CLC: Banjo Kazooie spiritual successor teased

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A group of former Rare developers have announced plans for a “spiritual successor” to platforming classic Banjo Kazooie.

The six-strong group have also founded a new studio, Playtonic Games, and hope to grow their team up to around 15 staff.

Playtonic has only teased a single piece of concept art from the project so far.

Currently code-named Project Ukulele, the game will eventually see release via Steam Early Access and unnamed consoles.

So who are Playtonic Games? We’ve hunted down a few of the faces behind the website and checked their credentials.

Rare veteran Chris Sutherland is listed as a project director and software engineer, having worked at Rare from 1989 to 2014.

Jens Restemeier is listed as a technical director. He worked at Rare as a software engineer for eight years before leaving to join Free Radical Design, among others.

Steven Hurst, an environment art director, worked on visuals at Rare from 1995 to 2011, including stints on Donkey Kong Country 2, GoldenEye and the original Banjo Kazooie.

Gavin Price is another long-time Rare employee, having worked at the studio from 1999 to 2014 and worked on Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Banjo Tooie and Jet Force Gemini.

“If you’ve made it this far towards our fine internet abode, then you’ve probably worked out that we’re a new game developer, formed by some blokes who did those games you may or may not have liked as a nipper,” a statement on Playtonic’s new website.

“Currently we’re a sextet of artists, programmers and designers – sort of like The Pussycat Dolls with computer science degress – with one thing in common; we were all once core member of famous UK studio Rare, where we helmed franchises such as Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country and Viva Piñata.

“Together, our all-star ensemble is aiming to build its debut game, ‘Project Ukulele’, into a worthy spiritual successor to those fondly remembered platforming adventures we built in the past.

“So what’s next? Well first of all you need to know that our journey is at an early stage – we’ve barely left the Shire and Sean Bean’s still an alright guy.

“Over the coming months we’ll reveal more about our project and future growth plans, and we very much intend to get you involved and listen to your views on our game’s direction. You’ll ultimately shape the destination of our project and we plan to continue exchanging sweet glances across cyberspace at you until we get there.”

The original Banjo Kazooie launched back in 1998 for N64, during a golden period of development at Rare that saw the studio at the height of its powers.

Its launch was sandwiched between the critically-lauded GoldenEye 007 in 1997 and both Donkey Kong 64 and Jet Force Gemini in 1999.

The Banjo Kazooie IP is currently owned by Microsoft, which bought Rare in 2003.

Source: Eurogamer

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