Banjo fans, your time is coming soon. Yooka-Laylee has gone gold meaning that it is well on track for its April 11th release date on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Yooka-Laylee has been one of the poster games for crowdfunding. The campaign started on May 1st 2015 and has become a flagship for Kickstarter in terms of success stories. A spiritual successor to the beloved Banjo-Kazooie series, developed by members of the original team in a new studio (Playtonic Games).
Yooka-Laylee however, have more to live up to than simply meeting the expectations of backers. With it being the example of Kickstarter success and the circumvention of publisher’s beliefs, there is a lot riding on its success. It was part of the big 4 of Kickstarter success stories. Along with Mighty Number 9, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and Shenmue 3; these games lead the charge to how Kickstarter could be used effectively.
Yooka-Laylee is the highest profile Kickstarter game to release following Mighty No. 9. A game considered a huge disappointed to most, and an unmitigated disaster to others. The failure of Mighty No. 9 lead to a lot of questions about the stability of Kickstarter and crowd funding. Despite numerous success stories of amazing games (Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland, Read Only Memories, Darkest Dungeon), these four are symbols of the platform and their success or failure are crucial to general reliability.
While Yooka-Laylee might have a lot to live up to with expectations of team, budget, heritage and finally as a crowdfunding icon, so far it is looking to hit the marks. Previews have been positive and everything is moving. Let’s hope for the sake of Kickstarter (and the fact that it’s got the backing of Team 17 – Worms) and other projects, Yooka-Laylee can be the representation of what crowdfunding can and should do.