Grant Kirkhope thinks that fan excitement alone may not be enough to convince Microsoft to make a new Banjo-Kazooie game.
Following E3 2019, there was perhaps more renewed excitement and interest in Banjo-Kazooie than any other franchise from the past thanks to the duo’s upcoming inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Despite this newfound fervor from fans though, one key member who worked on past Banjo titles still isn’t sure if it’ll be enough to see the characters return in their own game down the road.
Speaking to VGC, Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope expressed that while he’s pleased to see the response fans had to Banjo’s inclusion in Smash, he still has doubts about a new game coming in the future. “My honest opinion is I don’t know if they’ll ever be a new Banjo,” Kirkhope stated. “It’s easy to go, ‘look at these numbers’, but it might be a drop in the ocean for Xbox.”
He continued on saying, “Is there a market for it? I just don’t know. I would think that Rare probably doesn’t have the appetite for it. They’re super busy with Sea of Thieves and that’s a gigantic game: it’s going to take the whole studio to keep making content for that.” To sound a bit more hopeful though, Kirkhope said, “Maybe the E3 reception has made Microsoft think about it.”
While Kirkhope himself has no voice when it comes to greenlighting another Banjo game, he did suggest that he thinks the best way a new game would come about would be if Microsoft and Rare handed the project off to an external studio. “Rare need to find somebody like that who gets the game, who really loves it, gets the humour, comes up with a great plot and then kicks on. They would need to find an external studio who really cares about the project and wants to do it, like they did with Killer Instinct and also similar to how Ubisoft Milan did a great job with Mario + Rabbids.”
While the prospect of a new Banjo-Kazooie game arriving one day still seems like a tall order, I’m never going to give up hope. In fact, every year around E3 time I still end up convincing myself that Microsoft is going to announce a new title in the series only to be quickly let down. But it will happen one day — I believe.