The spiritual successor to the beloved Banjo-Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee, was announced earlier this year to huge excitement. The game reached its Kickstarter goal of AUD$366,000 within its first half-hour, and reached just about AUD$3 million in its first 24 hours. As is the norm with Kickstarter campaigns, specific pledge tiers from backers nabs a level of reward(s).
One of the rewards was an early ‘Toy Box’ version of the game, a sort of demo, for backers that was intended for release in Q4 of 2015. An email from developer Playtonic Games has informed early investors that the Toy Box experience has instead been delayed until early 2016. “At the time of our campaign we were confident we could meet this deadline,”the message reads. “But due to several circumstances – including external factors making our initial plans for a web-based player impractical – the Toybox has taken longer than expected to create.
Just like everything we do, we want the Toybox delivered to backers to be polished, fun and representative of the quality we’re shooting for with the final game – not just a blank box to run around in.
So now we’re looking to release the Toybox in early 2016. It’s still totally exclusive to Toybox Kickstarter backers and it will still arrive long in advance of the final game.
The email also mentions the growth the company has seen since its crowdfunding campaign, doubling in size and continuing to attract more employees. Upon its initial unveiling, Playtonic Games consisted of only six ex-Rare developers. The project also includes Grant Kirkhope, the original composer of games such as the Banjo-Kazooie games, Donkey Kong 64, Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Viva Piñata.
In the meantime while backers of Yooka-Laylee wait for their first hands-on with the game, as part of IGN’s First series, a video of the first world in the game was released in November. The video shows footage of various symbiotic gameplay elements a la Banjo-Kazooie, Kirkhope’s familiar musical instrumentation and a day/night system. The game is powered by the Unity engine.