New GoldenEye and Banjo on Xbox One? Rare says they aren't necessarily what you want

Rare boss Craig Duncan talks about Rare's future after Kinect Sports Rivals on Xbox One.

"We're not going to go and remake the same game, which I think when people comment is what they say they want."

The story of Rare has almost become a cautionary tale: the studio created some of the most beloved Nintendo titles of the SNES and N64 era, such as Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, GoldenEye 007, and Banjo Kazooie. Dozens of people even maintain, to this very day, that Diddy Kong Racing is superior to Mario Kart 64. This incredible assortment of titles has in many ways plagued the developer for years, with some high profile staff exits and less-than-stellar titles making the studio seem unable to recover its critical and commercial momentum since being acquired by an eager Microsoft back in 2001.

I'll wager you've probably thought about how you'd love Rare to make another GoldenEye, another Donkey Kong Country, another Jet Force Gemini, or another Banjo Kazooie a few times in your life. People certainly ask for these games a lot. "But I'm not sure it's really what they want," continues Craig Duncan.

Duncan has been the head of Rare for a "fun-packed" three years now, with roughly 120-odd full-time staff (and anywhere between 30 and 80 freelancers) currently putting the finishing touches on Kinect Sports Rivals, its Xbox One debut, at the studio's leafy UK studio in Twycross. But surely there's more to Rare than Kinect Sports Rivals? "We've always got things bubbling," said Duncan. "We've always got a level of things at a concept phase. The key thing is when do we get it from what we call labs to something that's in incubation? And even then it still may not ever see the light of day. We might create a prototype and then kill it because it's not good enough."

"From a creative point of view, we've always got a number of ideas that we're bubbling around, and it's really about picking the right one for the right time in the industry."

"The key question is: what's Rare going to release next? We've always got a number of ideas there," Duncan adds, "and it's just aligning the right one to the right console opportunity, to the right market opportunity."

How many projects does Rare have in that incubation stage right now, then? It certainly feels like Microsoft has a platformer-shaped gap in its lineup that Rare could feasibly fill with a new Banjo title. "We're about to put new teams together for new projects beyond Kinect Sports Rivals, so we definitely have things we feel pretty good about."

A new Rare game for an E3 2014 debut, then? "I'm not going to answer that question."

But surely there must be a desire for the creative types at Rare to work on a fresh project after developing three Kinect Sports games in a row? "Different people are motivated by different things," Duncan says. "We've got a lot of technologists that are really focused on the 'can we do this?' My job is easy in a lot of ways, because my job is just to create an environment where our best and brightest people can go and do their best work, and make sure they've got the resources and the backing, and the budgets, and the space, and the creative freedom to go and build awesome.

Banjo concept art is displayed on the walls at Rare's studio in Twycross, UK.

"From a creative point of view, we've always got a number of ideas that we're bubbling around, and it's really about picking the right one for the right time in the industry. Look at where trends are going. Where do we think the industry is going, where do we think Microsoft platforms are going?"

As a first-party studio, then, I ask Duncan where he thinks the industry is going. "Microsoft is now a platform company with platforms, with an 's' at the end," he says. "We do think about how we do have touch with Windows 8, we do have PC, we do have Xbox 360, which is still buoyant for us as there's still millions of 360's out there, and then if I think about Xbox One, we've rocketed out of the blocks and there seems to be a great demand for next-generation content. So for us, it's really... what are the right franchises? What are the right games? And to go and light up Kinect, and to go and light up what Xbox One could do, was a challenge that any developer worth its salt would love to go and run at."

"We'll look at other projects, and what's the right platform for those? Kinect might not be the right platform, or touch might not be the right platform, and you've got to fit the right game to the right kind of console."

While Kinect Sports Rivals might not be enough to win over some of Rare's doubters, then, it's worth remembering that the UK developer has managed to stay commercially successful and afloat in a tumultuous climate that has seen many studios closed up and down the country over the last few years. Duncan also points out what the team has accomplished: "We've made the best bowling ever. The best bowling that's ever been, ever ever ever, on any platform."

"If we can't do something creatively that's different to what's been done before, and what I can say with Kinect Sports Rivals is, the reason we did that is we could go and do a load of things creatively that we hadn't done before, and no-one else had done, so I can justify that it's the right thing for a studio to do."

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375 comments
-s3r6i0-
-s3r6i0-

Rare is not the same company they were when they were back at Nintendo. I've read that the staff has been shaken up and swapped out quite a bit. I would love another Banjo Kazooie but only if done right and by the same people. The original games bring back so much nostalgia and I don't want them to ruin it by peddling us $h!t. 

c_meridian
c_meridian

We absolutely want a new banjo kazooie game. Collectathons are currently a silent market and do really well.

A better question would be if rare actually has the talent to make a new banjo kazooie without letting their ADD turn it into a kart racer or a first person shooter. Or even more likely, a fitness game.

nahongo
nahongo

Um...........A new Banjo Kazooie IS exactly what i want

xisiuizado
xisiuizado

They're right. Too often, people think they want something that, when they get it, is quite disappointing. I just finished DMC 1 in the HD collection on the 360 and it was utter garbage. I can't believe that I ever liked the game and I couldn't believe how crappy it looked. But I bought it on a sale thinking it would be tons of fun. I didn't know what I wanted. :D

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

I hope they remake Goldeneye with the original engine, just add the graphics and blood spray effects of perfect dark, and give it a smoother and faster frame rate. GE reloaded had potential to be awesome(if it had the blood and gore effects of COD W@W), but it was trash.

westsiderz28
westsiderz28

as bad as rare are now i would still like to see what they could do with new conker and banjo games, i would also like to see a new karting game from them in the nature of diddy kong racing,

m$ should give them a little freedome to make something good

but it seems they are getting stuck with what ever crap M$ wants them to make like kinect sports etc

westsiderz28
westsiderz28

for every top game nintendo had rare matched it nintendo had mario kart rare had diddy kong, ninty had mario rare had banjo, these games by rare were easily as good as the top AAA nintendo exclusives at the time, then they released.. which has got to be the most important fps game ever goldeneye (it changed everything) then conker etc it was 1 top quality game after another,

since microsoft bought rare they have completely sucked! im sorry but thats the bottom line of it,

i was expecting the same level of top quality game from rare but none have reached the heights of the n64 days,

and i seriously doubt they ever will that ship has well and truly sailed

whatever M$ did to rare i dont know but it was not for the better, they bought one of the most respected and brilliant developement teams of all time ever and wasted them with rubbish like kinect sports

scottpsfan14
scottpsfan14

Banjo Nuts and Bolts was okay. Their last okay game infact for me. Nintendo days they were truly amazing. They were the best 2nd party Nintendo ever had by far. As for first party Xbox, they have yet to impress after a decade.

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

Diddy Kong Racing was pretty awesome but the edge goes to Mario Kart 64.

iorelk
iorelk

honestly rare died when microsoft bought the company  banjo kazooie for xbox 360  was a disappointment and killer istincs for xbox one , was soso and batle toads dissapear with rare microsoft shoudl sell rare to nintendo 

jetman824
jetman824

Honestly would anyone want Rare making another banjo kazooie? after the disappointment that was nuts & bolts, I don't want them trying it again. 

kevinflynn1982
kevinflynn1982

You have heard it here first, people! Rare has made THE BEST bowling.... EVER. Whoopty-doo!! What an achievement! *Pats Rare Studios on the back* Now come back when you and Microsoft both want my money and have announced that you have finally made Banjo-Threeie, and are not complete and utter failures, as far as gaming companies go... 

jonathanacevedo
jonathanacevedo

Rare would you ever listen to your fans? WE WANT ANOTHER BANJO!

a real adventure game. We are willing to pay for the game! Make a kickstarter project!! We will fund the game! As long as is an adventure not like a nuts and bolts one! Try us!

glacius_x
glacius_x

Let me fix that.....

"Rare re-making any of those games aren't necessarily what you want." The 360 Banjo Kazooie, case and point.


Now let someone else re-make new versions of old Rare titles like K.I. was. That's what I want at least. I cannot speak for others. Rare of these days are a complete joke in making anything outside of kinect games IMHO.

sonic_rareware8
sonic_rareware8

For God's sake Microsoft, sell Rare back to Nintendo already!

kovaras1984
kovaras1984

i would pay for a re release of golden eye on xbone with no changes what so ever accept multi play been done online

SpydogK
SpydogK

I feel I speak for 95% of all N64 owners and shooter fans when I say that we would love nothing more in the gaming world than for RARE to TRULY Remake Goldeneye 007... 100% RE-MASTERED in HD with new controls updated for dual-analog sticks and Xbox Live gameplay... Same maps, same characters, same multiplayer modes... We DID NOT WANT that crap Goldeneye Reloaded was. Just give us a REAL REMAKE with nothing changed but what was mentioned above. 


And as for Banjo Kazooie... HELL YES we want a TRUE successor to that game! 

C'MON Rare!

mjharper34
mjharper34

You're not sure it's what we want? I played the hell out of Goldeneye 007 and Donkey Kong Country Returns on the Wii. Done right, they are absolutely something I want. Too bad Rare's not the ones doing it.

Kashmiro
Kashmiro

Rivals looks cool and I may play it at some point, but I'd take a true to form new Banjo game any day. I beat the re-release on the 360 over 4 times.

salvucci91
salvucci91

Wow, Jet Force Gemini; haven't heard that title in a long time.

double_O7
double_O7

No Rare, I'm pretty sure a new Banjo is EXACTLY what I really want.

Mikelikel9
Mikelikel9

Rare, you were better off as an independent studio (even when Ninty owned 49% of you). Shame. 

Arachnofunk
Arachnofunk

Rare should develop a new Banjo Kazooie but true to the N64 style. About a Donkey Kong 64 I hope Nintendo makes something in that line for the Wii U. 

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

Am I the only one who wants a new Diddy Kong Racing?  That game had so much over Mario Kart at the time of the N64 and I would love to see if they could do it again.  I also wouldn't need a Wii U for it, which is a plus.

colbster
colbster

My Kinect won't power on, so I can't play this Sports Rivals garbage. A Diddy Kong racing for Xbox One would be awesome!

finalkain
finalkain

The Real RARE has been RIP for over a Decade

ACMC85
ACMC85

Viva pinata is awesome, but Kameo deserves another chance.

Meta_Dragon
Meta_Dragon

"The key question is: what's Rare going to release next?"

Nothing worth playing. We've already seen what Microsoft did to you guys. At this point you can't produce anything of substance like you did with Nintendo. You've been gutted of talented designers and people with vision, you are an empty shell right now. And it pains me greatly to say that.

force_user1975
force_user1975

Phil Spencer loves platformers, Rare also kinda distanced themselves from a new Killer Instinct and then we were all blown away by it at E3. Even though Rare didn't directly make it, it was overseen by Ken Lobb, who was original Rare and developed KI back in the day. Whatever they do I'm sure it'll be good. I loved KS 1 and 2, and Kameo, Viva Pinata 1 and 2 were some of my favorite games. Still have my Perfect Dark Collectors Edition for 360 as well. 

Rafficus_III
Rafficus_III

I'd love another Perfect Dark, and Killer Instinct is actually one of the reasons why I'm interested in buying the Xbox One. Too bad Rare knows me better than myself and wants me to buy Kinect Sports.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

As much as I enjoyed Banjo Kazooie as a Kid, I can't see myself playing it anymore.

The dialogue was atrocious and the childish nature of it just has zero appeal for me now.

Make a game for your fans that grew up. How about that?

BLKCrystilMage
BLKCrystilMage

I think the subheading for this article is kind of implicitly understood. If the last 2 GoldenEye games weren't what we wanted, they're not going to give us what we want now.

BuBsay
BuBsay

Ahh, I'm so glad Microsoft and Rare understand my gaming desires better than I do, I don't know what I would do without their flawless design decisions and amazing development capacity....


And Microsoft wonders why good PR for them is essentially nonexistent.

Getesh
Getesh

I agree, i don't want another banjo, or jet force, or goldeneye. That's to say i don't want any from rare. All of rare's older franchises are no longer being made by rare. The days of golden past are long gone at rare, what's left is the husk that microsoft created 13 years ago.

dogman7
dogman7

Banjo and Conker can come back. GoldenEye can stay in my childhood, because I think a reboot of that would just be terrible.

Total_mischief
Total_mischief

Great games set trends, trends don't set great games. Geez, you'd think Rare used to be a great developer that got bought out and fell into nothingness...oh wait.

Kmilford
Kmilford

Rare was one of the worst purchases Microsoft EVER made. What have they made since they bought? Viva Pinata? Kameo? Both were mildly entertaining, and cutesey (which is not what Rare was, at all). Conker was cute and edgy. DKR was amazing. GoldenEye created a genre..


Kameo? No. Viva Pinata was good, but too niche. Seriously--all the talent from Rare left like 10 years ago.

Snyper22
Snyper22

@jetman824 What? I didn't think it was that bad honestly. It certainly didn't live up to Banjo-Tooie that's for sure. But it took a different direction and it provided the fun I expected to have with any Rare game.


They really didn't have to slap the Banjo Kazooie title on it though. Conker could of been a better fit and catered to the adult crowd by adding gore. Or even a new IP entirely might of caught my eye more than another Banjo.


I over looked the game a couple times in the store, thinking "this doesn't seem like a sequel to Banjo Kazooie at all". But than I took the dive and rented it anyway and I was glad I did.


It took a bit to get used to, but after tinkering around with the variations of parts I was hooked. Exploring for new parts hidden in world became addicting and was necessary to progress smoothly. 


Best of all they had a vehicle death match reminiscent of Twisted Metal. But with your own creations falling apart piece by piece forcing the player to think about redundancy.


C'mon crafting your own vehicles was pretty cool admit it. 

yaintknowme
yaintknowme

@kovaras1984 Rare deserves to go the way of the dinosaur if they cant see people would go ballistic over Goldeneye on xbox.

champion-hero
champion-hero

@Yuusha09  except that, Diddy Kong (as is Donkey Kong) are Nintendo assets, so if they were to make it, it would have to be something else altogether. Having had both games at the time, they were as good as each other.


On a side note, NOT having a Wii U is actually a minus - the Wii U is a fantastic console and you're missing out by not having one.

mbchfdh2
mbchfdh2

@Yuusha09  Better than Mario Kart 64 by a margin. Can't believe they didn't make another one…


… then again, maybe that's why.

Mikelikel9
Mikelikel9

@ACMC85  Sadly each of those games is over 7 years old. Rare has done barely anything worthwhile since then. 

lbcjrballa
lbcjrballa

@VenkmanPHD  Too childish? You sound childish for saying that, I've recently re-played both banjo-kazooie and banjo-tooie and they were a blast. Sure some of the jokes are a little old or outdated but that doesn't make it childish. They're still excellent games, but I wouldn't mind also seeing another Conker's Bad Fur Day or maybe Badder Fur Day. Too bad Rare won't make any of it happen.

Simulator_Shock
Simulator_Shock

@VenkmanPHD They did make a game for "grown up" fans, it was called Conker's Bad Fur Day. Where were you when that come out?

mbchfdh2
mbchfdh2

@BLKCrystilMage  If they remade Goldeneye with contemporary graphics and sound, it would sell. Perfect Dark reviewed and sold well when re-released for XBLA - and for good reason, because it was pretty great notwithstanding a decade having gone by.


Of course, for licensing reasons, it's not going to happen. But I disagree with the guy when he says that people are deluded about wanting it.


gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@dogman7  Technically, the Goldeneye reboot already happened a few years ago. It was done by Eurocom and published by Activision, so Rare actually had nothing to do with it.

comb5
comb5

@Kmilford  The bought them to nerf Nintendo. That's what I honestly believe.

westsiderz28
westsiderz28

@Snyper22 @jetman824 i disagree the vehicles part of the game sucked why on earth put vehicles in a platformer and base the whole game around it?? dragging back your jiggys to the hub was also teadious and pointless, the whole car parts idea just didnt fit for a banjo game,

mbchfdh2
mbchfdh2

@dogman7 I only played the demo of that, but I thought it was pretty good...