E3 2014: Conker's Return to Be as "True and Genuine to Conker as Possible"

Project Spark's developer addresses its plans to bring back Conker.


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The developers of Project Spark "love" Conker the Squirrel and are hoping to "be as true and genuine to Conker as possible" with its use of the character, even if what it's offering isn't the new Conker game many fans were hoping for.

During Microsoft's E3 press conference today, it was announced that Conker content of some kind is coming to Project Spark, the free-to-play game that allows you to make your own games. A subsequent press release described it as "giving players the power to continue the 'Conker' legacy." While some are excited to see Conker after such a long hiatus--Conker's Bad Fur Day, the last original game to feature Conker, was released in 2001--others were critical of the announcement. To some, this was perceived as a lazy move by Microsoft, which they say couldn't be bothered to make a Conker game itself.

Project Spark community manager Mike Lescault took to NeoGAF today to respond to this sentiment and explain developer Team Dakota's approach to bringing Conker to the game. Quoting a post that reads, "You guys want Conker? Make it yourselves!" Lescault said, "That's a completely understandable way to look at it. And it makes sense that anyone who was eagerly hoping to hear the announcement of a new Conker game (and there's many of you, clearly) would be at least somewhat let down."

"We love games. Old games, new games, classic games. Conker is something many of us grew up with," he wrote. "We love the heck out of the crazy little guy and we want to hang out with him as much as you guys do, possibly more."

"[Conker]'s not one to pull any punches, and it wouldn't have made sense for him to gloss over the fact he hasn’t had a game in almost a decade." -- Project Spark community manager Mike Lescault on today's trailer joking about Conker's absence.

Lescault went on to explain what Project Spark is all about and how, as a free-to-play game, it'll be supported by selling "DLC packs that provide different assets and visuals to allow creators added flexibility in creating whatever their hearts desire." As Team Dakota is relatively small, he said, "[W]e have to be very selective in what we spend our time creating. Conker has such a passionate and diehard following he was the clear first choice for us."

At this point, the vagueness with which Conker's appearance in Project Spark was announced stems from the fact that Team Dakota hasn't finalized its plans for him. As it's still finishing up work on other aspects of the game, we'll have to wait for more details to be decided on before they are announced.

"We'll be releasing more details on our plans for Conker in the future," Lescault said. "Please know that we love and respect Conker and his (in)famous history. We're huge fans of everyone at Rare and we're a very community-driven team that is always looking for your ideas and feedback. Please let us know your thoughts on what you'd consider the best and most respectful way for us to honor Conker in Project Spark.

"One final note on Conker's line in our trailer. It was important to us to be as true and genuine to Conker as possible. Not only was it important to get Conker's voice right, it was equally important to let Conker be Conker. He's not one to pull any punches, and it wouldn't have made sense for him to gloss over the fact he hasn’t had a game in almost a decade. We were poking fun at ourselves, certainly not the dedicated Conker fans."

The Rare-created Conker originally showed up in Nintendo 64 game Diddy Kong Racing as a playable character. Although he was initially a friendly character, he would be turned into a foul-mouthed alcoholic in N64 cult classic Conker's Bad Fur Day. That game was re-released on the original Xbox in 2005 as Conker: Live & Reloaded after Microsoft acquired Rare. The character has not been seen since.

What do you make of Conker's return in Project Spark? What kind of content are you hoping Team Dakota releases? Let us know in the comments below.

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