Minecraft Helped Bring Banjo-Kazooie to Smash Bros.
Minecraft started the Nintendo-Microsoft relationship that allowed Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch... is Master Chief next?
Ever since Banjo-Kazooie released on Nintendo 64 In 1998, the iconic duo has been loved by gamers around the world. Banjo-Kazooie‘s success prompted developer Rare to create Banjo-Tooie, which released for Nintendo 64 in 2000. Following the success of these first two outings, Microsoft purchased Rare for $375 million. Nintendo fans who loved the Banjo-Kazooie games on Nintendo 64 worried that Banjo wouldn’t ever return to Nintendo consoles. And aside from two Game Boy Advance spin-off games, their worries were seemingly confirmed. Banjo’s third outing, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts released exclusively for Xbox 360 in November of 2008.
However, at E3 2019 Nintendo released a trailer that shocked gamers around the globe revealing Banjo-Kazooie a playable character in Super Smash Brothers Ultimate. The reveal was easily one of the most exciting moments of E3 prompting hundreds of wild reaction videos from long-time Banjo-Kazooie fans. From that moment on, it felt like anybody could join the Smash roster. The possibilities are endless. I honestly believe we can now get Lyn, Tharja, Hector, Camilla, Lon’qu, or even Ephraim! Regardless, it was an exciting moment that many will never forget.
Recently GamesIndustry.biz interviewed Rare’s Craig Duncan giving more insight into Banjo’s shocking inclusion in Smash. Duncan shared that, “Minecraft had paved the way for that relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft.” Minecraft, of course, took over the world after launching it’s 2009 beta and catching the attention of YouTube audiences. Microsoft eventually bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014.
Microsoft and Nintendo’s current relationship can be greatly contributed to Minecraft, which released on the Wii U, 3DS, and Nintendo Switch. Ever since then the two companies have seen a lot of collaboration, supporting cross-play between the two platforms, while Microsoft even publishes games like Cuphead on the Nintendo Switch. Meanwhile, 2020 is already looking to be an incredible year for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. After the over-the-top-thrilling, breath-taking announcement of new fighter Byleth in January, Nintendo will be releasing another six fighters in Fighter Pass Vol. 2. Personally, I’m hoping for Goomba, Lego Batman, Bubsy the cat, Geralt’s bathtub, Conner McGregor, and the Duolingo Owl. Leave your Fighter Pass Vol. 2 wish-list in the comments, and stay glued to Dualshockers for any new Smash Bros. announcements.