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Yooka-Laylee Details Announced By Playtonic Games

by Donald Theriault - April 30, 2015, 5:52 pm PDT
Total comments: 25 Source: IGN, Playtonic Games

Featuring a bat and a chameleon in desperate need of pants.

The game previously known as Project Ukulele now has a title, protagonists and a price for its Kickstarter backers.

Yooka-Laylee, the project announced a few months ago by the ex-Rare staff at Playtonic Games, is a 3D platformer starring Yooka the chameleon and Laylee the bat. Yooka can use his tongue as a grappling hook, while Laylee can fire sonic blasts and fly short distances.

The promised Kickstarter campaign will begin May 1st, and the game tier will be $15 or £10 with extras including a soundtrack and "64-bit" physical edition available. The game is scheduled for the Wii U, but how quickly the game comes will depend on the success of the crowdfunding project.

Playtonic Games's website has also updated, declaring itself "the home of Yooka-Laylee and googly eyes" and offering additional screenshots and video.

Images

Talkback

ForgottenPearlMay 01, 2015

The character design's not doing much for me, but I'm real glad this is looking to be a true successor to Banjo-Kazooie.  (I hope it's better than Tooie: I found the gargantuan worlds tedious.)  And it's great to hear a Wii U version is being planned.

broodwarsMay 01, 2015

Man, I really love 3D platformers, but there's just something about this Kickstarter that's not stirring up my excitement. Maybe it's because there's no physical console edition reward tier. Maybe it's because there's no Vita version. Hell, maybe it's because they kept their funding goal artificially low to ensure funding, and then proceeded to hold the console versions hostage to a 1 million Euro stretch goal.

In any case, I find it hilarious how less than a week after Broken Age (the Kickstarter game that made so many people swear off Kickstarter due to the devs being unable to fulfill their original promise within their budget and in a timely manner), people have already forgotten the lessons that Kickstarter should have taught them and rushed to sign on to yet another nostalgia-driven Kickstarter game with a heavy focus on scope-creeping stretch goals.

Mop it upMay 01, 2015

I never back these things, but I may check the game out if it releases on Wii U.

Ian SaneMay 01, 2015

So you want a sequel to a game you like but no one is making it?  No problem!  Just fund the creation of a blatant rip-off!

I don't have a problem with that but it's weird that that's the era we now live in.  I never would have guessed such a future.

broodwarsMay 01, 2015

Quote from: Mop

I never back these things, but I may check the game out if it releases on Wii U.

That's already a certainty. At this point, it's just a matter of whether it launches simultaneously with every other version or if it launches with a notable delay after the PC version. It depends on if the Kickstarter meets its final1 million Euro stretch goal.

Mop it upMay 01, 2015

It also depends on if the game gets made, which is never a guarantee with these.

AdrockMay 01, 2015

I'm not fond of the character designs either. Maybe they'll grow on me. I never really got into the Banjo series so I'm not particularly excited about this. Considering how badly Microsoft has dropped the ball on the IP in the 12 years it has owned Rare, I wish Playtonic Games luck in delivering this game.

On a separate note, I wonder if Nintendo ever considered tracking down as many former Rare "free agents" and unofficially reforming Rare. Nintendo has always valued a company's talent over IPs. Nintendo hasn't had a major development presence in Europe since letting Rare go. It could always use more development houses around the world.

Evan_BMay 01, 2015

I'm going to say it since no one else seems to want to- but Nintendo probably never hunted down Ex-Rare employees because their games were always subpar representations of what Nintendo knew they could do better.

This game continues the trend of retro-inspired IPs having more bland character designs than it's source material while also blatantly ripping off the worst things about their predecessor. I'll pass.

Quote from: Adrock

On a separate note, I wonder if Nintendo ever considered tracking down as many former Rare "free agents" and unofficially reforming Rare. Nintendo has always valued a company's talent over IPs. Nintendo hasn't had a major development presence in Europe since letting Rare go. It could always use more development houses around the world.

I wish they'd stepped in and bought Free Radical when they went under, but I don't particularly care that they never went after these guys.

AdrockMay 01, 2015

Quote from: Evan_B

I'm going to say it since no one else seems to want to- but Nintendo probably never hunted down Ex-Rare employees because their games were always subpar representations of what Nintendo knew they could do better.

I admittedly was never particularly fond on Rare's games. They often played like worse Nintendo games, not necessarily bad, just worse. At the same time, Nintendo could certainly use more software output. That said, Nintendo could do a lot worse than hiring people who made worse versions of its own games and occasionally games it would likely never make.

ShyGuyMay 01, 2015

It's almost a guarantee they will meet their €1 million at they rate they are going.

ThePermMay 02, 2015

£938,061 at this point. When I pledged they were at 600,000 mark earlier today. When I got back from  friends house and checked they had jumped up to 920,000. They have jumped up a little over 18,00 since then. They'll probably reach their stretch goals by noon tomorrow at this rate. 60,000 from complete stretch goal as of this moment.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMay 02, 2015

I pledged. First time ever.

BlkPaladinMay 02, 2015

Even though they haven't marked it off yet the two new stretch goals have been reached. I will pledge later to get the console version, need to get paid first.

Just so you know, with Kickstarter they don't charge you until the project ends, so you don't have to wait to back it if you'll be okay by then.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMay 02, 2015

I do wonder if Microsoft/Rare would have a potential case if they wanted to go after this project.  It's a very blatant "rip-off" ("rip-off" in that these guys do not have the rights to the original IP) of a Microsoft-owned IP.  Even the pitch for the Kickstarter makes it obvious they're make B-K without having the rights to those characters.

Not that I care much one way or the other.  Just curious how it would end.

"Spiritual successor" type games like this get made all the time without the rights to the original. It's not using anything MS owns the rights to, it's just making something that's really similar, so making a legal case against it would be pretty tough. Since they themselves seem to have had no urge to revisit it and the game's coming to Xbox One anyway I doubt they care.

Playtonic cites Fantasy Inc v Fogerty, then probably the reply in the matter of Arkell v Pressdram, and we all move on. Capcom didn't sue to block Mighty No 9 and I don't think Konami's gonna give a damn about the inevitable Igarashi project.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMay 03, 2015

Quote from: NWR_insanolord

"Spiritual successor" type games like this get made all the time without the rights to the original. It's not using anything MS owns the rights to, it's just making something that's really similar, so making a legal case against it would be pretty tough. Since they themselves seem to have had no urge to revisit it and the game's coming to Xbox One anyway I doubt they care.

Yeah, I don't see them going after it - but I think it'd be an interesting case to follow (although it'd probably get settled out of court and we'd never get any details).

The thing that sets this one apart is that so much of the Kickstarter pitch basically reads "Yeah, this is another B-K game."  Right down to the name of the characters.  I don't think Mighty No. 9 was even that direct that it was a Mega Man "rip-off".

I'm sure nothing will come from it.

Link LinkMay 03, 2015

I actually do like the look of this game. Both the hand drawn artwork and potential screenshots are lush to me. The only thing I don't like is Laylee. I dislike the way that bat looks. I wish they'd give her a different look. Yooka I like as well and think he looks better than Banjo even. A 3D Rare platformer? I'm in.

Also, is it really a rip-off when it is almost the same creative team that made the first Banjo-Kazooie games? A rip-off is something like Ultra Dario or Monino which rip-off Mario for mobile gaming. That's people not involved with creating the original product offering a half-baked substitute. It's like saying Story of Seasons is a rip-off of Harvest Moon. (Which is even more bizarre when you consider the latest Harvest Moon title is actually a rip-off of Harvest Moon. Or is it a rip-off of Story of Seasons?)

You've got to love how messed up things have gotten with different companies holding the rights to properties so that the creators of those properties can't keep working on their creations but have to create new but similar properties while the companies that hold the rights can release games under the old property name that are inferior because they don't have the creative talent that made it a success in the first place.

Say what you will about Nintendo's faults, at least Nintendo has been pretty good with how it manages both its creative properties and creative talent with Sakurai and Gunpei Yokoi being the only real notable splits in the past. With Sakurai they were even able to restore that relationship although the Kirby brand did seem to suffer for awhile but HAL has got it back on track in the past 5 years. Makes me wonder if the talent at Playtonic games regrets not letting Nintendo look after all their properties like Banjo-Kazooie when Rare split from them because chances are Nintendo would let them create a new game in the series and even be able to help boost sales with including Banjo-Kazooie in Smash Bros. and other things to keep the brand strong rather than starting over.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMay 03, 2015

To be fair, I qualified the "rip-off" statement with the statement that Microsoft owns the original IP. :D

ThePermMay 03, 2015

Lets all keep in mind Mickey Mouse is in existence because Walt Disney couldn't retain the rights to his creation Oswald the Rabbit. So he made a ripoff of Oswald.

Whats appealing about this duo is the whole chameleon thing, there is some new abilities and moves to be had with this.

Manthony ChopkinsMay 03, 2015

As I listened to a great soundtrack snippet from David wise on the kickstarter page, it sounded like it could have easily been in DK: Tropical Freeze.

broodwarsMay 03, 2015

Quote from: ThePerm

Lets all keep in mind Mickey Mouse is in existence because Walt Disney couldn't retain the rights to his creation Oswald the Rabbit. So he made a ripoff of Oswald.

Except that when Walt lost Oswald, he also lost most of his animation staff when they were bought out from under him. It was pretty much just him and Ub Iwerks still around creating Mickey, with new blood hired on afterwards shaping him into the character we know now. By comparison, Playtonic is more or less the same people as on the original Banjo-Kazooie.

ThePermMay 03, 2015

computers eliminate sweatshop conditions for animators. Theres less need for underlings under the creative staff. The banjo designer guy and the former senior programmer tuy occupy the analogous rolls. Mickey Mouse is Oswald with round ears. The point to make though was everyone are all "this is the time we live in, we just blatantly rip off our own creations when someone else gains the rights"  but nothing is new. Early Mario DK designs were reminicent of Popeye, South Park started out as a morbid Peanuts parody.

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