Xbox Boss Acknowledges Demand for Banjo-Kazooie Revival

“Banjo fans, I hear you,” says Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer on the topic of Xbox-owned dormant franchises.

Microsoft has picked up a staggering number of developers (and studios) in the last few years, which means the company now boasts an impressive slate of first party IP. Many of these, of course, are currently dormant, and one of those in particular – Banjo-Kazooie, which has actually been under Microsoft’s ownership for a long time now – is one that fans have been dreaming of a revival for for ages.

And though there’s no concrete word just yet that one might be in the works (though there’s no shortage of rumours that may or may not be true), we do at least know that Microsoft is aware of the loud demand for the return of the beloved platforming franchise.

Speaking in a recent interview with Windows Central, Microsoft Gaming CEO touched on the topic of the company’s dormant first party properties, and acknowledged that there are several of them that it hasn’t touched, Banjo being one among them.

“You’ve seen from our history that we haven’t touched every franchise that people would love us to touch — Banjo fans, I hear you,” he said. “But it is true that, when we find the right team, and the right opportunity, I love going back to revisit stories and characters that we’ve seen previously.”

What would it take for a Banjo revival to be greenlit though (or a revival of any other franchise, for that matter)? According to Spencer, it would have to be a case of a development team being drawn to a project, rather than being told to revive a series by Microsoft.

“There has to be passion in the team behind the projects,” Spencer said. “That doesn’t mean that the team has to be the original team, every time. I’m not one — and maybe this is just my approach — I’m not one to come in and take a franchise from a team and remove them from the discussion or development process on how something new gets built. I think the original creators, the culture — frankly, some of the lessons we’ve learned from past experiences here are very important.”

This isn’t the first time that Spencer has spoken about a potential Banjo revival. Back in 2020, he said that whether or not a developer should work on a specific series is a decision that’s up to themselves, rather than Microsoft.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Banjo composer Grant Kirkhope said he was skeptical of the chances of a revival owing to a lack of the kind of audience that such a game would need.