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Gregg Mayles
Born29 April
OccupationVideo game designer

Gregg Mayles (born 29 April)[1][non-primary source needed] is a British video game designer currently working for video game company Rare as creative director. He is one of the longest-serving members of the company, having worked there since 1989.[2]


Mayles began his career as a designer of the Battletoads series and the Donkey Kong Country series, and was one of the creators of the characters Diddy Kong and King K. Rool. After his work on DKC, he came up with an idea about an action-adventure game influenced by his recent work on the series. The project was greenlit for release first on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and then on the Nintendo 64. Codenamed Project Dream, the game was to be about a boy who went up on a magical adventure to a pirate island. The concept was scrapped, and the hero was changed to bear based on one from Diddy Kong Racing with a backpack, with the latter winnowed by Mayles's trip to Japan. There went the critically acclaimed Banjo-Kazooie series.[3]

After the success of Banjo-Kazooie, Mayles did additional design on Donkey Kong 64, which was based on the concept of Mayles's project. Then, Mayles directed the long-awaited sequel, Banjo-Tooie, which was even more acclaimed than its predecessor. After Banjo-Tooie, Mayles did design on Conker's Bad Fur Day and Star Fox Adventures. Mayles directed the design of the 2003 game Grabbed by the Ghoulies, which was reviewed poorly by the press. The game's protagonist, Cooper, resembles Mayles himself. Then he worked on some other projects before playing a key role in creating the game Viva Piñata. It first came to life as an idea from Tim Stamper, and then it resulted in a full game influenced by the Animal Crossing and Story of Seasons series. It was released in 2006 and was well received. Mayles also took part in designing its sequel, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise.

In 2006, Mayles decided to go back to his roots, and started a new Banjo-Kazooie project with a new feature: car building. It was announced at X06, and was titled Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.[4] The game was released in 2008. After Nuts & Bolts, Mayles did work on the Xbox 360 version of Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and on Kinect Sports. Mayles also served as the creative director for 2018's Sea of Thieves;[5] one of the in-game songs is named in his honour.[6][7][better source needed]

In 2007, Tim and Chris Stamper left Rare to "pursue other opportunities", and Mark Betteridge along with Mayles replaced them as studio director and creative director, respectively.[8] Mayles also donates money for poor children. He started a "Very Purple Marathon" in April 2009. The marathon was supported by Rare itself, donating 2,110 euros.[citation needed] His younger brother is video game artist Steve Mayles, who also worked at Rare from 1992 to 2014. His nephew, who was born in 2006, is named Leo Mayles.


Year Title Platform(s) Director Designer Other Notes
1990 Solar Jetman NES No No Yes Critical feedback
1991 Battletoads No Yes No
1994 Battletoads Arcade Arcade No Yes No
Donkey Kong Country SNES No Yes No
1995 Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest No Yes Yes Also producer
1996 Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! No No Yes Special thanks
1998 Banjo-Kazooie N64 Yes Lead Yes Also "chief of ideas" and project leader
1999 Donkey Kong 64 No No Yes Support
2000 Banjo-Tooie No Yes No Credited as part of "The Banjo-Tooie Team"
2001 Conker's Bad Fur Day No Add. No
2002 Star Fox Adventures GameCube No No Yes Special thanks: Rare
2003 Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge GBA No No Yes Special thanks
Grabbed by the Ghoulies Xbox No Yes No
2004 Sabre Wulf GBA No No Yes Original concept
2005 It's Mr. Pants! No No Yes
Perfect Dark Zero Xbox 360 No No Yes Rare management
Kameo No No Yes
2006 Viva Piñata No Yes No
2007 Jetpac Refuelled No No Yes Rare management
2008 Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise No No Yes
Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise Nintendo DS No No Yes
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Xbox 360 Yes Yes No Credited for "Daft Ideas and Vehicle Gluing"
2010 Kinect Sports No Yes No
Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing No No Yes Special thanks
2012 Fable: The Journey No No Yes
2014 Kinect Sports Rivals Xbox One No Yes No
2018 Sea of Thieves Xbox One, Windows, Xbox Series X/S Yes Yes No Credited as Grogg Mayles
2019 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Switch No No Yes Original Game Supervisors: Rare Ltd. (Banjo-Kazooie Fighters Pass DLC)
2020 Battletoads Xbox One, Windows No No Yes Special thanks
TBA Everwild Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox Cloud Gaming Yes No No In development


  1. ^ "Gregg Mayles on Twitter". Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  2. ^ "CS Sessions – Gregg Mayles". 10 March 2013. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Rare Vintage: Part One – Edge Magazine". Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  4. ^ "Site Spiral Mountain talks with Gregg Mayles about new Banjo-Kazooie game. May 15, 2008". Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Sea of Thieves is not free-to-play, Rare confirms". Eurogamer. 16 June 2016.
  6. ^ Shanty Selects, Vol. 1 (Media notes). Microsoft. 2020.
  7. ^ E3 2016: "Grogg Mayles" Sea of Thieves Live Performance (Motion picture). 18 June 2016. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  8. ^ Rare Co-Founders Part Ways. January 2, 2007.[dead link]