The Team So Far…

Chris Sutherland

Project Director & Software Engineer

With almost 30 years under his belt, Chris is one of the most experienced engineers around. The veteran – who is the voice of countless gaming heroes – was responsible for building the mechanics and feel of some of the generation’s biggest games.

Gavin Price

Managing Director & Creative Lead

Gav joined the games industry in 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.

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 the upcoming Sea of Thieves. However, he’s most famous for creating the Orange Pointlights in Glitterglaze Glacier, which he just can’t stop boasting to journalists about.

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.

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.

Dan Murdoch

Audio Director

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.

Gary Richards


In a previous life Gary lead design on a host of handheld classics, including the likes of Donkey Kong Land, Conker’s Pocket Tales, Sabre Wulf, Banjo Pilot and Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise.

Andy Wilson


Supreme scheduler Andy has produced more than 20 titles, including Banjo-Tooie, Conker’s Bad Fur Day and Jetpac Refuelled. He’s also both the second Andy AND Wilson on the team, which can’t be very good for our organisation, surely.

Justin Cook


Cook worked in testing on games such as Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie and Conker’s Bad Fur Day before going on to lead design on the Viva Piñata series, It’s Mr. Pants and more.

Matt Griffin

Audio Designer

Matt is known for making various Lego games noisy, from Marvel, to Batman. A streetwise sound designer, Griffin immediately signalled his cunning by opting to start during Yooka’s release week, smirking with satisfaction as he munched away at the launch day cake.

Chris Woods

Operations Manager

Chris joins fresh from a background in compliance for the erm, Ministry of Justice. These days he lays down the law in the Playtonic office, enforcing our strict kitchen rules and judging us with a menacing gaze whenever rubbish isn’t placed into the correctly labelled wastepaper bin.

James Lawrence

Senior Software Generalist

James started his career in 2004 as an engineer on Xbox 360 launch game Perfect Dark Zero, before eventually going on to work on the Viva Piñata games, Xbox Avatars and more. Don’t be deceived by his fresh face: James has seen things you wouldn’t believe…

Josué Candela

Gameplay Engineer

Josué joins fresh from a season or two tinkering fiendishly addictive sports game New Star Soccer and more. Keen to develop gameplay mechanics outside of the ball variety, he’s now Playtonic’s midfield enforcer, dishing out crunching tackles to lesser programmers.

Anthea Van Leeuwen

Environment Artist

Environment artist Anthea is almost as good at art as she is at swearing like a white van man, particularly when losing at lunchtime Mario Kart. It’s enough to make the wallpaper peel…

Duncan Treadgold


Programmer Duncan is part of the Leamington Spa massive, which means he appears to be pleasant but would almost certainly choose Oddjob in GoldenEye. Watch your backs, people.

Karl Roe

Software Engineer

Programmer Karl is both an amateur actor and a former Mario Kart world record holder. Either that, or he’s a *really* good actor, as we seem to wallop him on a daily basis.

Joseph Douthwaite

Software Engineer

In his previous role Joseph made over 30 games over 2 and a 1/2 years, which means he has more releases than anybody else at the studio and is now in charge. All hail Joseph.

Daley Johnson

Engagement Director

In the national census, Daley lists her religion as “Donkey Kong”. Every day she lights candles at Chris Sutherland’s feet, then sacrifices a small lock of Kev Bayliss’s hair in a ritual sacrifice designed to summon Steve Mayles from his hiding place underneath the stock cupboard desks.

Harry Robinson

Design Director

After 10-years at Rare dabbling in a variety of projects, Harry has settled in at Playtonic bringing his design prowess and enviable hair along with him. Maybe he’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybeeline.

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...