When Banjo & Kazooie joined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the world erupted with joy, including among us at Nintendo Enthusiast. Alas, news on any kind of new Banjo-Kazooie game continues to be nonexistent, even on IP owner Microsoft’s own platforms of Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. But don’t go trying to blame that on Microsoft. As Xbox head Phil Spencer explained in an in-depth interview with Kotaku, he trusts the developers themselves to decide what projects they want to develop. That means it’s up to Rare to decide when, if ever, the bear and bird duo should rise again.
Spencer said the following about his approach with Xbox Game Studios and titles like Banjo-Kazooie:
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. My inbox is full of: ‘Let every studio do new [intellectual property].’ And also: ‘Why have you brought back Crimson Skies and Blinx?’
Video game developers typically do their best work when they are able to follow their passion. Banjo-Kazooie is obviously our passion, but it may not necessarily be Rare’s right now. Developers like to try new things, which is completely understandable. But surely someday, some way, Banjo will return in his own game, right?