Fans of Rare are excitedly awaiting the anniversary of what might be the studio's most iconic franchise, Banjo-Kazooie. Originally launching on Nintendo 64 in 1998, June 29 will mark the 20th anniversary of the hugely popular 3D platforming game. Fans will be absolutely celebrating, but the question is whether Rare will be too, and what the studio has planned. Players of Rare's newest game, Sea of Thieves, think they might have an idea what's in store.
Sea of Thieves launched in March earlier this year and has exceeded Microsoft's expectations. Rare has since run its first major post-launch event, The Hungering Deep, and just yesterday Rare started the first of what it calls "Bilge Rat Adventures," which are smaller scale events that will fill in the weeks between major content releases. Rare's firing on all cylinders, and the studio seems like it's in its best condition in a decade -- it's the perfect time to throw a celebration.
Unsurprisingly, it's starting to look like Rare might feel the same way. Sea of Thieves' first Bilge Rat Adventure, the Skeleton Thrones, will be ending on June 26. Another event is expected to pick up the same day, though Rare has yet to announce what it may be. Rare will have every opportunity to launch a Banjo-Kazooie event in Sea of Thieves, so long as they've planned ahead and laid out preparations. And at this point, most Sea of Thieves players will say, "Aha!"
Rare is well known for slipping Easter eggs into their games and Sea of Thieves is extreme in this regard. But now some of those Easter Eggs seem more like event foreshadowing. Several references to Banjo-Kazooie lie hidden among the islands of Sea of Thieves, but one island in particular is now drawing attention. On Plunder island, several references to Banjo-Kazooie are found -- a painting of a series of feathers, references to a Phoenix, giant statues of birds, and most important of all, a large painting of a very big bear with a red bird flying overhead.
The final clue, the one bit of info that makes all of Sea of Thieves' cave paintings and Easter eggs seem like something more, is a piece of concept art Rare showed a while back during a comic convention. It's for a figurehead, as-yet-unreleased in Sea of Thieves, featuring none other than a large bear holding a shield adorned with a red bird.
Rare then is shown to care deeply about bringing Banjo-Kazooie into Sea of Thieves in assorted ways. Rare's shown to have Banjo-Kazooie rewards in the works. And Rare has the opportunity to start a Banjo-Kazooie event in Sea of Thieves for the 20th anniversary if it so chooses. The stars could be aligning.
To be fair, there's no overt evidence that Rare is planning a Banjo-Kazooie event for Sea of Thieves, only circumstantial evidence. Rare could end up doing nothing of the sort, Rare could just release a figurehead to pick up in-game without an event for it, or Rare could do something even crazier. Time will tell, but knowing Rare's love of its history (and fans' love too) don't be surprised to find a certain bear and bird celebrating their 20th anniversary in style.
Sea of Thieves is available now on PC and Xbox One.