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A Banjo-Kazooie revival may be coming, here’s what we know

banjo kazooie

The Banjo-Kazooie series is reportedly coming back

The first two Banjo-Kazooie games released on the Nintendo 64 were widely acclaimed for their distinctive combo of platforming and puzzle-solving, as well as the charm and humor of the game’s iconic main duo. Despite several follow-ups, the series has struggled to establish itself in the long term and has largely been abandoned since 2008’s Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the Xbox 360.

Interest in a new Banjo-Kazooie game had long been dormant, but the characters’ inclusion in Super Smash Bros Ultimate put the character back into the limelight. The original game’s arrival on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack’s N64 lineup let fans remember what the series is capable of. Now, the game might be brought back to the fore after 15 years of silence.

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Will there be a new Banjo-Kazooie game?

A new Banjo-Kazooie game is reportedly in the works, albeit in an early stage of development.

Information shared by insider NateDrake on the ResetEra forums claims that Microsoft is actively working on a new Banjo-Kazooie game. NateDrake has accurately leaked information related to Xbox projects and events in the past, including scooping Xbox’s reveal of Persona 3 Reload. The title is “an active project” but there is “a lot to do” before the game is in a functional state.

Both Xbox and Rare have publicly waffled on bringing back the franchise, questioning fan interest. That changed to some degree after the strong fan response to the characters’ reveal for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, but none of the involved parties have confirmed plans for anything coming after that.

Rare has released a long list of games of various genres in the years since Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Most of those games have received mixed or negative reviews. While the studio is still identifiable thanks to its 1990s smash hits like Goldeneye 007, Battletoads, Killer Instinct, and Donkey Kong 64, it’s not nearly as beloved as it once was.

Many of the developers from that heyday moved on to Playtonic Games. The studio created a spiritual successor in Yooka-Laylee and a spin-off, both of which received generally positive reviews. A sequel was announced to be in the works in 2021, but no news has come out on it since.

Neither Microsoft nor Rare have confirmed any new games or re-releases related to the Banjo-Kazooie series. If Microsoft opted to bring the series back, it’s unclear whether it would turn to Rare to take on the job.

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Written by Mohamed Hassan

Mohamed still treasures his time playing games on the original PlayStation, speedrunning through the Megaman X games and replaying acclaimed role-playing game Chrono Cross countless times. Since then, his love for JRPGs and platformers has only grown and is among the driving forces behind his passion for writing about video games.

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