There have been rumors and whispering voices about another game by Microsoft-owned Banjo-Kazooie developer Rare after Kinect Sport Rivals, and a few new career opportunity ads seem to indicate that the game has been in development for quite a while.
The first ad, seeking a Rendering Software Engineer is quite explicit:
With three decades of experience and a stable of smash hit games under its belt, Rare has been unleashing innovative showcase experiences on Microsoft platforms since joining Microsoft Studios in 2002. The double BAFTA-winning Kinect Sports titles crowned years of Xbox 360 support that also took in Avatar creation and a range of much-loved Rare IP – from Perfect Dark to Banjo-Kazooie, Kameo to Viva Piñata. Hot off the launch of 2014’s Kinect Sports Rivals for Xbox One, Rare is already deep into the development of its next eye-opening AAA adventure.
While the wording could seem to indicate that the game is an “adventure” at first sight, it may be misleading. It could simply ,mean a “new adventure” for Rare, and not the genre of the game itself.
A second post, looking for a Principal Technical Artist, explicitly mentions “experience with Unreal Engine or equivalent” as a plus, possibly indicating that the new game is being developed using Epic Games’ engine.
A third ad, seeking a Services Software Engineer mentions games as a service and the use of Microsoft’s Azure cloud at least for web services:
As we enter a new era of Gaming as a Service, Rare is seeking a talented and experienced service engineers to join our experienced team of service developers to create the great gaming experiences that Rare has long been known for.
The ideal candidate for this role will have a strong web services development and programming background ideally for Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. The candidate will be proficient with C# and multithreaded programming, using accepted best practice and test methodologies.
The engineer’s main tasks would include “Develop and maintain software and services to support game titles.” and “Work closely with other engineering disciplines to integrate services into game titles.”
Interestingly, it seems that Rare may have more than one game in the works, as mentioned by a fourth ad looking for an User Experience Lead.
Work with the game designer and art director to build wireframes for multiple titles.
Manage a UI team and their deliverables across multiple projects
Personally, I’m quite interested in seeing what Rare will announce next, especially since Phil Spencer encouraged the studio to “make an iconic Rare game that centers on what Rare’s always been about.” Time will tell if they’ll deliver that kind of experience.