View Full Version : M$ working with Rare to determine what's next

05-18-2014, 04:13 AM


Touring Rare's history is pretty great, considering the company's standouts include Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day and Banjo-Kazooie. After Microsoft purchased Rare, the studio still had a traditionally-controlled highlight in the Viva Piņata series, but Rare's more recent focus has been on supporting the Kinect with the Kinect Sports games. Now that Microsoft has conceded their Xbox One pack-in strategy for the peripheral, questions have arisen concerning Rare's next step as a studio, some of which were addressed in a Total Xbox interview with Phil Spencer, head of Xbox.

"They're in the process of evaluating what they want to do next, and we're working closely with them to see what their new project will be," Spencer said. "And I've also laughed when people have tried to use the word, what I 'force' them to do," he added, explaining that trying to force "independent-minded" studios like Rare to do something is "never a successful equation."

We're well aware that games need to be profitable and that a studio's team changes with time. However, if Rare isn't being forced to support the Kinect and we get another rough Kinect Sports game instead of a new Viva Piņata, we'll join the ranks of the Sour troublemakers and start wrecking havoc in the nearest garden.

I haven't played anything of theirs since they moved in with the neighbors but they do hold a special place in my heart. I really do wonder if anything grand will come from their studio again or will they only be used for pushing out gimmicks.

05-19-2014, 04:40 PM

Banjo-Kazooie and Perfect Dark studio Rare has been hit with layoffs, with reports putting the figure at around 16 employees losing jobs. According to Eurogamer and CVG sources, the layoffs affect a number of high-profile staff, while Eurogamer adds 150 people worked on the team's most recent release, Kinect Sports Rivals.

"At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences," a Microsoft spokesperson told Joystiq. "As part of Rare's commitment to this goal, we have made a decision to change our development process and methodology at Rare to best support our future projects, this has led to us reviewing the skills and the makeup of our development teams in our business."

According to CVG, the layoffs include studio Battletoads lead programmer Chris Sutherland and 15-year company veteran Gavin Price. According to Price's LinkedIn profile, he moved on from Rare this month and joined Priceless Pixels as an independent design consultant.

The news comes just a few days after an interview with Phil Spencer, in which the Xbox boss discussed how Rare's evaluating what it wants to do next. The UK studio's last game, Kinect Sports Rivals on Xbox One, failed to set critical pulses racing, while in Rare's home nation it entered the charts at 14th before disappearing from the top 40 five weeks later. Rare has been a major proponent of Microsoft's motion-sensing tech, making it one of the developers most affected by last week's announcement of a Kinect-less Xbox One.

Looks like the next project for Rare was kicking people to the curb.

05-19-2014, 05:42 PM
16? it happens all the time. I'm hoping for a Perfect Dark reboot but I might be out of luck.

05-19-2014, 07:28 PM
He says he doesnt force decisions on them, but what exactly does "working with them to decide their next project" means?

I think its obvious the studio needs Microsofts green light for whatever project they do next. This is "forcing" from where i'm standing. But oh well... lets just hope it ends on a nice new Conker. That would make me ponder getting an X1 down the line.

05-20-2014, 07:16 AM
Rare comes up with ideas, then they'll have to be greenlight or rejected. Pretty sure that's how it works at most studios to be honest.

05-20-2014, 12:58 PM
I'm sure it is. But the publisher heads dont come out and say they arent forcing them. Only this guy wants to play the saint, for some reason.