Yooka-Laylee is an upcoming 3D platforming, action-adventure for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U being developed by Playtonic Games and published by Team17. The game is currently slated for an October 2016 digital release. The game is a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie series.
On September 8, 2012, a group of former Rare employees announced their intent to create a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. They joined under the Twitter handle Mingy Jongo, a boss from the game Banjo-Tooie, with cooperation from ex-Rare developers including Grant Kirkhope. The account was left abandoned and the project confirmed to be dead by Kirkhope in a Reddit AMA. Later, the account was revived under its new name Playtonic Games. Playtonic then announced that they were planning a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie franchise titled Yooka-Laylee, formerly codenamed Project Ukulele. Yooka-Laylee is believed to have been the result of Mingy Jongo's work, sharing similarities of both using the Unity game engine and being planned to be supported on Kickstarter.
The game made its way to Kickstarter on May 1, 2015. It reached its initial crowdfunding campaign goal of £175,000 within thirty-eight minutes and its initial highest goal of £1 million in 21 hours, at the time becoming the fastest video game in Kickstarter history to reach US$1 million. Playtonic Games later sent out a public statement thanking all their supporters and promising more updates in the future. The campaign added four additional stretch goals, all of which have since been reached. Those who contribute predetermined amounts to the campaign will receive special rewards related to the game's release. It is currently the highest-funded UK video game in Kickstarter history, passing the previous record held by Elite: Dangerous, earning over £2,090,000.
Yooka-Laylee is set to be released on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One, with success in the crowdfunding campaign allowing a simultaneous release for consoles. The game will feature 3D worlds by environment artist Steven Hurst, whose credits include the Banjo-Kazooie series and Viva Piñata. Some characters will be designed by Kevin Bayliss, who helped design the modern Kong characters in the Donkey Kong series, and Ed Bryan, who designed characters in Banjo-Kazooie. Former Rare composers David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, and Steve Burke will collaborate to compose the game's orchestral score. A soundtrack CD will be released and rewarded to certain supporters of the crowdfunding campaign. The game will also feature an optional "N64 shader" mode, which will imitate the graphical appearance of Nintendo 64 games. Additional post-launch downloadable content is planned, which will begin production following the game's release; players who participated in the crowdfunding campaign will receive this content for free. The game's native language will be English; however, it will also feature professional French, German, Italian, and Spanish translations. Other languages for inclusion will be voted on by the backers of the Kickstarter campaign. Former Super Play and Rare artist Wil Overton will be illustrating the game's instruction manual.
On July 30, 2015, Team17 announced that they will partner with Playtonic to publish the game.