The Team So Far…

Chris Sutherland

Project Director & Software Engineer

With almost 30 years under his belt, Chris was one of the most experienced employees at Rare. As lead engineer, the veteran – who is also the voice of Banjo, Kazooie and more – was responsible for building the mechanics and feel of some of the generation’s biggest games.

Gavin Price

Managing Director & Creative Lead

Gav joined Rare during the N64 era and moved up the design ranks working on the Banjo Kazooie series, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Viva Piñata & the Kinect Sports series. Starting off in Q&A during the late nineties guarantees that *almost* nobody has claimed more collectibles than him.

Steve Mayles

Character Art Director

It’s fair to say that Steve Mayles is the ‘father’ of some the most beloved characters in gaming. During his 22-years at Rare Steve created iconic stars such as Banjo and Kazooie and the Donkey Kong Country series’ modern Kong family.

Jens Restemeier

Technical Director & Software Engineer

Jens is the technical mastermind behind the Playtonic machine, channelling a decade of experience spent developing Rare’s internal technology and executing miracle handheld ports of the likes of Donkey Kong Country and DK Pilot.

Steven Hurst

Environment Art Director

Steve began creating backgrounds for the Donkey Kong Country series, before leading environment art for the Banjo Kazooie series, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Viva Piñata & Kinect Sports.

Mark Stevenson

Technical Art Director

All those bananas and barrels you collected as a kid? This man made ‘em. Another Rare veteran of more than two decades, Mark became lead artist working on the Donkey Kong Country series, continuing in this role for DK64 and Kameo.

Andy Robinson

Writer & Comms Director

Although Andy is Playtonic’s first non-Rare alumnus, he did spend an awful lot of time playing its games. His background as a journalist means he brings a unique critical perspective to the team. If we put too many eyes on things, he tells us.

Dean Wilson

Creative Art Director

Dean’s worked as an artist on the likes of Kameo (and its canned sequel), the Kinect Sports series and most recently the newly-unveiled Sea of Thieves. Also, pay no attention to the moody black-and-white photograph – he’s a proper nutter.

Kevin Bayliss

Character Artist

This amber-maned testosterone machine is known not just for his ability to melt bean tins using just his magnificent tan, but also decades of classic game characters for the likes of Killer Instinct, Battletoads and Diddy Kong Racing. Kev is working on Yooka-Laylee.

Karn Bianco

Incredible Engineer

Young programmer Karn has built a reputation as a Banjo-Kazooie fanatic, and has already moved his desk to be closer to Steve Mayles’ smooth burgundy aroma. Karn joins from Rare, where he worked on Rare Replay, Sea of Thieves and the Kinect Sports series.

Becky Lavender

Incredible Engineer

Becky is one of the UK’s most exciting young coders, having had her work showcased at the Foundations of Digital Games conference in California. She joins fresh from her internship at Peter Molyneux’s 22Cans, which means she’ll bring loads of useful F2P experience (we’re *joking*).

Dave Rose


Artist Mr. Rose joins following an 18-year career creating environments, animation and contributing design to Conker’s Bad Fur Day (and before that its cutesier origin, Twelve Tales), Kameo, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts and more.

Ross Bullimore


You can’t beat a bit of Bulli. This one’s story kicks off in the Rare QA team in the 90s, after which he moved into design with the Perfect Dark series. The experienced designer later joined Guildford-based SuperMassive, where he worked on the LittleBigPlanet series and PS4 horror Until Dawn.

Catarina Barros


Catarina is a programmer with a passion for gameplay mechanics, which is useful because we’ve got a shed-load for her to build. In the past she’s worked on Strike Suit Zero, Angry Birds: Star Wars and Angry Birds: Transformers.

Dan Murdoch

Audio Designer

Dan – who joins from Rocksteady – claims to have studied classical music and composition before joining the games industry. Now he studies our classic burp and fart noises for Yooka-Laylee.

Damien Sparkes

Environment Artist

Veteran environment artist Damien has worked on the Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark series of games. He’s also just finished sculpting a range of Fighting Fantasy Miniatures for Ian Livingstone, which makes his LinkedIn page look extra impressive.

Gary Talbot


Talbot, another experienced artist of almost 20 years, is an animator by trade and has worked on the Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark series of games. Apparently he does all his motion capture without crash mats, because he’s well ‘ard.

Hamish Lockwood


Young Lockwood is an Australian. He’s also done some game design, apparently, which includes building levels for a host of indie hits such as Stealth Inc and Mike Bithell’s Volume.

Simon Gerges

Senior Software Engineer

Simon is an experienced engineer who has worked on the Banjo-Kazooie, Kameo and Kinect Sports series of games, as well as 2015’s Rare Replay compilation.

Lee Jackson

QA Tester

Lee’s testing CV includes Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts and the Viva Piñata series. His day-to-day now includes sending us angry emails about the bugs we’ve made, thus ensuring that our final game is as polished as can be.

Additional contributors…

Grant Kirkhope


Kirkhope’s magical music has earned him a social media following *almost* as large as our own (sorry, Grant). He’s responsible for the tunes of the Banjo-Kazooie series, GoldenEye 007, Viva Piñata and soon… Yooka-Laylee!

David Wise


David is one of the most renowned game composers in the business, with the likes of Battletoads, the Donkey Kong Country series and Diddy Kong Racing providing the catchy chorus to his musical CV. He’s currently contributing music to Yooka-Laylee.

Steve Burke


Esteemed audio man Steve is best known for his magical, award-winning score for Kameo: Elements of Power and all manner of sound effects , voices and fart noises for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts ‘n Bolts. Currently he’s contributing to Yooka-Laylee.

Phil Tossell

Software Engineer

Phil is a veteran software coder of some 20 years experience, having acted as lead engineer on the likes of Dinosaur Planet / Star Fox Adventures and Kameo: Elements of Power. He’s now kindly contributing zeroes and ones to Yooka-Laylee.


The past is the past, but...what a past! Feast your eyes on a selection of the many great games that Playtonic team members have worked on in their previous lives at Rare and dream of what's to come...