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Phil Spencer Says the Future of Banjo-Kazooie Is Up to Rare

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Xbox head Phil Spencer has explained that the future of Banjo-Kazooie lies in Rare’s hands. Spencer did an interview with Kotaku where he touched on the future of the Xbox Series X | S, Microsoft’s relationship with Nintendo, and much more. He said that he trusts Rare and the rest of the developers that make up Xbox Game Studios, and he gives them freedom to explore whichever creative avenue they please:

I leave it up to the studios in terms of the things that they want to go work on. I have a lot of respect for Rare and the work that they do. They do like building new things, and they’ve seen success with Sea of Thieves. I think they’re really excited about Everwild. But also the response to Battletoads was nice. And I think [partner studio] Dlala did a good job with the game. And so I think it’s just always a balance.

Spencer went on to comment on what fans desire, pointing out that his inbox is full of those hoping for new IP in addition to those clamoring for more Crimson Skies and Blinx.

Banjo-Kazooie debuted on Nintendo 64 in 1998 with colorful platforming and funny, garbled voices. After sequel Banjo-Tooie came two years later, the series didn’t see a mainline console release until 2008 with Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Rare’s bear-and-bird franchise laid mostly dormant after that, that is until 2019, when the IP saw new life as Banjo-Kazooie joined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as one of the Nintendo Switch game’s DLC characters.

About the author

Michael Cripe
Michael joined The Escapist team back in 2019 as a news reporter but has been covering games, movies, TV, and music since 2015. Most of his time is spent on the news team, but you’ll definitely see his name pop up in the opinion and interview sections from time to time. From the most obscure indie games to the industry’s AAA juggernauts, there’s nothing Michael isn’t interested in digging into. The vast majority of Michael’s work can be found at The Escapist, but his bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism has led him to other sites like OnlySP, Gameranx, and Kansas City’s The Pitch. When he’s not writing, Michael is probably playing Super Mario Sunshine, Dead Space, or The Binding of Isaac. If you’d like to connect and talk about the latest in pop-culture, you can follow Michael on Twitter (@MikeCripe), Instagram (mike_cripe), or LinkedIn if that’s your thing, I guess.