Banjo-Kazooie fans voice loud support for sequel

Fans are speaking out after Banjo-Kazooie developers questioned audience support for a sequel.
banjo-kazooie game

Banjo-Kazooie fans are loudly voicing their support for a game sequel on social media, following comments made by the franchise’s original development team. In an interview with VGC, game composer Grant Kirkhope, lead programmer Chris Sutherland, and character designer Steve Mayles expressed doubt around the potential audience for a Banjo-Kazooie return, given the years that have passed since the original games.

‘I feel like you’d have to get a team with the humour that we had back then, and that’s hard to replicate,’ Kirkhope said, in an extended interview celebrating the 25th anniversary of the franchise. ‘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… I don’t feel like there are that many Banjo fans out there.’

While Kirkhope described the character’s re-appearance in Super Smash Bros. as a ‘heart-warming’ and emotional moment, he believed support for the franchise wouldn’t extend to a ‘multimillion-dollar’ project.

‘I do sometimes feel that we exist in a kind of Banjo-Kazooie bubble, where it sounds like a great big noise, but how big that bubble is, I don’t know … outside of that bubble, how big is that audience?’ Kirkhope said.

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Sutherland shared similar sentiment, acknowledging that while there was ‘some audience’ out there for the franchise, it may not be enough to ‘justify the kind of scale of game you would need now’. As for Mayles, he also expressed concern about the money needed to create a new Banjo-Kazooie game, while suggesting a remaster would be a more cost-effective avenue for developer Rare to pursue.

While the development team’s concerns centred on the Banjo-Kazooie ‘bubble’, it’s fair to say enthusiasm for the franchise may not be as niche as assumed. There was rampant support for Banjo and Kazooie appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, for Banjo-Kazooie hitting Nintendo Switch Online in 2022, and even for the launch of adjacent title Yooka-Laylee in 2017, a game specifically designed as a spiritual successor to Rare’s famous franchise.

Since the VGC interview went live, Kirkhope, Sutherland, and Mayles’ comments have proven very contentious online, with thousands of Banjo-Kazooie fans taking to social media to dispute the assumed lack of audience enthusiasm for the franchise.

‘The reaction to them in Smash Bros was phenomenal, and the fact that the Banjo-Kazooie community is still going strong today shows that there is an audience for a new game,’ MissNatzooie wrote, in response to VGC‘s article. ‘We’re all ready for a new Banjo-Kazooie game.’

A post by NextGenPlayer designed to gauge fan interest in a potential sequel has received hundreds of comments in support of a new entry.

Responses to Banjo-Kazooie birthday celebrations on the Rare Twitter account carry similar sentiment, with fans calling for a port, remasters, or sequels to elevate the franchise’s legacy.

Twitter circles may be their own bubble, but from the thousands of celebratory posts and vocal fan support following VGC‘s interview, it’s clear there is still strong support for the Banjo-Kazooie franchise. While it may not be enough to convince Rare and current owner Microsoft of the potential to revisit the beloved series, it should send a clear message that despite the years, the Banjo-Kazooie fanbase remains enthusiastic for more.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.