Do you want Nintendo to work on a non-Nintendo franchise?
About a month ago a rumor popped up at ZeldaInformer from an anonymous tipster who claimed that Nintendo was trying to negotiate with RARE and Microsoft to, in a way, “purchase” the rights of the once evergreen franchise Banjo-Kazooie. While I do find this hard to believe, my heart thirsts for a proper Banjo-Threeie, and the thought of Nintendo bringing back the Banjo-Kazooie franchise makes me drool like a little puppy. And while the rumor itself is probably fake, it made me think… what if Nintendo purchased Banjo-Kazooie, and didn’t stop there? What if Nintendo is trying to gather up all the lost franchises in the world and bring them back to life? Okay, I’m dreaming here, but Banjo-Kazooie isn’t the only franchise that Nintendo could do a great job in “reviving.” Below are 5 franchises that I feel Nintendo should buy the rights to and start making new entries to!
What is it? Let’s start with the obvious. Many of us remember the greatness that was Rareware back in the N64 days with massive hits like Goldeneye007 and Conker’s Bad Fur Day (and even back to the SNES days with Donkey Kong Country). But probably the most iconic of Rareware’s creations was Banjo-Kazooie, a bear and bird duo out to smash some witch heads. The original Banjo-Kazooie was essentially a Super Mario 64 clone, but it’s sequel Banjo-Tooie was what set the series apart. Even the third installment on GBA, Banjo-Kazooie: Witchy’s Revenge, was fantastic. But all of that ended when Nintendo sold the development house to Microsoft in 2002.
Why buy it? Banjo-Kazooie was always considered a Nintendo franchise, and many would argue that it still is as of today. Sure, Microsoft now owns the rights to the famed bear and bird, but much (if not almost all) of the Banjo-Kazooie fanbase remains at Nintendo. And while Nintendo may have several of their own platformers, none of them are really as unique as Banjo-Kazooie. It would make sense for Nintendo to purchase the rights for Banjo from Microsoft, especially now that Microsoft now has ZERO interest in the franchise whatsoever.
What is it? Have you played the Klonoa games? The ones on the original PlayStation? The sequel on the PS2? The GBA spin-offs? The Wii remake? If you answered no to any of those, I wouldn’t blame you. No one seems to know much about Klonoa. Not even Namco is sure where to take the series from here. Klonoa Wii, the sole attempt to revive the franchise, bombed. But why? The Klonoa games are great! They’re wonderful, whimsical 2D platformers with full 3D environments that rotate around the game world! And the main character is a cat! I love cats!
Why buy it? Unfortunately, Klonoa just doesn’t sell under the Namco label. That’s probably the main reason why Nintendo should pick it up; it’s a great franchise that just needs more exposure. Considering that it’s a 2D platformer, I’m sure Nintendo could make a masterpiece out of the gem-grabbing flying kitty. And just look at him. He freaking looks like he’s from a Nintendo game!
What is it? Hi Sony! You care about your fans? Well obviously you don’t, since you haven’t released a game from your biggest franchise in over 7 years! Okay, maybe that was a little overdramatic, but it still boggles my mind as to why Sony doesn’t even mention its best-selling video game franchise anymore. Sure, we got a Move game, but that was an on-rails shooter and NOT an action-platformer! Bring back Spike! Let me grab some of those adorable monkeys again! I WANT AN APE ESCAPE 4!
Why buy it? It’s really simple, really. Ape Escape sells. It’s sold more than Resident Evil. More than Halo. More than Donkey Kong. More than Metal Gear. More than Pac-Man. It’s Sony’s best-selling franchise ever, and the twelfth best-selling franchise of all time, so if they’re just going to sit there and stare at our spiky-haired hero, Nintendo might as well just pick the damn thing up. And another thing is that it just feels so Nintendo-like. It’s so crazy and funky, I’m sure the guys at Nintendo would love to make a new Ape Escape!
Spyro the Dragon
What is it? Who the hell knows? Spyro must exist in multiple universes if he belongs in 3 different timelines (the original trilogy, the “Legend of Spyro” series, and now Skylanders). For now, Activision owns the rights to Spyro, and guess what they’re making? SKYLANDERS! Okay, I know, Skylanders is actually a pretty solid game. But many of us want the original Spyro back, or at least just one more installment to the original series. Fans want the Spyro that was cute and cuddly, the Spyro that we saw on the original PlayStation, the Spyro that didn’t transform into a magical toy.
Why buy it? It seems (at least to me) that there’s enough demand of a new original (read: not “Legend of”) Spyro game that it would be worth it for Nintendo to pick up the rights to the franchise. Even in the PS1 days, Spyro just felt very “Nintendo.” Heck, Skylanders feels very “Nintendo.” And even though, of all the franchises listed here, Spyro may make the least money for the Big N, the return of the original Spyro would do well to get some of that original PlayStation fanbase over to Nintendo.
Pretty Much Every SEGA Franchise
What is it? Oh, you don’t know? SEGA is dying! Okay, maybe not dying yet, but they’re definitely losing it. They can’t seem to be getting anything right, and if they continue to lose money like they are now, in a couple of years SEGA will be gone, along with all the wonderful franchises we know and love. From Sonic to Shenmue to Shinobi to NiGHTS, SEGA certainly has enough franchises to match even Nintendo’s stellar lineup.
Why buy it? There are just so many franchises that feel oh so very “Nintendo” that belong to SEGA, and honestly, it was too hard to choose just one. I want Billy Hatcher, Chu Chu Rocket, Puyo Puyo, Sea Man (okay, maybe not Sea Man), and more to be bought up by Nintendo. Why? Because SEGA has announced that they’ll be focusing on their more important franchises fromhere on out (which means in no way in hell will we see a Shenmue sequel). Nintendo should just get on and pick up some of those lesser-known franchises! GIVE ME BILLY HATCHER 2!
And that concludes my list of franchises that Nintendo should buy. Of course, all of this is just wishful thinking, as I don’t think any one of these will actually ever happen. But on the occasion if they ever DO, I’ll go ahead and take full credit ;D (And yes, that last one was sort of a joke… but I do want a new Billy Hatcher!)
So tell me, my fellow MyIGNers. Which franchises do you think Nintendo should buy up?