Most gamers of a certain age will remember Banjo-Kazooie as a delightful Rare-developed 3D platformer from the N64 days that offered up vibrant worlds packed with imaginative characters, secrets, enemies, and challenges.
To many of us, it was the quintessential late 90’s platformer, and was swiftly followed up by a worthy sequel, also on N64. Unfortunately, after Microsoft acquired Rare in 2002, it quickly became clear that nobody seemed quite sure what to do with the franchise.
The last properly new game was Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on Xbox 360, which released 11 years ago (and was a bit rubbish). Most now seem to agree that the franchise has been largely forgotten, and the dream of a brand new Banjo-Kazooie title is simply too much to hope for.
But if you’ll allow me to introduce a little bit of light into your life today, it now looks as if a Banjo revival isn’t quite as far fetched as we might previously have thought, as a company that produces licensed merchandise for various franchises has teased something very intriguing indeed.
Exquisite Gaming (EXG) works with a number of pop culture franchises, but most often produces merch for video games. The company recently teased an image of some new Banjo-Kazooie merchandise that’ll be officially announced soon.
While new merch doesn’t necessarily confirm that a new game is on the way, fans have noticed that Banjo’s backpack actually sports a design that we’ve never seen in any of the previous titles, suggesting a new game is indeed on the way. Is that a stretch? I’ve certainly heard crazier theories.
We can’t wait to bring back Banjo, not long till we officially announce! pic.twitter.com/L0JLdZAiCI
— Exquisite Gaming (@ExquisiteGamin3) June 1, 2019
Some users also pointed out on Twitter that EXG tends to time their releases to coincide with whatever new game that merch relates to. Crash Bandicoot and Spyro merchandise was teased by the company before their respective remasters were announced, for example.
When one Twitter user pushed EXG for further confirmation, they responded with a cryptic “We couldn’t possibly say.” It sounds to me like something Banjo related is afoot, and I’m terribly excited to find out for sure.
We also know that Microsoft is planning to show off no less than 14 first party games during its E3 2019 press conference… and Rare is a first party Microsoft studio. Could our dreams be about to come true?
Others have speculated that we could be getting confirmation of the long rumoured Banjo-Kazooie DLC for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and given the burgeoning love between Microsoft and Nintendo, I wouldn’t that possibility out.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) March 20, 2018
Personally, I’m hoping for a brand new Banjo-Kazooie for Xbox One, fighter DLC for Smash, and a remaster of the first two games for Switch. I’m aware that’s expecting too much, but I’ve waited 11 years for this moment.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.