Kickstarter still works: Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee funded in just 40 minutes



Yooka-Laylee is the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. Image Credit: Playtonic Games

It looks like crowdfunding remains viable for older developers looking to recapture the glory days.

Developer Playtonic Games’ Yooka-Laylee is already funded after less than 40 minutes on Kickstarter. This new platformer, which the studio calls a spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, zoomed past its goal of $270,000 — it’s now at $460,000 with 46 days left to raise funds. At points, it is seeing fans contribute around $1,000 every couple of seconds. This comes at a time when many people were unsure if Kickstarter could still support major projects, but it looks like some are willing to put down their money to get more old-school 3D platforming.

Check out Playtonic’s pitch video.

Yooka-Laylee is definitely reminiscent of Banjo-Kazooie. It features two characters — one big and one small — that run around and enable the player to overcome enemies and obstacles in a variety of ways. It also features similar looking font and music to the Banjo-Kazooie games.

“It’s about re-creating the team exactly how it used to be on the N64,” Playtonic creative lead Gavin Price said. “And how we used to operate. Reproduce [the game] in that environment, that setup, and that dynamic.”

That was obviously enough to convince fans of the beloved Nintendo 64 platformer Banjo-Kazooie to get back on board with this new hit. And it also proves that Kickstarter is still something that works for established developers that want to go back and make something new based on something old.

Last week, developer Double Fine finally released the full version of Broken Age, one of the first games to find major success with crowdfunding. That game blew up with more than $3.3 million in funding. But this was way back in February 2012, and it took more than three years to deliver that project in full. Other games have had similar success on Kickstarter and come out sooner, like the computer role-playing game Pillars of Eternity from Obsidian Entertainment, which took around 2.5 years to go from crowdfunding to completely project. But some people were still starting to wonder if, going forward, fans would turn away from Kickstarter out of fears of long delays and more.

Well, Playtonic and Yooka-Laylee definitely makes it look like that isn’t the case.