Battletoads in Xbox One version of Shovel Knight sets tongues wagging

As Rare's 30th anniversary approaches, we quiz Phil Spencer.

Battletoads re-imagined in Shovel Knight.

Battletoads, whose first appearance was on the NES in 1991, will return, albeit in cameo form.

In April the Battletoads will be added to the Xbox One version of 2D side-scrolling action game Shovel Knight, with developer Yacht Club re-imagining the NES sprites in Shovel Knight style.

Battletoads was created by Rare founders Tim and Chris Stamper and achieved a cult following for its impressive graphics and rock hard difficulty.

The Microsoft-owned developer is often asked about a new game in the series, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer partial to wearing a Battletoads T-shirt during presentations.

And he recently visited Rare at its Twycross, Leicestershire headquarters to check out the company's new game now that the Kinect Sports series appears to have run its course.

So what's going on? At GDC this week Eurogamer's Martin Robinson asked Spencer about Battletoads and Rare's 30th anniversary later this year.

Phil Spencer teases Battletoads during Microsoft's Windows 10 event earlier this year.

Here's the exchange:

You've brought this up a number of times now, so you can't blame me for asking. Battletoads... It's Rare's 30th anniversary this year...

Phil Spencer: Is it? (laughs)

You're going to celebrate it with cupcakes, I'm sure, but what other plans are there?

Phil Spencer: We know it's their 30th anniversary. I can say that. And Rare's a very special studio, and I think I said a couple of months ago that I got to play the prototype they had for their new game.

Gregg Mayles [veteran Rare designer] is someone I've a tonne of respect for. We recognise that it's their 30th year. And that's an important time - without giving away too much.

Is it time to celebrate their heritage?

Phil Spencer: I think it is.

All eyes now turn to E3 in June.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (15)

Games in this article

About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


You may also enjoy...

Supporters only

Comments (15)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch
Explore our store