Rare's Craig Duncan: Franchise revivals would require 'new gameplay innovation' first

Rare, owned by Microsoft, has overseen some of the industry's most noteworthy franchises, from Banjo-Kazooie to Perfect Dark. The studio is currently working on Sea of Thieves, which is a connected-world adventure game full of pirates, swashbuckling, and some of the most gorgeous ocean physics ever seen.

While Sea of Thieves looks very promising, many Rare fans would like to see the studio revisit some of those classic franchises. IP such as Battletoads, Viva Piñata, and Kameo would be prime candidates for a modern refresh, but Duncan says that innovation must come first.

Talking to DK Vine (via IGN), Duncan said that taking existing franchises and giving them "up-to-date graphics" isn't the right way to go about things.

Further clarifying on Twitter, Duncan emphasized that he didn't mean Rare would never revisit old franchises, instead, Rare would have to find new gameplay innovation that fits those IPs, instead of just remake them with modern visuals.

My point was don't just update old formula with new graphics - find new gameplay innovation that fits IP.

Rare is focusing entirely on Sea of Thieves for the time being, which, even in its early stages, is every bit as charming as Rare's greatest hits.

What Rare franchises would you like to see revived for the modern era? Let us know in the comments.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • R.C. pro AM with Online capability.  Keep the overhead display of the original please.
  • Just give me perfect dark without the wonky controls that's the last game had and I'll be happy
  • The response i read on IGN was a but longer than that and had to be the dumbest response I ever heard.  It's up to them to figure out how they can come up with how to update the franchises in new ways.  If they cant do that, then maybe they're better off not destroying old IP's. imagine Nintendo had that way of thinking, we wouldnt have most of these amazing titles especially Breath of the Wild.   If my reply seems too harsh, it's only because of what I read on IGN where he states that, they're not interested in revisiting old IP's because if they did, they would need to come up with "amazingly new ways," to make the title fun, which i found very stupid as an answer.   What he should have answered is that once they come up with new amazing ways to enjoy those IPs, they would release them.    
  • I've always wanted a new Jet Force Gemini. And, I agree. Rare has been pretty lackluster overall since they left Nintendo. Now, I haven't played many of their games since going to Microsoft, but they just don't look to have the appeal they once did. The old Banjo's to me just need some actual voice-overs. Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Racing, Conker, Perfect Dark, Kameo and Jet Force Gemini were all good. I don't believe they have the licenses anymore for The Donkey Kong related games, but they could mimic any of those titles. Just my two cents.
  • I'm fine with Rare thinking their revolutionaries. It would just be nice if they finally released a game that proved it.
  • Rare is not 'focusing entirely on Sea of Thieves'. They're also doing the new avatar system.  That's ongoing work. 
  • I'm not sure this is true. Can you give a source?
  • its not just rare fans that wants old games revisited, its xbox fans who grew up with rare titles on the xbox.  Kameo was such a sleeper hit platformer, that game needs to be explored and have a new adventure. i can't believe i had so much fun with that game.  Same with viva pinata and Banjo Kazooie.  If Rare was still part of nintendo, you can bet that these games would have had 5 to 6 games by now.  Conker is still this beloved character that everyone is hoping for.  Everyone at E3 last year thought he was gonna have a new game. Microsoft really needs to keep pushing these other mascots to casual and kids gamers.  This is why people still enjoy a good old mario game or pokemon.  THey are still selling because theyre not just for kids, they are also nostalgia and they grab one generation to another.  Microsoft need to pay attention to the way Nintendo is making a lot of these "kiddy" games and still grabbing attention.  The real battle is with nintendo, because playstation adn xbox already both play the ''hardcore'' games.  It's been over a decade, you think they'd have some collection of first party mascots now so they can have their own Super Smash Xbox Bros Meelee.  Killer Instinct doesnt count.  It's too gory for kids.
  • I mean, doesn't that make you a Rare fan? lol
  • I don't really get the Nintendo reference. 3D Mario platformers are a huge deal, as are Zelda games but Nintendo doesn't push out new entries until they have a concept they are happy with. That's likely a big part of the reason they are a big deal. Nintendo is pretty slow and methodical... In a lot of ways I'd say Rare's development style is much more Nintendo then it is other publishers or developers who when they hit on a winning idea tend to turn it into a yearly or bi-yearly franchise until people get so sick of it that it ends up dead. 
  • Crimson Skies Multiplayer Reboot!!   There's a picture of Crimson Skies near the XBOX one X in some advertisments and they say it will run on XBOX one X but I doubt its multiplayer.
  • Time Splitters.
  • Battletoads.  Just don't make it impossible like the original, lol
  • I don't disagree with that. As much as fans (myself included) want new entries in some of these franchises the only thing worse then not getting a new entry is getting a new entry that is a commerical failure. A franchise without a new entry always has the potential to come back at some point. A franchise with a bad entry in today's market is toast.