While beloved UK studio Rare has been busy with Xbox Avatars and Kinect titles in recent years, its fans are still waiting patiently for some of the developer's iconic characters to make a return to Xbox in the near future. Microsoft was teasing a new Battletoads game only yesterday, but it seems that gamers could have seen another classic Rare franchise make a return in 2015 – at one point, anyway.
Last night, a Reddit user known as 'certain_ability' took to the site's gaming subreddit to share details of a potential reboot to the Conker franchise. The moderators of the site are claiming that they have verified the poster's credentials (although it's not known what proof was provided), so this story should be considered a rumor for now.
Apparently, back in 2014 Microsoft began to push hard for a Conker reboot, but it's said that Rare wouldn't be the studio behind it. Instead, the game would be outsourced to a suitable developer, in a similar fashion to the well-received Killer Instinct reboot that launched alongside the Xbox One.
Insomniac Games soon emerged as the front runner. Considering the studio was working on the Xbox One exclusive Sunset Overdrive at the time, and have previously had success with a comedic third-person mascot shooter with the Ratchet and Clank series, the developer's involvement seems like it could have been a match made in heaven.
However, Microsoft had a caveat in the deal; they wanted the game to be on shelves by the end of 2015. The team at Insomniac were reportedly wary about working to such a tight schedule with such a popular IP, and decided to back out of the project.
According to the poster — who claims to have been a Microsoft employee up until recently — Conker would have been the first stage in Microsoft's attempt to reintroduce several Rare franchises. Perfect Dark and Banjo Kazooie were also set to make a return in 2016 or 2017. As of now, however, the entire slate seems to be in purgatory.
The story as a whole sounds plausible. Why wouldn't Microsoft utilize the Rare franchises they paid for back in 2002? Considering the track record of Rare during its time with Nintendo, it would be like today's Microsoft deciding to leave Minecraft well alone after purchasing Mojang last year.
That said, the whole thing reads a little too much like a Rare fan's wishlist for it not to be questioned. An A-list studio reviving Conker followed by Perfect Dark and Banjo Kazooie hitting in consecutive years would be a dream come true for many fans. That said, is it too good to be true?