One of the most fondly remembered development studios to make games for the Nintendo 64 is Rare. GoldenEye 007 and Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo-Kazooie are all beloved classics of the system. After being bought by Microsoft in 2003, they went on to develop titles for the Xbox consoles, one of which is Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. While they haven’t made any new installments in the Banjo-Kazooie franchise since, a company made up of ex-employees of Rare called PlaytonicGames is currently working on a spiritual successor to the series called Project Ukulele.
The original title of the project, Mingy Jongo, was announced in 2012 with some talk but not much to show for it. After a year of silence, a few cryptic messages were posted to the game’s Twitter account following up to the game’s rebranding as Project Ukulele. PlaytonicGames has even announced that they have an upcoming interview in issue 277 of Edge Magazine, which will be released on February 12th.
From their introductory post, PlaytonicGames has announced that they have on their team “the bloke who programmed Donkey Kong Country, the character designer behind Banjo and Kazooie, and the artist who made your console fit to burst with lavish environments across a decade’s worth of adventure games.” Since Rare has had a strong history with Nintendo consoles, PlaytonicGames has suggested the possibility of a Wii U release for Project Ukulele if there is enough consumer demand. Though they also have the intention to release the game on Valve’s Steam store as well.
With a strong interest in customer feedback, the team hopes to grow a fanbase to help them shape the direction of the game as it is being developed. They plan on releasing more information about the game in the upcoming months. You can subscribe to their newsletter here for future updates on the project.