On May 1st, 2015, the game developing company Playtonic announced that they were crowdfunding their first game, a spiritual successor to Rare’s Banjo Kazooie series. In just over half an hour, the funding campaign raise its initial goal of £175,000 (or nearly $273,000). As of July 30th, this campaign has raised nearly £2.1 million. It may surprise many, then, to hear that Playtonic has agreed to publish the game with Team17, a company known mainly for their Worms series, and their recent hit The Escapists.

Team17 will lend their hand in marketing, localisation, and other business technicalities. When asked about Team17’s involvement with the game, Playtonic’s managing director and creative lead Gavin Price stated, “Personally I feel it would be a great shame if after our great Kickstarter success, we delivered on our promise of a great game and then it underperformed sales-wise because we didn’t have the knowledge, or made a mistake in the way we released or marketed the game.”

Andy Robinson, writer and editor for Playtonic, believes that this will help since they are a relatively small group of developers and composers, many of whom had left Rare. This would allow them to focus more on developing the game to its fullest potential, while another company can work on the the business aspects. “Playtonic was founded because our team wanted to make games the way it used to in the ‘90s – in a small, collaborative team in an environment that encourages creative autonomy,” Andy explained.

Even more exciting for Playtonic (and fans) is that Team17 is considering a physical release for the game in stores. Playtonic initially didn’t strive for this goal since it would have been a big risk while they were still campaigning the funds for the project. An official decision on the matter hasn’t been reached yet, but both groups are ‘looking into it.’

Physical release or not, Yooka-Laylee is scheduled to release in October 2016. The game is confirmed to be on PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, and PC.

Justin Kersey
My name is Justin, and I graduated from Ball State University with a degree in history. The long tale of my love for gaming began when my dad brought a Super Nintendo to our house in the ancient year of 1992. I played Mario Paint, Super Mario World, and Donkey Kong Country in my early years. My love for games only grew when I got a Game Boy and Sega Genesis in the mid 90s. Before I knew it, I was in college watching youtubers like the Angry Video Game Nerd, applying my love of video games to my love for history. Soon, I began collecting as many video games as I could. My favorite genres are JRPGs, open-world survival games, and adventure games.