Super Smash Bros Ultimate is one of the biggest hits in recent years, with new quarterly numbers talking about how it’s crossed over 17 million in sales. And thanks to Fighter Pack 1, and the upcoming Fighter Pack 2, players of Smash Ultimate have even more characters to battle as, including the fan-favorite character Banjo-Kazooie.
Banjo-Kazooie was born on the N64 thanks to Rare, but the studio was later bought out by Microsoft, making the duo an unlikely character for Smash Bros despite TONS of fan pleading. Eventually, though, Microsoft gave the go-ahead to make it happen. Rare head Craig Duncan told GameIndustry.biz how it happened:
“Minecraft had paved the way for that relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft. I met with Nintendo at the E3 before we announced it. And then we connected our teams, because we thought it seemed like a great opportunity.”
“We had an initial kick off call with Sakurai-san and some of his team. There was myself, Gregg Mayles… who is the father of Banjo, even though he hates it when we call him that. Andrew Wensley, who runs our business team. And a chap called Paul Cunningham, who runs our partnerships. Those people had a conversation, [Nintendo] talked through what their approach would be, and then that process started.”
“And then a year goes by of sharing animatics and ideas and character concepts. It was a back-and-forth. We ended up with something that was really great. But the execution came from the Smash team.”
Banjo was a very welcome addition to the game, and it’s brought hope to many gamers that many other highly-requested characters from third-parties might just make the list. Fighter Pack 2 will have 6 characters that’ll release from now until December 2021. Who will be on that list is anyone’s guess, but it wouldn’t be too much of a reach to say that someone like Banjo in terms of fan desire will be brought into the fold.