First Concept Art Of Ex-Rare Devs’ “Spiritual Successor To Banjo-Kazooie” Arrives



Playtonic is a new UK studio currently made up of six people who previously worked at Rare. Their first project is, as they’ve described it in the latest issue of Edge magazine, a “spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.” The game’s first concept art was also revealed in Edge, as you can see above.


Among the team are Chris Sutherland who was the lead programmer of Donkey Kong Country and the Banjo-Kazooie games, and who also voiced Banjo and Kazooie – he’ll be voicing the characters of Playtonic’s new game, too. The artist and creator of Banjo and Kazooie, Steve Mayles, is also on the team. Grant Kirkhope, the composer of many of Rare’s games including the Banjo-Kazooie games, is on board to create music for the project as well.


“There’s been so much pent-up passion for doing something like this, because we’ve all been sat on a lot of these ideas since Banjo-Tooie came out,” Playtonic’s lead and previously designer of Viva Pinata Gavin Price told Edge.


Playtonic’s current goal is to make a proof-of-concept and then upscale to an “N64-size” team of between 10 to 15 staff, and many other ex-Rare employees are in waiting on these positions.



Right now, the team has funding for this first game and have a long-term business plan that will see the team tackling other genres after this initial 3D platformer, but only if they arrive at them naturally rather than trying to force themselves on a certain type of game.


Playtonic is currently aiming to bring this debut title to PC and certain console platforms and hopes to use Steam Early Access to get it into players’ hands as soon as possible for feedback. “There’s a history of working with Nintendo, so we’d naturally love to see our game on a Nintendo platform. I people tell us to make Wii U our target console platform, then we’ve got the flexibility to do that,” Rice also told Edge.


Look out for more updates on Playtonic and its upcoming game on its website.

Chris Priestman