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Reddit rumor: Insomniac almost worked on Conker reboot, Banjo + PD reboot in 2016/17

Nibel

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Oct 18, 2011
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FIRST THINGS FIRST
Aftermath
: Before you read any of this, it's important to know that the Reddit poster who spread that info worked at Microsoft and was verified by the Reddit mods of r/gaming by providing further information. For what it's worth, he/she also shared an intern email chain between him and a MS employee. Take everything with a huge gran of salt like always.

Edit: Jason from Kotaku on the source

The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
---

Now, here's his/her post

There’s been a little bit of a buzz recently, after Ken Lobb announced that there were plans to revive some older Rare IPs, and a bunch of old Rare guys have come together to do a Banjo successor. I wanted to take this opportunity to share some stuff from when I was working at Microsoft, and I can say that there has been a lot of internal conflict about these old Rare IPs as of late.

I was with MS for several years, and have been tied to a lot of projects, like Sunset Overdrive and was doing a little bit of work for the Master Chief Collection. I wasn’t working on any games per se, but I was in a position where I was able to see a lot of these games and other potential projects in development. From my position, I was able to learn a lot about the relationship between MS and these old Rare IPs, and the one that had the most ‘buzz’ around the office prior to my departure: Conker.

So the Conker IP has been pretty much been stagnant since the Xbox version, and it’s kind of fallen by the wayside. With other IPs, management seems pretty chill in discussing new ideas, but for the longest time Conker was never really on the table for new projects. A lot of people around the office thought that MS didn’t have much faith in the Conker IP. From what I heard, a lot of people thought the style felt really dated, and that the crude humor of it felt too 90’s for modern audiences. That was just rumors and gossip from the staff, some of which have been with the company since the first Xbox came out, so I trusted what they said.

That mostly changed around spring of 2014. All of a sudden, I became flooded with emails and design docs for a new Conker game. Basically, MS wanted to reboot Conker, and was shopping around for developers to make the new game. MS wasn’t comfortable developing it, and Rare DEFINITELY wasn’t making it.

For a while, it really looked like Insomniac would take on the Conker reboot, they were already doing third-party stuff for MS, and they had made a hit platformer series in the past.

However, Insomiac turned MS down too. Apparently MS wanted Conker to hit store shelves by the end of 2015, and Insomiac refused because of the short dev cycle. MS wanted Conker out the door really quickly, because they wanted to reintroduce audiences to a bunch of older IPs that MS were planning on rebooting for 2016-17, like Perfect Dark and Banjo.

The Conker project has been pretty much canned. No one wants to make it, because MS wants to rush it out. I’m not sure if those other reboots will continue as planned, or if they wanna wait for someone to tackle Conker, like I said, I no longer work for MS and have been out of the loop for a little while, but as is, don’t hold your breath for a new Conker game.

Here is an email chain between me and another MS employee, just to show you some of the thoughts of the people at MS after Conker was put on ice. It left a sour taste in people’s mouths, as you can tell.
Source (Reddit)

I hope it's okay to post this; the r/gaming community on Reddit is among the biggest and most active communities there which is why I thought that the mods there probably have some kind of credibility. Maybe even some Gaffers who have further insight have heard something similar to this person; if this is not enough to warrant a thread, then it can be closed.
 

Neuromancer

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If crazy buttocks on a train were here maybe he could confirm/deny. I don't know how rigorous reddit mods are at clearing people but I suspect fakery.

Posting that email chain seems like a real bad idea if this was real. MS IT/investigators could very easily search for a string of text from that exchange and see who it came back to, if at least one of the two people were using their company addresses of course.
 
Feb 3, 2007
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a lot of people thought the style felt really dated, and that the crude humor of it felt too 90’s for modern audiences
This is why I have little faith in Conker ever getting a reboot it deserves, because it wasn't just aiming a piss stream and a giant singing poo, there was a lot of more subtle satire too.
 

Eos

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Jan 7, 2015
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why not just give devs a reasonable amount of time to fully work on a game or else we get things like crackdown 2
 

Super_Cobra

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Sep 21, 2014
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I don't understand the obsession for 90s IPs. Let's move forward and create new IPs. The whole crash bandicoot and Conker obsession will not reflect on the masses.
 

Jarmel

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I like how that email states that nobody was expecting a major hit anyway.

I'm not surprised by any of this if it's true.
 

VLiberty

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I was totally expecting a Banjo game by then. I didn't miss it by far it seems.

I so hope to see Insomniac working on a new platformer (other than R&C), be it a new or an old IP.
 

tapedeck

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Oct 8, 2005
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Well if any of that is true let's be thankful Conker didn't happen. Maybe in the future they can do it if they throw some money at Chris Seavor.
 

Leflus

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Jun 4, 2011
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Smh at the Conker part if it's true.

They should have done Conker Live & Reloaded Anniversary and Project Conkerspark in 2015 and Conker's Other Bad Fur Day in 2016. No need to rush it ffs.
 

JimiNutz

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Apr 15, 2007
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Insomniac and Conker sound like a good fit.
At least this finally confirms that MS are actively trying to do something with their Rare IP.
Banjo and Perfect Dark will surely come out at some point on Xbox One.
 

Doffen

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This is why I have little faith in Conker ever getting a reboot it deserves, because it wasn't just aiming a piss stream and a giant singing poo, there was a lot of more subtle satire too.
This is what makes Conker. Changing it would defiantly (imo) alienate fans of the original.
 

Jonnax

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He posted emails? That would take an admin at Microsoft a second to do a search for who this is and take them to court
Unless this is a controlled leak to gauge interest.
 

Bricky

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If they just want to rush Conker for the sake of having a new Conker game I'm glad we're not getting it, because it would probably turn out bad.

That said, I'd love a new Conker game with some actual care put into it. Insomniac seems like a studio that could've given it a decent reboot.
 

m23

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Conker by Insomniac could have been great, but that deadline would be way too short to make anything great.

I'm sure Kamiya will pick it up though....lol.
 

Pachimari

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Man I need another Conker. Even if it's Insomniac developing it.
Microsoft come on, just give them the time they need, and you'll eventually get your Conker reboot.
 

mtodavk

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Insomniac seems like their humor/general direction would have fit Conker really well...sucks that MS wanted to have it rushed out the door.

I wonder if any Conker remakes have been done in Project Spark yet? ;)
 

gaming_noob

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They probably know Conker wouldn't be a big seller so devised a Small budget and short dev time. The Banjo (if done right) and Perfect Dark franchise would do fine I think.
 

Kenshin001

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For a while, it really looked like Insomniac would take on the Conker reboot, they were already doing third-party stuff for MS, and they had made a hit platformer series in the past.

However, Insomiac turned MS down too. Apparently MS wanted Conker to hit store shelves by the end of 2015, and Insomiac refused because of the short dev cycle.
Weren't they already busy working on a reboot of that hit platformer for Sony?
 

Remark

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How did Conker sell on 360? I wouldn't think there's much demand for Conker or Banjo on XB. I could see a PD reboot doing well, though.
The last Conker game was on the original Xbox. I don't think they released BFD or Live and Reloaded on the 360 marketplace.
 

jschreier

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The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
 

Sponge

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If true, this is heartbreaking. If anyone could make a new Conker, it's Insomniac.
 
Feb 3, 2007
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Insomniac seems like their humor/general direction would have fit Conker really well...sucks that MS wanted to have it rushed out the door.
Couldn't disagree more.

For the same reasons Seth McFarlane could never do a (good) South Park episode.
 

jwk94

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The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
Hmm interesting.
 
Jul 16, 2004
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Really sad to hear about the "canned" part. With all the new franchises that popped up in the last decade, a new Conker game would have so much potential.
 
Jan 25, 2014
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The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
I'd imagine that those standards at r/gaming are very, very low.

Definitely taking this all with a (huge) grain of salt. A conker sequel without the original people behind it would be sad anyway.
 

Tntnico

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A Conker game made by Insomniac would be really awesome. If MS really wanted to rush it out, that's a shame ! If it's to develop rushed games, MS please let Rare IPs rest in peace :-/
 

Skele7on

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The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
So it's looking like:

 

-MD-

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The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
Good to know.
 

kurahador

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The guy who wrote this Reddit post reached out to us last night. I've been exchanging e-mails with him, but as of right now he has not been able to corroborate any sort of employment with Microsoft. (Assuming what he sent me is also what he sent to the Reddit mods -- well, I'm not sure what they're thinking calling it "verified.")
The plot thickens.
 

Ol No Bones

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If crazy buttocks on a train were here maybe he could confirm/deny. I don't know how rigorous reddit mods are at clearing people but I suspect fakery.

Posting that email chain seems like a real bad idea if this was real. MS IT/investigators could very easily search for a string of text from that exchange and see who it came back to, if at least one of the two people were using their company addresses of course.
I guess since its negative new Cboat could confirm. He only deals in negative Xbox news.
 

Color.Morale

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Oct 22, 2013
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PD reboot would be amazing! Shame about them wanting a rushed Conker game. :/

Still don't know if I should believe it.