Microsoft Discusses Rare - Talks of Possible Battletoads Revival

Microsoft Discusses Rare - Talks of Possible Battletoads Revival

battletoads image

Microsft's Ken Lobb says the company "sees value" in all those old Rare IPs.

Last year, Microsoft renewed the Battletoads trademark right around the time Microsoft's Phil Spencer personally visited the Rare offices to check out its latest project. Fans were hopeful that we would see the return of the classic Rare IP, and now, creative director at Microsoft Studios Ken Lobb has added fuel to the fire, talking about the legendary studio and hinting at a possible Battletoads revival.

"So will there ever be another Banjo, Viva, Blast Corps, Battletoads?" said Lobb, when asked about Microsoft's enviable position as the owner of Rare. "Yeah, some day. And I think the reason you see things like Battletoads revived is because we know there's value, so we renewed the trademark."

But, before you get your hopes up too high, Lobb did clarify that "Does that mean it's coming this year? No. Does that mean it'll never come? Absolutely not. We have a lot of passion internally for each of these games that you mentioned and we have surprises in store in the near and long future, but understand that what it's really about is, we want to build this suite of IP [so] that we can add to that list of 'let's build some new things,' 'let's build some recent sequels,' and 'let's do some crazy stuff' like dig back into a portfolio of IP and build some games that people love."

So there you have it. We now know that Microsoft clearly realizes the value of Rare's IP, and while Lobb was reluctant to mention anything specific, it does seem like the company is at least thinking about revisiting these games. There is also, of course, Rare's secret upcoming project, which may have something to do with all of this.

Which Rare game would you most want to see revived? While Battletoads is a classic, I'd much rather see another Banjo Kazooie game.

Source: Destructoid

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ooooh shit... blast corps?? i forgot all about that. i'd pay good money for a blast corps rerelease.

>.>

oh good, so we can yet again be 'blessed' with a broken game that that mistakes 'cheap' for challenge and basically kill all the good will toward 'hard games' Dark Souls has built up.

Errm, this seems like a bit of a non-story. PR guy is asked a question, gives a non-committal answer, but hey lets all jump in and discuss which Rare IPs we'd like to see revived anyway (Jet Force Gemini since your asking).

With the creators Tim and Chris Stamper gone, and with them working on Kinect Sports for the last five years (plus Killer Instinct in fairness), one has to wonder about the studios ability to develop sequels at the same level of quality they had during the N64 years (but I'd be happy to be proved wrong)

Fun fact: I had a job interview at Rare Studios in 1999 as they had offices just down the road from where I lived. Didn't get it. I got a 'boring' office programming job instead; there were two ex-Rare guys there who told me "Yeah, you don't want that job, you're five years too late".

Oh for the love of god no one tell the Chans, they'll go ballistic if they find out.

Steven Bogos:

Microsft's Ken Lobb says the company "sees value" in all those old Rare IPs.

Of course they do. The whole reason they bought Rare is because of the Donkey Kong Country games thinking that Rare owned all the rights to the ip.

The last 'Banjo Kazooie' game sucked.
They killed Perfect Dark with 'Zero'.
Killer Instinct got screwed over.
Only Conker managed to not be totally ruined.

So, yeah, screw MS.

Tanis:
The last 'Banjo Kazooie' game sucked.
They killed Perfect Dark with 'Zero'.
Killer Instinct got screwed over.
Only Conker managed to not be totally ruined.

So, yeah, screw MS.

That's not fair...Snake Rattle & Roll hadn't been ruined yet.

Tanis:
The last 'Banjo Kazooie' game sucked.
They killed Perfect Dark with 'Zero'.
Killer Instinct got screwed over.
Only Conker managed to not be totally ruined.

So, yeah, screw MS.

The new Killer Instinct is actually good though.

I might be too young, but I just don't 'get' Battletoads. I have the game somewhere around my house which I picked up cheap, but I just don't see what's so grand about it.
I think what would happen is Microsoft would get Twisted Pixel to make a downloadable game and that would be it, you couldn't make a full retail game out of it.

Honestly I think there's way better IPs for Microsoft to work on.

Tanis:

Killer Instinct got screwed over.

The common consensus is that the game was pretty decent for a launch title, freemium model game.
In fact from what I understand, it's been very successful for all parties involved.

I don't want to see Microsoft or Rare touching any classic IPs of theirs. If Microsoft hires another dev team for it, then there is at least a possibility of it being good. Killer Instinct turned out rather well to my surprise, but I certainly think it was bolstered by...well, not being developed by Rare.

Tanis:
The last 'Banjo Kazooie' game sucked.
They killed Perfect Dark with 'Zero'.
Killer Instinct got screwed over.
Only Conker managed to not be totally ruined.

So, yeah, screw MS.

Hey, I liked Nuts and Bolts...

But yes, Rare just hasn't been the same since becoming part of Microsoft. Most of their original staff has left the company.

marioandsonic:

But yes, Rare just hasn't been the same since becoming part of Microsoft. Most of their original staff has left the company.

Hell, you can go back further than that - Rare pretty much bled staff from the beginning of their N64 endeavors.

I actually booted up my N64 the other day to play through some of the Rare classics again.
Banjo-Kazooie is still the gem it's always been, but after I'd moved on to the next game, the disappointment started.

Banjo-Tooie is a walking simulator.
Seriously, they took everything that made the original great and padded the fuck out of it to increase completion time. The levels are too big, and the amount of backtracking is completely nuts.
You're always walking around. Walking to Mumbo's hut. Walking around to find the Mumbo Pads as Mumbo. Walking to Humba's tent. Walking around as whatever she turned you into. Walking around as Banjo by himself. Walking around as Kazooie by herself. It's a freakin nightmare.

The game also has serious framerate issues on the N64. Like, sub-10fps issues. So there's that.

Pretty much everything Rare made after that ramped up on the padding. More areas that required specific characters/abilities to enter. Bigger levels. More shit to collect. Even Jet Force Gemini - a game I still remember fondly - is guilty of these. Tribal collecting, anyone?

Pretty much the best stuff to come out of Rare's old IPs lately has been made by other studios, like Retro and Double Helix.

Zontar:
Oh for the love of god no one tell the Chans, they'll go ballistic if they find out.

To be honest their jokes are probably the only reason why this is happening.

At the end of the day "Battle Toads" is pretty much a crap game based on a crap IP which was pretty much puked up during the whole 'fighting anthromorphs' craze. It's biggest claim to fame of sorts is that it got some legitimacy with a cartoon TMNT crossover if I remember.

The game hit at the right time that a lot of people bought it, or played it at the home of someone that bought it, but the game was so badly designed and the difficulty curve so ridiculous even when it worked that people infamously made no real progress with it despite spending hours on it when they had it.

The "fame" seems to be that a lot of 80s and 90s gamers remembered trying the game and how horrendous it was and to make jokes about it since everyone remembered it. What's more it became "hip" for a lot of people trying to pretend they were older/more hardcore gamers to mention Battle Toads, and oftentimes post hilariously inaccurate descriptions of their gaming feats.

Then of course you had some viral videos where due to the popularity people crank called game stops and such asking for the release dates again and again. In a sort of mockery of how excited some kids were for the game when they still thought it might be good.

At any rate, given that the game is probably more famous and popular NOW due to the jokes and eventually videos of people finally beating the game (which is insane just to watch) it doesn't surprise me that RARE renewed the Trade Mark, in hopes of exploiting it, but I'm not sure if even they know how to leverage something like this. Should they make an "ironically" crappy game similar to the first one, or use the basics of the IP to make a serious type of game using what they have learned since about game design? I'd imagine that question alone paralyzes their marketing department.

It's good to see RARE thinking of picking up some of their old IPs, but I echo the thought that there are other ones I think they should consider long before a new "Battle Toads".

If they want to do a wicked hard game revival, honestly I think "Jet Force Gemini" (if I remember the name right) which is also fairly infamous might be a better choice. The goofy space family thing was memorable. :)

jackpipsam:
I might be too young, but I just don't 'get' Battletoads. I have the game somewhere around my house which I picked up cheap, but I just don't see what's so grand about it.
I think what would happen is Microsoft would get Twisted Pixel to make a downloadable game and that would be it, you couldn't make a full retail game out of it.

Honestly I think there's way better IPs for Microsoft to work on.

Tanis:

Killer Instinct got screwed over.

The common consensus is that the game was pretty decent for a launch title, freemium model game.
In fact from what I understand, it's been very successful for all parties involved.

I wrote another post on the subject, but the thing is your not missing anything with "Battle Toads" really, the game is pretty much a sub-par cash in title that ranges from being broken to obscene difficulty. It's more "famous" now that when it came out, largely due to people being kind of nostalgic for a crappy game almost everyone who gamed at the time played and felt kind of rooked by if they bought it.

The antics surrounding the game (stories by people lying about playing it, crank calls to game stops, etc...) are more amusing than the game itself.

I'll take another Conker.
Either another remake of Bad Fur Day (preferably with the original multiplayer) or a sequel to it.
Please Microsoft?
Pretty please?
I'll give you my firstborn if you'd like?
Just make it not suck too though okay?

Please?

Obligatory:

Seriously Microsoft- that thing you're poking there? That crumpled charred mess on the floor you keep prodding with that stick of yours?

It's dead. It's been dead for over 10 years.

Time to let it go. And also, always remember that it's dead because you strangled it.

Always remember that, Microsoft. Always....

Fuck that, Microsoft. Viva Pinata's better than anything old Rare made, give me a new one of that for Xbox One.

Why am i suddenly expecting battletoads, the free to play mobile game.

Can't wait for battletoads cooking simulator: kinect required.

Steven Bogos:
And I think the reason you see things like Battletoads revived is because we know there's value, so we renewed the trademark."

"We know there's value."

Yeah, because nostalgia buys a lot of games, no matter of they are crappy, cheap rip-offs. There are always people buying them no matter how bad they are.
It's that simple, and Microsoft has hardly ever proven to be anything but simple and money hungry.

Friendly reminder to everyone that very few work at Rare who did in their glory days and almost everything Rare has produced for nearly a decade has been considered complete crap.

Yeah, I loved those games to, but I also love them enough to know what ever is going to come out later with their name will be HORRIBLE. Just look at killer Instinct!

jackpipsam:
I might be too young, but I just don't 'get' Battletoads. I have the game somewhere around my house which I picked up cheap, but I just don't see what's so grand about it.

In the first level you can beat down a flying dragon thing until you can ride it, then beat up a robot while on the dragon and grab the robot's leg and swing it as a weapon while your still flying on the dragon. Then you fight a boss entierly in first person view.. the boss' view! That's pretty damned amazing you ask me, even by today's standards.

Not to mention it's still remembered as one of the hardest games ever made, and there is a growing selection of people who really enjoy a challenge

Whatever; I always found it baffling how MS made a big deal about getting Rare when they first bought them and then proceeded to do nothing with them. You'd think for a company like MS which is severely lacking in first party titles they'd want to expand and bolster their portfolio, but then let the company flounder.

And that's before we get into the debate of whether or not Rare was any good. More and more, you see Rare titles pop up on "Most Overrated of All Time" lists. Sure, Goldeneye, the DKC series, Battletoads, and KI were POPULAR for their time, but that doesn't translate to being good. A lot of them just haven't aged well.

Tanis:
The last 'Banjo Kazooie' game sucked.

Actually... No it didn't. Yeah, it was hardly a Banjo Kazooie game, that's for sure, but it didn't suck. Quite the contrary.

Another Jet Force Gemini? Please? PLEASE?! Or just an HD update, I don't care, *anything* Jet Force will have me freaking out

 

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