Rare's N64 Team Working on Banjo-Kazooie "Spiritual Successor"

New studio Playtonic formed by decorated, senior Rare developers.

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A group of decorated Rare developers, who were instrumental in creating some of the studio's most iconic games during the '90s, have formed a new indie studio with grand plans to create a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.

The new studio, called Playtonic, was formed by Gavin Price and Chris Sutherland, two highly experienced Rare developers who were laid off in the summer last year.

Price started out in quality assurance at Rare, working on a broad range of N64 games, from Jet Force Gemini to Donkey Kong 64, Perfect Dark, Banjo Tooie, and Conker's Bad Fur Day. Later he went on to design some of Rare's more modern work, such as Kinect Sports.

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Chris Sutherland, meanwhile, is a coder whose influence at the studio dates back to the late '80s when he was hired as an engineer. Sutherland, who also provided the voices of Banjo and Kazooie, was instrumental in coding Rare's most iconic games, such as Donkey Kong Country.

The two are joined by Steve Mayles, a renowned artist who created the Banjo Kazooie characters. Three other developers currently work at the studio, while Grant Kirkhope--a famed composer for many Rare games--has been hired for Playtonic's first game.

According a new article in Edge magazine, the current plan is to expand the team to around 15 people. It is expected that many of them will be former Rare developers.

The studio's debut game is called "Project Ukulele," and while details are thin for now, the game is expected to be a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. A teaser image of the game has been posted online, and fans have already begun to speculate what characters it will depict.

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