Microsoft Studios creative director Ken Lobb stated recently that classic Rare franchises such as ‘Banjo-Kazzoie’, ‘Perfect Dark’, ‘Viva Pinata’ and ‘Battletoads’ will return someday granted the time and circumstances are right.
During the latest Inner Circle podcast, Lobb reassured that classic franchises from Rare would definitely come back someday and that they wouldn’t be collecting dust on Microsoft shelves.
“Will there ever be another Banjo, Viva, Blast Corps, Battletoads? Yeah, someday. And I think the reason you see things like ‘Battletoads’ revived, is because we know there’s value,” Lobb said.”So we renewed the trademark. Does that mean it’s coming this year? No. Does that mean it’ll never come? Absolutely not. We have a lot of passion internally for each of the games. And we have surprises in store in the near and long future.”
From the looks of it, expectations for new titles in these franchises coming out anytime soon aren’t all that high. But Lobb made it clear that Microsoft’s strategy around revisiting old IPs is something that they can only do so much of.
“Understand that what it’s really about is we want to build this suite of IP that we can add to a list of, ‘Let’s build some new things, let’s build some recent sequels, and let’s do some crazy stuff like dig back into our portfolio of IP and build some games that people love,'” Dobb explained. “I think the best message to give to your listeners is we love the old IP as much as you do–please be patient because we can only build so much at a time.”
For those unaware, Rare is a studio whose work is often held in high regard by classic gaming fans whose titles include ‘Goldeneye: 007,’ ‘Banjo-Kazooie,’ ‘Killer Instinct’ and ‘Perfect Dark’. The studio was mostly affiliated with Nintendo back in the day having released numerous games for both the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64. However, when the studio was acquired by Microsoft in 2002 to release games on the first Xbox, the company had experienced a slow decline in terms of releasing games from their classic franchises, with the most recent one being ‘Banjo Kazzoie: Nuts and Bolts’ in 2008. Ever since, the studio has mostly done work on the ‘Kinect Sports’ franchise.
With this recent news, it shouldn’t be surprising that fans who have long awaited new entries will probably be getting their hopes up. According to a recent tweet by Rare composer Robin Beanland, the studio apparently has big plans on the game front in 2015. But what those plans encompass is still unclear. All that Lobb was able to assure fans was that it’s a nice, big year for Rare and that he is excited as well.