Something seems to be going on with Playtonic, and rumors of a Microsoft acquisition or a new Banjo-Kazooie are swirling (UPDATE 2)
Playtonic just recently released Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, which was quite a hit with most critics. What's next for the company coming out of that success? Depending on how deep you like to dive into rumors, the company could have some major moves going on.
Just yesterday, we saw that former RARE dev Ed Bryan was officially brought on as an employee at Playtonic. Bryan was a character artist on Banjo-Kazooie, and eventually left RARE in 2011.
Well, I never really had any plans to use this again. pic.twitter.com/r3wS18vrrR— Ed Bryan (@ItsMingyJongo) November 3, 2019
Fans noticed that Bryan tweeted out the above image/tweet on Nov. 3rd, 2019, and when someone asked him what was up with the bag, Bryan responded by saying, "It’s come out of retirement!" As you can see the Microsoft branding on the bag, this has drummed up some speculation that Playtonic and Microsoft are, at the very least, working on something.
Going a step further, Gavin Price, co-owner, studio and game director at Playtonic Games, recently added this to his Linkedin profile.
Yooka-Laylee, Yooka-Laylee & The Impossible Lair, and in the foreseeable future that game #3, #4 and the #5 one too which is the one I always thought would be game #1.
Finally, we have the news of Playtonic registering a new company name recently. The company, PLAYTONIC GAMES DEVELOPMENT LIMITED, popped up without any explanation on Sept. 17th 2019.
There's certainly a lot of smoke building up here, but where's the fire? What could Playtonic be working on? It's clear something is up, but is speculation running too wild, or is Microsoft really bringing the band back together for a new Banjo outing?
UPDATE: We have some new details that both answer some questions, and raise new ones. First up, Ed Bryan has responded to the hubbub about his bag tweet.
Oh my. I think, all things being equal, it’s much more likely that I’ve dug out my old laptop bag so I can get my work machine to and from the office safely.— Ed Bryan (@ItsMingyJongo) November 5, 2019
Second, we have two new job listings opened at Playtonic. They are looking for an Experienced Gameplay Engineer, and an Experienced Technical Generalist. One of the listings specifically mentions the Unity engine.
Third, and most interesting, are some comments from Playtonic Community Manager Daley Johnson. He was asked for his thoughts on all the rumors swirling about, and answered with this.
Oh the secrets I know. We're back to where we were when I joined Playtonic and had a wealth of info yet to be revealed, hope you remember what it was like to be tormented and looking out for clues 😭.