Banjo to appear in Sega's new mascot racer

Initially, rumors were flying around from a supposed leaked press release that characters from Rare or Fable universes could appear as Xbox 360-exclusive characters in the new Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, a racing game featuring characters from many of Sega's flagship franchises. Fuel was further added to the fire when an (unfinished) image of the Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing box art appeared on the website of one of Sega's artists, featuring Banjo and Kazooie on the back. The image was promptly removed from the artist's website. Afterwards, a statement from Steve Lycett of Sumo Digital (the company developing the game) was released, saying that people should "not hold much stock" in Banjo and Kazooie appearing in a Sega-themed racer.

However, it's happened again. This time, a brand new image of the box art for the 360 version of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing appeared on Sega's official website...and unfortunately has since been taken down and replaced with a generic placeholder box featuring only the game's logo. Not before people saw it and saved it, however.

As you can see, the image features what appears to be a new render of Banjo and Kazooie, in a car, next to Sonic the Hedgehog, Dr. Eggman, Amigo from Samba de Amigo, and Ai-Ai from Super Monkey Ball. Under the title, "WITH BANJO-KAZOOIE" appears in large letters.

Since this appeared on the official Sega website and was suspiciously removed relatively quickly, it can be safely assumed legitimate.

UPDATE: Rare have updated their official website, fully confirming Banjo and Kazooie for the game, as well as the Xbox Avatars. Both will, obviously, be exclusive to the 360 version of the game. It also says that Banjo and Kazooie's vehicle will be called the "Bolt Bucket." There is also a video of them in the game available on the Xbox Live Marketplace.

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