If the recent news that Rare was working on a new “huge” game for the Xbox One excited you, then it might be time to lower your expectations somewhat.
Microsoft’s Ken Lobb has said that while the company is interested in bringing back the likes of Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Battletoads, it’s unlikely that any of those sequels will be releasing in 2015, meaning that Rare’s next game is likely a brand new intellectual property. In a world of sequels, prequels and reboots this necessarily wouldn’t be a bad thing, if Rare’s past few IPs hadn’t been thoroughly underwhelming.
Speaking on the Inner Circle Podcast, Lobb said: “So will there ever be another Banjo, Viva [Pinata], Blast Corps, Battletoads? Yeah, some day. And I think the reason you see things like Battletoads revived is because we know there’s value, so we renewed the trademark.
He continued: “Does that mean it’s coming this year? No. Does that mean it’ll never come? Absolutely not. We have a lot of passion internally for each of these games that you mentioned and we have surprises in store in the near and long future, but understand that what it’s really about is, we want to build this suite of IP that we can add to that list of “Let’s build some new things,” “let’s build some recent sequels,” and “let’s do some crazy stuff” like dig back into a portfolio of IP and build some games that people love.”
Following the demise of Rare’s relationship with Nintendo and their acquisition by Microsoft, the developer has created four new IPs for the company. These have consisted of the awful Grabbed By The Ghoulies, the forgettable Kameo: Elements of Power, Viva Pinata and the Kinect-focused Kinect Sports series, which given the incredibly low sales of 2014’s Kinect Sports Rivals, is unlikely to be revived any time soon. Though the company may well find their footing once again and come back with an IP that rivals the classic games it produced in the SNES/N64 era, at this point it should be deemed unlikely.
We were excited by the prospect of a new Banjo, Conker or Battletoads, but it looks like we’ll have to hold our breath for the time being.
Listen to Ken Lobb’s appearance on the Inner Circle Podcast in full below: