One of the biggest surprises at E3 2019 was the reveal of Banjo-Kazooie as a DLC character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, coming to the Nintendo Switch exclusive brawler this fall. That was quite an unexpected return for the characters, who were born on Nintendo systems when Rare was not owned by Microsoft yet.
In an interview with Kotaku, Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, has provided his comment about the way the deal was done between Microsoft and Nintendo, and how he feels now that the intellectual property has had this comeback — and not on Xbox.
“Obviously we’re one of the biggest third-party publishers on Switch, so we have great relationships with their third-party team. And you’ve seen the ambition they’ve had with every character that’s ever been in Smash and even more. So it was just kind of part of the partnership relationship we have with them.”
“There wasn’t anything kind of CEO-to-CEO that had to happen,” he said. “People have asked me on social [media]—I’m sure you’ve seen that—over many years: ‘Would I welcome having Banjo in Smash?’ and I’ve always been open to that.”
Rare also shared its enthusiasm when the news was delivered at Nintendo Direct for E3 2019, and said that it just listened what the fans wanted; “Nintendo were listening too, and we were happy to work with our old friends.”
You asked. We listened. Nintendo were listening too, and we were happy to work with our old friends to make this one a reality. Banjo and Kazooie are coming to Super #SmashBrosUltimate! https://t.co/itIuobRF5e
— Rare Ltd. (@RareLtd) 11 giugno 2019