While the Internet is still speculating and creating ideal Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch rosters, here’s a little food for thought: Executive Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft Phil Spencer would love to see Banjo and Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. He has wanted this for several years.
Yesterday, the Banjo-Kazooie fan Twitter account @BanjoEXE asked Spencer if he would like if the bird and the bear were playable in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game. Spencer’s response was as short as it was emphatic:
Note the words “still willing.” This is neither the first time Spencer was asked if he would like Banjo and Kazooie in Super Smash Bros nor the first time he responded positively. Back in April 2015, when Nintendo created a poll for Super Smash Bros. DLC characters (Bayonetta won the poll), @PedroDarkinson asked Spencer if Banjo and Kazooie could be in the game. Spencer stated, “I think it would be cool if Banjo was in the next SSB DLC. We’ve worked with Nintendo on Rare IP before, no issues.”
While Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel Banjo-Tooie were originally developed for the Nintendo 64, the games and all their characters are owned by Rare, which was bought by Microsoft in 2002, which means Microsoft currently owns all of Rare’s property, including the characters from its games. This is where the difficulty lies in bringing the stars of the N64’s best collectathon platformer games to Smash. However, Nintendo has collaborated with rival companies for the past several years. Sega’s Sonic has been a staple of Super Smash Bros. since Brawl, and Square-Enix’s Cloud Strife made it into Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U/3DS, despite Final Fantasy VII never making it to Nintendo consoles. Therefore, we can expect almost any game character in a Smash Bros. game, even those currently owned by Microsoft.
Banjo and Kazooie are ingrained in the psyches of gamers, especially those who owned a Nintendo 64. They are popular characters who are synonymous with collectathon platformers and were, according to @PedroDarkinson, heavy contenders in the Smash Bros. DLC character poll. Clearly, Banjo and Kazooie would be welcome additions to the upcoming Smash Bros. roster. While Spencer’s comment is by no means a confirmation, it at least indicates he is more than willing to give his blessing to their inclusion in the game. After all, if the likes of Crash Bandicoot can make their way to the Nintendo Switch, what’s so far-fetched about Banjo and Kazooie coming home to roost/smash?