Gregg Mayles

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Gregg Mayles
Born (1971-04-29) 29 April 1971 (age 46)
Coalville, Leicestershire, England
Occupation Video game designer
Employer Rare

Gregory Ashley "Gregg" Mayles (born 29 April 1971)[1][2] 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.[3]


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 character Diddy Kong. 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.[4]

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 come 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.[5] The game was released in 2008. After Nuts & Bolts, Mayles did work on the Xbox 360 version of Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing and on Kinect Sports.

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.[6]

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.

Mayles also posted comments on the website The Rare Witch Project as "Ghouly Boy".

His younger brother is video game artist Steve Mayles, who also worked at Rare from 1992–2014.

At E3 2015, Gregg Mayles was announced as the lead designer for Rare's upcoming Windows and Xbox One game Sea of Thieves.[7]


  1. ^ "Gregg Mayles on Findmypast". 
  2. ^ "Gregg Mayles on Twitter". Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  3. ^ "CS Sessions – Gregg Mayles". 10 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Rare Vintage: Part One - Edge Magazine". Archived from the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Site Spiral Mountain talks with Gregg Mayles about new Banjo-Kazooie game. May 15, 2008". Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 
  6. ^ Rare Co-Founders Part Ways. January 2, 2007.[dead link]
  7. ^ "Sea of Thieves is not free-to-play, Rare confirms". Eurogamer. 16 June 2016. 

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