Can you believe it's the 25th anniversary of Banjo-Kazooie?! The first game in the series released all the way back on June 29th, 1998 for the Nintendo 64 - and you can play it right now as part of Rare Replay on Xbox Game Pass.
Sadly, it's been 15 years now since we last saw a new Banjo-Kazooie game, with that being the Xbox 360 title Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. Microsoft owns the IP (due to its purchase of the developer Rare in 2002), but we've seen no concrete evidence of a new project being in development in recent years.
Speaking to VGC this week, a few members of the original Banjo-Kazooie team suggested that a new game probably isn't likely to happen for various reasons. Here's what composer Grant Kirkhope had to say:
"I feel like you’d have to get a team with the humour that we had back then and that’s hard to replicate. I think Rare would be open to somebody if they found the right team, but I don’t feel like that team exists. Also, I’m not convinced the audience is there either.”
In our view, it seems unlikely that Microsoft and the Xbox division would want to pass up the opportunity to work on a new Banjo-Kazooie game, but time has moved on and finding a suitable team is probably the main challenge here.
Rare is obviously pretty occupied with Sea Of Thieves and Everwild right now, so there may not be an opportunity there - at least in the immediate future. In fact, the developer appears to have been busy working on Everwild since 2017 and we've still not seen that much about it yet!
Whatever the case, we're definitely hoping to see Banjo-Kazooie make a triumphant return at some point in the future, but in the meantime we'll have to keep enjoying those classic N64 (and Xbox 360!) adventures on Xbox Game Pass.