Rare says Minecraft helped get Banjo in Smash Bros Ultimate - Dexerto
Smash

Rare says Minecraft helped get Banjo in Smash Bros Ultimate

Published: 31/Jan/2020 21:35

by Michael Gwilliam

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Many fans were overjoyed when Banjo-Kazooie was announced he was joining the Smash Bros Ultimate roster as DLC, but as it turns out, an unlikely party helped make it all happen.

While Banjo was a Nintendo 64 star with two games on the system, his time in the spotlight was short-lived when Microsoft bought Rare.

Still, Banjo made such an impact in the 90s and early 2000s that many considered him a shoo-in to make the Smash Bros roster. There are some unofficial rules regarding parameters that a character must meet in order to be considered, but it largely boils down to the franchise having a history of some sort on Nintendo consoles.

Nintendo
Banjo was the second DLC fighter announced for Smash Ultimate.

That’s why, for instance, Cloud is in Smash Bros. While he may not have had an impact on Nintendo, Final Fantasy did.

As it turned out, however, Minecraft of all things helped bridge the gap between Microsoft and the gaming giant and paved the way for Banjo to return to a Nintendo console.

In an interview with Games Industry Rare studio head Craig Duncan explained how the partnership came about.

“Minecraft had paved the way for that relationship between Nintendo and Microsoft,” he revealed. “I met with Nintendo at the E3 before we announced it. And then we connected our teams, because we thought it seemed like a great opportunity.”

“We had an initial kick off call with Sakurai-san and some of his team,” he explained. “There was myself, Gregg Mayles… who is the father of Banjo, even though he hates it when we call him that. Andrew Wensley, who runs our business team. And a chap called Paul Cunningham, who runs our partnerships. Those people had a conversation, [Nintendo] talked through what their approach would be, and then that process started.”

After a year of sharing concepts and back-and-forth discussions, they “ended up with something that was really great.”

Nintendo
Many fans were shocked when Banjo was announced for Smash.

Duncan noted, that the execution of the whole partnership “came from the Smash team.”

Considering Minecraft’s global appeal and hype, one has to wonder if Steve – the game’s main protagonist – will ever be making it to Smash Bros himself.

With six new fighters announced for Nintendo’s flagship fighter, it will be fun to see what the future holds, especially considering the title already helped assist with bringing Banjo to Smash.

Business

TikTokers Josh Richards & Griffin Johnson become Royal Ravens co-owners

Published: 1/Dec/2020 15:00

by Albert Petrosyan

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TikTok superstars and original members of the Sway House, Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson, have become investors in ReKTGlobal, the parent company of the Call of Duty League’s London Royal Ravens franchise and Rogue.

The news was announced on December 1 as two of the biggest names on TikTok have officially become co-owners of the London Royal Ravens and Rogue of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC).

“Griffin and Josh have uniquely captured the attention of Generation Z and beyond, and their influence is undeniable. They are both incredible additions to the ReKTGlobal ownership team,” said Dave Bialek, CEO of ReKTGlobal. “They have strong business instincts, a unique talent for developing viral content, and an understanding of how to connect with younger audiences and casual gamers.”

Combined, Richards (23.4M) and Johnson (9.8M) boast over 33 million followers on TikTok as well as similarly huge numbers on most main social media platforms. ReKTGlobal envisions their massive online presence will play a key role as the pair will develop new content, merchandise collaborations, and promotions with the Royal Ravens and Rogue.

Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson join ReKTGlobal
ReKTGlobal
Josh Richards and Griffin Johnson repping merch from the teams they now co-own.

“They are natural-born hustlers and have leveraged their TikTok fame to step into acting and music, becoming entrepreneurs and investors in the process,” Bialek added. “We couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to the ReKTGlobal family as we continue to bridge the gap between the world of esports, entertainment and pop culture.”

Griffin Johnson shared similar sentiments as the news of their investment became public, having roots as an avid gamer and Call of Duty fan.

“The fact that I can now say I own a part of London Royal Ravens and Team Rogue is unbelievably surreal,” he said. “I am thankful to Dave and Amish for allowing me into the ReKTGlobal family with open arms. Can’t wait to get to work and help bridge the gap between traditional social media and esports.”

ReKTGlobal is a huge esports org
ReKTGlobal
ReKTGlobal’s reach and presence in esports is massive.

As for Josh Richards, this isn’t the first time he’s been involved with ReKTGlobal; in May 2020, his creator management company, TalentX Entertainment, embarked on a joint venture with ReKTGlobal called TalentX Gaming, a talent management company with a focus on gaming and esports athletes and content creators.

“Coming on as an investor to ReKTGlobal was genuinely a no-brainer,” he commented. “After a few meetings with the C-suite at ReKTGlobal, I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.”

The TikTok megastars are the latest in a long list of celebrity figures who have joined ReKTGlobal as investors, including legendary DJ Steve Aoki, Grammy-winning rock band Imagine Dragons, international producer Nicky Romero, NBA defensive star Rudy Gobert, NFL player Landon Collins, and, most recently, star YouTuber Vikkstar.