Getting Banjo-Kazooie into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was easier than you might think

Xbox's Phil Spencer talks about how the deal came to fruition

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • June 14, 2019 at 11:05 a.m. PDT

Seeing Banjo-Kazooie in Super Smash Bros. is something that fans have wanted for a very long time, but due to Nintendo and Microsoft being rival companies, it was a prospect that realistically seemed impossible. Despite that, Nintendo achieved the impossible and added the bear and bird into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, as we saw them revealed earlier this week at E3 2019.

While the thought of such an addition being a difficult one remains, it turns out that it wasn't actually that tough to make the deal happen. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer spoke to Kotaku about the process of getting Banjo-Kazooie into Smash Bros. Ultimate, and according to him it was pretty simple.

Spencer notes that Microsoft is one of Nintendo's largest third-party publishers on the Nintendo Switch, so the relationship there is a strong one between the two teams. In terms of how the deal came to fruition, Spencer says it was "just kind of part of the partnership relationship we have with them."

"There wasn’t anything kind of CEO-to-CEO that had to happen," Spencer said. “People have asked me on social [media] — I’m sure you’ve seen that — over many years: ‘Would I welcome having Banjo in Smash?’ and I’ve always been open to that."

Based on what Spencer said in the interview, it looks like conversations such as that of Banjo in Smash have been going on for years between the involved parties. Spencer is happy to see Banjo-Kazooie join the fight, as are the fans and some of the other people who have been closely involved with games from the series.

We recently saw three of the developers from the original Nintendo 64 games share their thoughts on the duo's inclusion in Smash Bros.

Video Games Chronicle spoke with Banjo-Kazooie's character designer Steve Mayles, original composer Grant Kirkhope, and lead programmer Chris Sutherland about the news. While all were happy to see the crossover happen, it was Kirkhope who had an interesting outlook on a potential new entry in the Banjo-Kazooie series.

Kirkhope says that he doesn't believe Rare has "the appetite" to make a new Banjo-Kazooie game and thinks that the company might not be confident in a sequel's sales. There's no telling whether or not we'll actually see a new game in the series down the line, but fans certainly would be happy if it did happen.

Nintendo continues to laugh in the face of the word "impossible" with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With Metroid's Ridley, Donkey Kong Country's King K. Rool, Castlevania's Simon Belmont, and now Banjo-Kazooie in the game, there's no telling what other characters they'll shock fans with in the future.

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