Banjo-Kazooie composer Grant Kirkhope says a new game is unlikely


One of the best collectathons ever created is undoubtedly Banjo-Kazooie for the Nintendo 64. While fans have been clamoring for a proper sequel to Banjo-Tooie for years, the chances of that happening have long since diminished. Currently, the rights to the IP belong with Rare (and thus with Microsoft), and while it’s not impossible, series composer Grant Kirkhope believes it’s unlikely.

Why a new Banjo may not happen

In an interview with Video Games Chronicle, Kirkhope says he doesn’t know if there will ever be a new Banjo game, citing Sea of Thieves as Rare’s focus:

My honest opinion is I don’t know if they’ll ever be a new Banjo. It’s easy to go, ‘look at these numbers’, but it might be a drop in the ocean for Xbox.

Is there a market for it? I just don’t know. I would think that Rare probably doesn’t have the appetite for it. They’re super busy with Sea of Thieves and that’s a gigantic game: it’s going to take the whole studio to keep making content for that.

Grant Kirkhope

What a new game needs for success

For a new Banjo game to work, continued Kirkhope, it’d require the right external studio:

Rare need to find somebody like that who gets the game, who really loves it, gets the humour, comes up with a great plot and then kicks on.

They would need to find an external studio who really cares about the project and wants to do it, like they did with Killer Instinct and also similar to how Ubisoft Milan did a great job with Mario + Rabbids.

That game looked like a Nintendo game: they totally got it and were in love with the concept. When he first saw it, Mr. Miyamoto thought they’d taken Nintendo’s internal animations – that’s how well they’d nailed it.

I feel like it’s completely doable, but it’s all about the staff. And I think they’d need a little bit of input from the guys who did the original Banjo-Kazooie, because it was such a quirky game especially in terms of its humour.

Grant Kirkhope

Don’t shoot the messenger

Kirkhope also reminded fans that he knows as much about it as the rest of us:

Maybe the E3 reception has made Microsoft think about it. But the trouble is, if I say anything more definitive than that then the fans will think I’m in the know!

When really, I’m just a composer. I have no connection to that decision what-so-ever. Gregg Mayles and Tim Stamper are the real inventors of Banjo… I’m just the most visible on social media.

Grant Kirkhope

While we may not ever get a proper new Banjo game, at least we’ll be able to play as the duo again once they launch for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!


Steven Rollins
Steven has been involved in video game reporting for over five years now. In his spare time, he can be found speedrunning, writing fanfiction, or watching as much anime as he possibly can.