“People will be really happy to see” the new game Rare is working on, according to 20 year studio veteran Gavin Price, who is now head of Playtonic Games, a new studio developing a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie games.
“I still chat to them, I know what they were working on when I left last year,” Price told The Guardian. “It sounds really good.”
In November last year, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Rare is
“building a uniquely Rare game.”
Rare composer Robin Beanland, stated that 2015 will be a "huge year" for the studio, and made references to the banjo.
“I want them to do well,” said Price. “They’re mates and we left them behind to come and do this. I’m looking forward to what they’re doing next – people will be really happy to see it.”
In response as to whether Rare's next project will be using Kinect, he replied,
“I can’t say for sure what they are or aren’t doing with that piece of hardware that Microsoft isn’t supporting much anymore.”
Playtonic is currently working on their first title, Project Ukulele, a 3D platform adventure that will stay true to old Rare titles.
“You don’t just go into the worlds, milk them and move on,” says Price. “It will be more open and expansive. There is freedom to go where you want. You can go into another world or you can spend Pagies on your current world and expand it with new areas. I wanted to take away the linearity of the old experiences as much as possible. These days, people want to find their own way through games – and if you go off and explore and don’t get rewarded for it you’re like: ‘shit, I’ve just wasted my time’.”
“For me, it was more about [Rare founders] Tim and Chris Stamper leaving,” says Playtonic technical director Jens Restemeier, who worked at Rare handling handheld conversions of key titles. “There was no sense of progression about what the company was going to do from that point on. The story people want to hear is that Microsoft came in and destroyed everything. It wasn’t like that. They gave us freedom, almost more freedom than Nintendo gave us.”
Xbox boss Phil Spencer wore a Battletoads t-shirt during the Windows 10 media briefing at GDC 2015.
Spencer is known for using various t-shirts on his presentations, and when he was approached by GameSpot to ask if the Battletoads t-shirt meant a new entry in the series was being worked on, he stated:
“I don’t think I’ve ever worn a t-shirt that’s been a complete head-fake,” Spencer said. “I wouldn’t do that.”
Battletoads was created by Rare and is currently owned by Microsoft. It first released for the NES in 1991 followed by a release in arcades in 1994.
Given Microsoft's renewed dedication to PC gaming, with Windows 10 and DirectX 12, it could be possible that we get to experience the new title by Rare on both the Xbox One and PC. We can only imagine what a developer like Rare could accomplish, with DX12 and the advanced hardware that is available today.
We will bring you any new information regarding Rare's projects as soon as it becomes available