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DEBUNKED: Playtonic Games (developers of the Yooka-Laylee series) might be joining Xbox Game Studios and/or working on a new Banjo-Kazooie game

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mazi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
27,199
so i just saw this discussion in the XGS thread and thought it was interesting. thanks to Garrett 2U and Klobrille for posting the info.

EXHIBIT A: it was announced yesterday that Ed Bryan, ex-Rare developer who was the character artist for the Banjo-Kazooie games (as well as other Rare games like DK64 and Viva Piñata) has joined Playtonic Games. he left Rare in 2011 and helped Playtonic on the designs for the first Yooka-Laylee game.


EXHIBIT B: Ed then tweeted:


EXHIBIT C: in response to someone asking what's up with the bag:


EXHIBIT D: Gavin Price, co-owner, studio and game director at Playtonic Games recently added this to his Linkedin profile:
Playtonic Credits
Yooka-Laylee, Yooka-Laylee & The Impossible Lair, and in the foreseeable future that game #3, #4 and the #5 one too which is the one I always thought would be game #1.

EXHIBIT E: as Klobrille pointed out, they registered a new company recently (link):
Playtonic registered a new company, the PLAYTONIC GAMES DEVELOPMENT LIMITED, out of nowhere on Sept. 17th 2019

with X019 coming up soon and taking place in London and Playtonic being a British studio, do you think we might be hearing some news soon?
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
14,572
While they seemingly redeemed themselves with Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair I wouldn't trust them with another try at Banjo like gameplay.
 

Leflus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,608
I seriously doubt they're going to get acquired by any publisher any time soon. A partnership sounds plausible, however. It doesn't sound like The Impossible Lair set the charts on fire (which is a shame, because it's a great game), and getting to work with a more iconic IP would probably give the company a much needed popularity boost.

On a side note: This reminds me of the "Pepe Silvia" stuff Rare fans have gone through every E3 for like the past 5 or 6 E3s. :P
 

Scrawnton

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,424
It would be so awkward to leave Rare and start a studio to stick to your roots to then be bought by Microsoft again. I’m all for them making a Banjo game, but the acquisition didn’t benefit Rare last time...
 

chalkitdown

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,379
> Rare employees leave after Microsoft acquisition
> Create independant studio with all the old gang back together
> Independant studio acquired by Microsoft
> Profit?

Please no.

By all means, licence the Banjo IP out to them, but joining Microsoft would be an odd move for them.
 

Zalman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,353
There's no way it's an acquisition, but I guess it's possible for them to return to Banjo.
 

T002 Tyrant

Member
Nov 8, 2018
1,637
I'd certainly be up for that, I never played a Banjo game in my life and it'd be nice to get one.*

*It'd be even nicer to get it on the Switch ala Cuphead.
 

FelipeMGM

#Skate4
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
2,319
I'd be down with that, I actually liked Yooka-Laylee quite a bit

they did recently talked about their independence, and how that helped them freely decide their own future, so this does sound a bit weird, timing-wise
 

ShinUltramanJ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,708
I feel like Yooka Laylee filled Banjo’s void so well, that I honestly don’t care if they’re doing another Banjo. Why bother with someone else’s ip when you’ve got your own “Banjo” franchise to grow?
 

DongBeetle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,102
Why would I want a banjo game not designed by Gregg Mayles? All you guys wanting other studios to work on Banjo forget that Mayles IS Banjo
 

Scrawnton

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,424
Now that I think about it, I don’t think they’re being acquired by Microsoft, BUT I can see them entering into terms where they design and develop, in conjunction with Rare, a new Banjo game.
 

Dachhase

Coward
Oct 26, 2017
6,934
oh hell no.
(i don't care about the acquisition but playtonic should stay away from banjo)
 

Luke88

Member
Dec 29, 2018
468
While this would ruin my hopes and dreams for them to work on the third DKCR title I think it'd be a pretty smart move from MS, although it's pretty weird to see people who left Rare after the MS acquisition that formed an independent team let MS buy their indipendent team too...
 

Leflus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,608
So... they get out of Rare to be independent, only to join Microsoft again? It would be really weird
Not that I think it's happening, but...

XGS is a much different organization than MGS. Seeing studios like Ninja Theory, Obsidian and Double Fine team up with MS has got to have changed the industry's impression of XGS a bit.

Why would I want a banjo game not designed by Gregg Mayles? All you guys wanting other studios to work on Banjo forget that Mayles IS Banjo
I think most people here are assuming that Gregg Mayles would be involved whether it's made in-house, by Playtonic or by a different studio. He's still at Rare/MS, so there wouldn't be many obstacles as far as logistics go.
 

Dachhase

Coward
Oct 26, 2017
6,934
Why would I want a banjo game not designed by Gregg Mayles? All you guys wanting other studios to work on Banjo forget that Mayles IS Banjo
he is. that's why it always rubbed me the wrong way when they presented themselves as the people who made banjo when in fact it was a programmer and a character designer not the persons who made banjo great.
 

Bonejack

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,739
I'd rather have them stay indie and just do an exclusive contract with MS over Banjo-Games for Xbox and PC. Cuphead-like.
 

DongBeetle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,102
he is. that's why it always rubbed me the wrong way when they presented themselves as the people who made banjo when in fact it was a programmer and a character designer not the persons who made banjo great.
All of Rare’s games directed by him show just how great of a designer he is. His only real fault is the fact that he’s so overly ambitious
 

Windrunner

Restless Dreams
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
4,291
Why would I want a banjo game not designed by Gregg Mayles? All you guys wanting other studios to work on Banjo forget that Mayles IS Banjo
There wouldn't be anything stopping him from working on it too.

I could see how this would work as a collaborative sister studio for Rare.
 

Raide

Member
Oct 31, 2017
8,786
So Rare spinoff studio starts working on MS projects using Rare IP? Sure, that sounds like a plan. If Rare don't want to go back, someone else should.

Rare have a crazy amount go IPs that could use a new like. Pinata, Banjo, Saberwulf, etc etc. Just make sure you give KI to someone else.
 

RestEerie

Member
Aug 20, 2018
7,592
why do you need to acquire a studio to make the games from a studio that you've already owned? What does this speaks of the current Rare if that's the case?

It's akin to Microsoft RE-acquiring Bungie to make Halo..............or acquiring Epic to make Gears
 

Dust

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,417
I'd be down with that, I actually liked Yooka-Laylee quite a bit

they did recently talked about their independence, and how that helped them freely decide their own future, so this does sound a bit weird, timing-wise
Technically Insomniac also talked about independence just before Sony bought them.
I guess MS might want to revive Banjo but would Playtonic shitcan their new IP for that?
 

Windrunner

Restless Dreams
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
4,291
I mean did they leave just to be put back on the same ship they jumped?
I thought they left because they could no longer make the kinds of games they wanted to. If XGS are saying we want you to make those games again and you will have access to all the IP you helped create, I can see how that would be a pretty sweet deal.
 

CalamityPixel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,006
Might be a good case for them to join up if like Ninja Theory it is full creative freedom, financial security and access to the Rare backlog.
 

Leflus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,608
he is. that's why it always rubbed me the wrong way when they presented themselves as the people who made banjo when in fact it was a programmer and a character designer not the persons who made banjo great.
To be fair, the art was a huge part of why the Banjo-Kazooie games worked so well. IMO it has held up much better than a lot of their other N64 efforts. They also had the environment artist on the team as well as Kirkhope as a contractor, btw.

With that said, it was annoying to see Playtonic get referred to as the literal rebirth of Rare when it wasn't even a complete reformation of the DKC/Banjo team. They're also missing George Andreas from the gameplay design side of things.

They seem to have a pretty solid team now though. Their gameplay designers may be fresh faces or relatively unknown Rare veterans, but I thought The Impossible Lair was a super fun game. Aside from maybe the titular final level, I guess...
 
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