Update: Playtonic has put a message out on Twitter confirming it's not working on a Banjo-Kazooie game, and highlighting that it remains an independent studio.
A statement from us! pic.twitter.com/nZHqI5GaYeNovember 6, 2019
While it's not the news Banjo fans are hoping for, it does sound like Playtonic are gearing up to work on something new, which sounds good to us.
Original Story: Could Banjo-Kazooie be heading to Project Scarlett? A series of too-suspicious-to-be-circumstantial events has led the internet to believe a new Banjo-Kazooie game is in the works from Playtonic Games, the indie studio made up of former Rare developers currently known for retro platformer Yooka-Laylee.
Not only that, but this same internet theory also holds that Playtonic has been acquired by Microsoft as a first-party Xbox studio, and we could be seeing an announcement of the purchase from the stage of the company's XO19 event in London next week.
But where's the evidence for all this rumour? A compelling theory thread from Mazi on ResetEra has outlined every piece of the evolving puzzle so far, beginning with the recent hire of Banjo-Kazooie character artist Ed Bryan to Playtonic's studio in Derby, UK. Bryan himself also acknowledge his new position by posting an image of an old Microsoft-branded bag from his Rare days on Twitter, teasing that "it's come out of retirement" when pressed about the cryptic tweet.
Meanwhile, Gavin Price, Playtonic Games co-owner, has also recently updated his Linkedin profile to reveal that the studio is working on "game #3, #4 and the #5 one too which is the one I always thought would be game #1", while another ResetEra user discovered that the company quietly re-registered itself as "PLAYTONIC GAMES DEVELOPMENT LIMITED" in September earlier this year.
Banjo-shaped or not, then, something is happening over at Playtonic, and Microsoft's aggressive approach to studio acquisitions of late does lend further plausibility to the idea that the indie team are about to become another first-party developer for the upcoming Xbox Project Scarlett. Here's hoping we find out more official details from next week's XO19 event, and you can be sure that GamesRadar+ will cover all the news from the expo as soon as it's announced.
For more, check out the best Black Friday game deals 2019 we know about so far, or watch our latest episode of Dialogue Options below.