Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic is not making a new Banjo-Kazooie game, the studio confirmed today in a statement shared on social media. Recent rumors began to swirl that indicated Playtonic may have been bought by Microsoft and assigned to revitalize Banjo-Kazooie, which many folks in the Derby, England-based studio once worked on at Rare before they departed to form Playtonic in 2014.
"While we would love to work with the bear and bird again, that ball isn't in our court," said Playtonic. "We're sorry if that isn't what you wanted to hear from us." Their full statement in its friendly font can be viewed below.
Playtonic arrived on the scene with 2017's Yooka-Laylee, a deliberate homage to the 3D platformers of yesteryear, like Banjo-Kazooie specifically given that nearly every developer in the studio migrated from Rare, the team once responsible for the franchise. Inquisitive message boards began to connect dots across the internet earlier this week when another former Rare dev, Ed Bryan, announced he joined the team by including a Microsoft-branded duffel bag with the caption "Well, I never really had any plans to use this again."
Some fans took it as a subtle suggestion to expect an imminent acquisition announcement, especially given the Xbox team's X019 event is just around the corner and last year saw two studios, Obsidian and inXile, join the Xbox Game Studios family. With Playtonic confirming they have no current plans to work on a new Banjo-Kazooie game, this bare fan theory is left for the birds.
Yooka-Laylee released in 2017 to Fair reviews here on OpenCritic. Today it sits with a 72 average and is recommended by 56% of critics. A 2D take on the characters, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, released a month ago to much more favorable reviews with a Strong 82 score with 84% of critics recommending it.