom to do what they want to do, and Rare's current focus seems to be on new things.
“I leave it up to the studios in terms of the things that they want to go work on,” Spencer told Kotaku. “I have a lot of respect for Rare and the work that they do. They do like building new things, and they’ve seen success with Sea of Thieves. I think they’re really excited about Everwild. But also the response to Battletoads was nice. And I think [partner studio] Dlala did a good job with the game. And so I think it’s just always a balance. My inbox is full of: ‘Let every studio do new [intellectual property].’ And also: ‘Why have you brought back Crimson Skies and Blinx?’"
With Rare currently working on new IPs like Everwild, it seems that the chances of seeing a new Banjo-Kazooie or Conker in the near future are pretty slim. Complicating matters further, several Rare staffers that worked on those original games have since moved on to other studios, such as Playtonic. However, as Spencer points out, the partnership between Rare and Dlala did result in the long-awaited return of Battletoads. It's entirely possible that a similar circumstance could lead to a return for other Rare properties.
Spencer's reply might be a bit disheartening for fans of Rare's beloved characters, but it's worth noting that Microsoft has clearly not forgotten about these franchises. Last year saw Banjo and Kazooie added to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, and the characters will even get their own Amiibo from Nintendo next year. Additionally, new merchandise based on Conker's Bad Fur Day was recently announced by Fangamer. Last but not least, the original Banjo-Kazooie games and Conker's Bad Fur Day can be found as part of Rare Replay on Xbox One. For now, fans will just have to settle for these options, and hope that new games might come sometime in the not-too-distant future.
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