Ever since Microsoft purchased Rare in 2002, the studio has not been the absolute powerhouse it was in the 90s and early 00s. In the past, Rare was responsible for some of the best, most cutting edge video games that helped redefine the industry. If you do not believe that notion, look no further than titles such as Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Goldeneye 007, the Killer Instinct franchise, Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie. Recently, Rare Creative Director Simon Woodroffe revealed on Twitter that Rare developer Gregg Mayles’ next game project will be announced at this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). I am not sure about the likelihood of a Conker’s Bad Fur Day sequel, but that is a sequel for Rare that is long overdue.
Some of the key members of Rare staff departed the company over the years. Those staffers have now founded a new game development company in Playtonic; and Playtonic just successfully funded a new video game project through a Kickstarter campaign. That game is called Yooka-Laylee, which is meant to be a 3D adventure platform game that is a throwback to classic games of Rare’s past such as Banjo-Kazooie. That campaign has raised more than $2 million for Yooka-Laylee, shattering an initial pledge goal of $270,000. The game’s stretch goal has almost doubled. Rare should not be left in the lurch. The response to Yooka-Laylee should make Rare and Microsoft take notice. Considering that Microsoft owns Rare and the Conker franchise, it should not be so hard to put a new sequel project together.
Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a classic game. The title was not only a hilarious parody of kid-friendly adventure platform games, but a game with a complex, thought-provoking and edgy story. Ever since the first game, there was talk of producing a follow-up. Unfortunately, it never saw the light of day. So, it has been quite a long time since Conker has had an update. The last Conker game release was Conker: Live & Reloaded, which was nothing more than a remake of Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The staff at Rare should be allowed to go back to the materials for the follow-up to Conker’s Bad Fur Day and make the true sequel fans have wanted to see for years. Since rebooting classic franchises is the recent fad, the Rare staff could sink their teeth into this idea: big corporations only want to rely on established brands. Conker could definitely have a fun, post-modern and meta gaming experience to play with that notion.
Ultimately, there is no guarantee of a Conker sequel coming to fruition. There have been other hints suggesting that Rare’s next project could be some type of new version of Battletoads. I like the Battletoads games, and I would be fine with some sort of reboot to that franchise. If there is a new installment of Banjo-Kazooie in the works, I would have no problem with that either. Hopefully, if Rare makes a new 3D adventure platform game, the developers will produce it with the same care and ingenuity of Rare’s classic titles.