Yooka-Laylee Launching April 11, 2017, Wii U Version Moving to Switch

Yooka-Laylee Launching April 11, 2017, Wii U Version Moving to Switch

Playtonic Games is almost done with its loving homage to Banjo-Kazooie.

Playtonic Games announced today that Yooka-Laylee is coming to PC, Xbox One, PlayStation, Mac, and Linux on April 11, 2017. If you didn't already back the title, it'll be $39.99. Anyone who pre-orders the title will automatically unlock the Yooka-Laylee Toybox, which is a brief demo of the platforming mechanics in the game.

The game is intended as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie for Nintendo 64, featuring many of the developers behind that original project. Playtonic seemingly succeeded, as an E3 2016 preview of Yooka-Laylee by our own Jaz Rignall says the game already hits that "really classic retro N64 aesthetic".

Playtonic Games began a Kickstarter drive for the title on May 1, 2015, with a planned release window of October 2016. Only a few months off is actually rather good for a Kickstarted title! Kickstarter backers will be able to upgrade to a physical version of the game, but Playtonic is still working out the details.

Some readers will note one platform isn't on that list anymore. The planned Wii U version of Yooka-Laylee has been cancelled due to technical difficulties. Instead, Playtonic hopes to launch the game on the Nintendo Switch instead.

"After many challenging months, we're finally able to update you on the Wii U version of Yooka-Laylee and announce a number of developments," Playtonic explained. "The Playtonic team is sad to confirm that despite our best efforts and exploring every possible avenue, we've encountered unforeseen technical issues that unfortunately mean it will be impossible for us to release the game on Wii U as initially planned."

"We can however confirm the exciting news that we are now working very closely with Nintendo to look to bring Yooka-Laylee to the upcoming Nintendo Switch. We're looking forward to exploring the opportunity and will have more details to share early next year," the team continued. "We'd like to apologise to those affected by this development and offer all Wii U backers the opportunity to move their pledge free-of-charge to any of the versions launching on April 11th (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac or Linux) or upgrade to the Nintendo Switch version when we announce further details in 2017."

That's going to be a bitter pill for many backers of Yooka-Laylee. Banjo-Kazooie was an N64 game, so there's probably a sizable number of backers who expected to play the game on Wii U. It makes sense to leave the Wii U as platform behind for the Switch, but it's probably not going to engender much in the way of goodwill. The comments on the announcement post are already unhappy.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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