Playtonic's Ed Bryan on seeing Banjo and Kazooie join Smash Bros. Ultimate, says Playtonic is working on "things you wouldn't believe"

A very RARE interview

Ed Bryan, former RARE dev, is now a part of the Playtonic team. Back in the day, Bryan was responsible for bringing the look of Banjo and Kazooie to life. In an interview with Nintendo Life, Bryan talks about his reaction to seeing the bear and bird pop up in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

That was amazing. Seeing the response online to some characters from a game made 20-odd years ago was exciting and humbling; to think that these characters and the game are even remembered, let alone cherished the way they are is great and weird at the same time.

Banjo and Kazooie being in Smash is old news now, as far as the speed of internet information goes. We want to know about what's next! What is Playtonic cooking up right now? Bryan wouldn't share specifics, but it certainly sounds like some exciting content!

Oh man, I’ve seen so much already, things you wouldn’t believe! I’m settling in and over the last couple of days I’ve been sketching and doodling; trying to visualise the designers ideas so we can crack on with this next thing. It’s very exciting! As for cryptic clues, if I want to last more than 2 weeks here I’d better keep quiet….

Playtonic clears up rumors, says they aren't working on a new Banjo-Kazooie, and remain an independent studio

Well that settles that!

In a very rare instance of transparency, Playtonic has come forward to full address the recent rumors of what they're up to. The company flat-out says they're not working on a new Banjo-Kazooie game, and remain an independent studio. Check out the company's full statement below.

Thanks to Rob-RmanX for the heads up!

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.

Playtonic hires another former RARE developer

A RARE find

Playtonic, a developer comprised mostly of former RARE devs, has just brought another veteran on-board. Former RARE character artist Ed Bryan has now joined the Playtonic ranks! Bryan is familiar for the creation of characters like Banjo-Kazooie's Mumbo Jumbo and the Jinjos.

Game History Secrets - The Lost Banjo-Kazooie 2D Platformer

What happened to this one?

Today on Game History Secrets we talk about the lost Banjo-Kazooie platformer for the Nintendo Game Boy Color, which was planned to release as Banjo Kazooie: Grunty’s Curse.

Banjo-Kazooie "Collectathon Charm Keychain" and more RARE merch available via Fangamer


Fangamer has added in a handful of new RARE-related merch, including the Collectathon Charm Keychain you see above. If that's not your thing, you might be interested in a RARE hoodie, t-shirt, or a pin in the shape of classic RARE eyes. Check out the full lineup here.

The Cat Mario Show - Ep. 148 (Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Kirby Clash, Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Episode 148 of the Cat Mario Show is now available. This episode takes a look at The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Super Kirby Clash, and Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Did You Know Gaming - Banjo-Kazooie secrets

In this video, Did You Know Gaming takes a look at some facts, secrets and Easter eggs surrounding the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, including Banjo Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie on the Nintendo 64 (N64), and the duo's inclusion on Super Smash Bros Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch.

IGN Video - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: Banjo and Kazooie DLC Review

Banjo & Kazooie from the popular Banjo-Kazooie series of games are available now in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The new fighters are part of the third Challenger Pack DLC (sold separately). In addition to the characters, players will also get to enjoy the Spiral Mountain stage, as well as music tracks from the classic games.

Creator of Banjo-Kazooie comments on the duo's Smash Bros. Ultimate appearance, talks about the future of the series

Could there ever be a new game?

Steve Mayles, a current Playtonic dev and former RARE team member, has shared some thoughts on Banjo and Kazooie returning to Nintendo's hardware. The bear and bird are back, thanks to their appearance in Smash Bros. Ultimate. Check out Mayles' comments on seeing the characters back with Nintendo, as well as what the future might hold below.

Now, to see Banjo and Kazooie back again after so long in the gaming wilderness, and back on a Nintendo console, it’s all very surreal for me! ...Now they have returned in Smash, I’ve been surprised by the reception. Part of it is being away for so long, and a part of it is returning to a Nintendo console. And maybe just a small part because they are decent characters! It really is quite strange to see them back and looking very similar to my old hi-res renders from 20 years ago. People tend to be Nintendo fans for life and for Banjo fans this is the characters coming home, even if it is just for a glorious one-off.

Could the reaction of fans to Banjo and Kazooie in Smash persuade Microsoft to make another Banjo game? The revival of Spiro and Crash went pretty well after all… I think a fairly safe way to gauge demand for a new game would be a remaster of the original two games. Then if the interest is there perhaps we could see Banjo return in the new no-expense-spared game he and Kazooie deserve.

Mayles had a lot more to say about the dynamic duo. You can see his full thoughts on the matter over at VideogamesChronicle.


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