The entertainment industry is no stranger to capitalizing on nostalgia, especially when proven IPs can be remade with an almost guaranteed audience. Video game publishers have also caught on to the to the nostalgia gold mine, and 2015 is shaping up to be a year of remasters, remakes, and spiritual successors.
Last week, for example, the original team behind the influential game Ultima Underworld announced a new Kickstarter campaign for the first direct sequel to the series in two decades: Underworld Ascendant.
In just over a week, the crowdfunding campaign has already achieved $390,000 of its $600,000 goal, with 22 days remaining. With those numbers, it is hard to argue that nostalgia is not big business.
The latest project to come out of the recent nostalgia gaming boom is Playtonic Games, a new developer made up of former core members of Rare. While Rare Ltd still exists today as part of Microsoft Studios, the developer’s heyday was during the mid to late ’90s on the Ninentdo 64.
Rare made several classic N64 games, including Goldeneye 64 and Conker’s Bad Fur Day, as well as Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie.
Today, Playtonic Games announced a mysterious new game that they are currently calling “Project Ukulele,” which is believed to be a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie games.
“Together, our all-star ensemble is aiming to build its debut game, ‘Project Ukulele’, into a worthy spiritual successor to those fondly remembered platforming adventures we built in the past,” Playtonic wrote. “So what’s next? Well first of all you need to know that our journey is at an early stage – we’ve barely left the Shire and Sean Bean’s still an alright guy.”
The developer noted that the team had made similar claims in 2012, saying, “But this time it’s real! We’re making a real, proper, actual game.”
Details surrounding Project Ukulele are slim at the moment, but tomorrow’s issue of Edge will have images of the first artwork from the game. Playtonic promises it will allow fans to shape the development process of the new game, saying, “You’ll ultimately shape the destination of our project and we plan to continue exchanging sweet glances across cyberspace at you until we get there.”