Xbox head Phil Spencer acknowledges the demand for a new Banjo-Kazooie game – “Banjo fans, I hear you”

Banjo and Kazooie.
(Image credit: Rare)

It’s been a tough few years for fans of the historic platformer series Banjo-Kazooie, but Xbox head Phil Spencer has now acknowledged that he's aware of the demand for a new installment. 

Once a staple of the Nintendo 64 catalog, the original game launched all the way back in 1998 and remains one of the console’s most iconic and well-regarded games to this day. A 3D platformer where you play as the titular bear and bird duo, it was a major step forward in terms of 3D environmental design and laid much of the genre’s foundations to this day. 

Following a series of sequels, however, and the franchise’s ownership transferring to Microsoft with their acquisition of developer Rare in 2002, we now haven’t seen a new Banjo-Kazooie title since the underwhelming Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in 2008. That’s well over a decade with a distinct lack of Banjo-Kazooie content, which seems particularly long when you consider the series’ continued following and the success of many spiritual successors from other developers, like Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee.

However, speaking in a recent interview with Windows Central, Xbox head Phil Spencer was asked about a range of Xbox-owned franchises that might see a return, and made reference to the beloved 3D platformer series.

“Some of the lessons we've learned from past experiences here are very important.” he explains, “You've seen from our history that we haven't touched every franchise that people would love us to touch — Banjo fans, I hear you. But it is true that, when we find the right team, and the right opportunity, I love going back to revisit stories and characters that we've seen previously.”

Although it’s not a huge swathe of information, this is easily the most that Microsoft has said on Banjo-Kazooie for quite some time. We’re optimistic that, if the circumstances are right, we could be seeing a new entry on the Xbox Series X|S in the future.

For top games that you can play right now, see our guides to the best Xbox Series X games or the best indie games.

Dashiell Wood
Hardware Writer

Dash is TechRadar Gaming's Hardware Writer. Before joining TechRadar, he was a print journalist writing articles for some of the UK's biggest gaming magazines including PLAY, Edge, PC Gamer, and SFX. Now, when he's not getting his greasy little mitts on the newest hardware or gaming gadget, he can be found feverishly devouring the latest Nintendo Switch otome.