Project Ukulele and a vague picture is all that we know about the first project from Playtonic Games, but it’s enough for any classic gamer to get their cords in a bunch. What is Playtonic? What is Project Ukulele? Why does it excite me as a gamer? One word… Rare.
Through the 90s Rare brought us some of the greatest games Nintendo had ever seen. Starting way back with Battletoads and growing through Banjo Kazooie, Rare lead the way when it came to great games and great stories. Rare even brought us one of the greatest first person shooters that really paved the way for the great games like Halo and Call of Duty: Goldeneye 007. Rare in the 90s could easily be considered the best developer of the decade… then Rare changed.
In 2002 Microsoft purchased Rare to bring its great games to the Xbox. Why not right? If your console needs a boost why not bring in the greatest development team in the business, and if they won’t make games for you of their own choice, force them into it buy doing what Microsoft does best, buying other companies.
Nintendo took a huge hit with this… Gone were the days of Donkey Kong Country. Gone were the days of Banjo Kazooie. Worst of all gone were the hopes of all Nintendo fans that were eagerly looking forward to Donkey Kong Racers for the Game Cube.
For Microsoft, the move was boosted with the idea that Rare would help lead the way with the newest technology in gaming… The Kinect. Rare would develop the company’s main Kinect title, Kinect Sports, and help kick off the craze of making people humiliate themselves in order to play video games. Things were looking good for Rare.
For Microsoft, the Kinect Kraze (see what I did there) was dying… and so was Kinect Sports Rivals. In response Microsoft decided to move away from the Kinect and back to hard core gaming… leaving Rare developers to be left with very little.
In response, some of the main developers at Rare abandoned ship, to force new waters. These brave developers formed a new company… Playtonic Games. Their motto: “An all new ‘Rare-breed’ of game creators.”
Hallelujah! The Video Game Angels sing from the Heavens! (even the video game demons are excited… they cheer Yay!)
While the name might be different the spirit of rare lives on! Their mission is to bring about new characters inspired from the past. If this doesn’t get you excited you must be living under a Kinect! Their first major project is simply known as Project Ukulele? What does this mean!?!?! Is Ukulele a new form of Banjo.. as in Kazooie? One can only hope. They also have a picture on their site of two pair of eyes… Who’s are they? All I know is if it is anything like Rare of the past, and creating great games like they did through the 90s, gamers around the world should be excited!