Something seems to be going on with Playtonic, and rumors of a Microsoft acquisition or a new Banjo-Kazooie are swirling (UPDATE 2)

Don't tease me like this...

Playtonic just recently released Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, which was quite a hit with most critics. What's next for the company coming out of that success? Depending on how deep you like to dive into rumors, the company could have some major moves going on.

Just yesterday, we saw that former RARE dev Ed Bryan was officially brought on as an employee at Playtonic. Bryan was a character artist on Banjo-Kazooie, and eventually left RARE in 2011.

Fans noticed that Bryan tweeted out the above image/tweet on Nov. 3rd, 2019, and when someone asked him what was up with the bag, Bryan responded by saying, "It’s come out of retirement!" As you can see the Microsoft branding on the bag, this has drummed up some speculation that Playtonic and Microsoft are, at the very least, working on something.

Going a step further, 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.

Finally, we have the news of Playtonic registering a new company name recently. The company, PLAYTONIC GAMES DEVELOPMENT LIMITED, popped up without any explanation on Sept. 17th 2019.

There's certainly a lot of smoke building up here, but where's the fire? What could Playtonic be working on? It's clear something is up, but is speculation running too wild, or is Microsoft really bringing the band back together for a new Banjo outing?


UPDATE: We have some new details that both answer some questions, and raise new ones. First up, Ed Bryan has responded to the hubbub about his bag tweet.

Second, we have two new job listings opened at Playtonic. They are looking for an Experienced Gameplay Engineer, and an Experienced Technical Generalist. One of the listings specifically mentions the Unity engine.

Third, and most interesting, are some comments from Playtonic Community Manager Daley Johnson. He was asked for his thoughts on all the rumors swirling about, and answered with this.

Oh the secrets I know. We're back to where we were when I joined Playtonic and had a wealth of info yet to be revealed, hope you remember what it was like to be tormented and looking out for clues 😭.


UPDATE 2: Playtonic has come out to deny all of these reports.

Check out Playtonic's full panel from EGX 2019

Playtonic, fresh off the release of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, was part of a panel at EGX 2019. Wondering what the team had to talk about? If you missed the event live, no worries! You can check out the entire panel in the video above.

Playtonic Games wants to develop more Yooka-Laylee titles, "we could work on any kind of game, a racing game like Mario Kart or a shooter like Splatoon"

Potential spiritual successor to Diddy Kong Racing?

With the recent success of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, staff from the development studio had an interview with Spanish media outlet 3DJuegos. It looks like Playtonic Games isn't quite done with the chameleon and bat duo. Mark Stevenson and Steve Mayles discussed the potential future of the Yooka-Laylee franchise, and they wish to continue working on new games. They'd even like to create spin-off titles with other characters from the world of Yooka-Laylee. Nintendo's Mario Kart and Splatoon franchises are name-dropped as examples of where Yooka & Laylee might head. Check out the full translated statement below, thanks to Lant_War on Resetera:

"I think we'll keep working on Yooka Laylee in the future. Really, we could work on any kind of game, a racing game like Mario Kart or a shooter like Splatoon. We've never intended Yooka and Laylee to be the protagonists of all of our games. On the future, we could make a spin-off with one of the many characters from Yooka Laylee, like Dr. Quack or Dr. Puzz. Being independent lets us follow whatever way we want and the one we think is right."

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtrack now available to stream

A fantastic soundtrack start to finish

As promised, Playtonic has released the entire Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtrack online to stream for free. Click on the Bandcamp link above to listen to all 56 tracks!

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtrack releasing on Bandcamp this week

A can't-miss soundtrack

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair has an amazing soundtrack created by even more amazing composers. If you've been dying to hear some of those tunes outside of the game, we've got good news. The entire Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtrack will be available to stream for free on Bandcamp later this week!

How to find the super secret tonic in Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

So sneaky!

There's a super secret Tonic hiding in Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair's overworld. Find how how to find the Gritty Comic tonic in this walkthrough guide!

Digital Foundry - Yooka-Laylee And The Impossible Lair video analysis, "spotless on Switch"

60FPS on Switch!

What happens when a talented developer targets Switch as lead platform? Yooka-Laylee 2 reveals a brilliant portable experience that scales beautifully all the way up to a dynamic 4K on Xbox One X. John has all the details on this superb homage to the classic Donkey Kong Country.

Playtonic makes a Super Mario Maker 2 level to promote Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

To celebrate the release of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, Playtonic has released their own Super Mario Maker 2 level! We give it a shot and see what they've come up with!

Playtonic explains what lead them to utilizing the 'two levels in one' mechanic for Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

Rooted in necessity

As we mentioned in our review, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair utilizes a mechanic that will make over some levels with a new theme, basically giving you two levels in one. Wondering how that idea came about? Playtonic's Dan Murdoch explained in a Reddit AMA.

Ok, so the 'two levels in one' thing originally started as a way to make more levels quickly using less individual pieces of scenery. This wasn't just a budget thing, it's a RAM thing. We wanted a game that played at 60 on switch as well as having good loading times. It was an experiment to see if levels that shared scenery could be loaded quicker.

However, we realized that in order to make the second version of a level interesting and different, it needed so much changing to it that it would have been quicker and cheaper to just make a separate level.

BUT!!! by that time we found that the real gain from the 'two levels in one' was not making development easier (actually it made it harder); it was that it tied so well to the overworld.

Suddenly we had a game cycle where every 2D level had a Zelda style puzzle to solve on the overworld to reveal the second state. That was such a cool idea that it became one of our main features.

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair available on Switch today

The dynamic duo return!

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is available now on Nintendo Switch! It's time to head on a 2D adventure with the colourful buddy duo. They must run, jump and roll their way through a series of challenging 2D levels, face a puzzling Overworld and rally the Royal Beettalion!


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