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Submitted by Gekko 1172d ago | interview

Ex-Rare Developer: “Microsoft Wanted to Make Rare into What it was With Nintendo”

Chris Seavor is a pretty chilled out guy. He worked at Rare for 17 years, overseeing many a legendary title like Killer Instinct, Perfect Dark and Conker’s Bad Fur Day (before and after it became the most risque game on a Nintendo console at the time). He also worked on a ton of canned games like Perfect Dark Core, a darker version of the title inspired by Deus-Ex; Urchin, a dark fantasy game focusing on “dirty fighting”; and Ordinary Joe, a horror title.

In an interview with Eurogamer, where he spoke at length about the titles and his departure from Rare, Seavor also talked about why Perfect Dark Core was shut down, and Microsoft’s vision for Rare. (Microsoft, Nintendo, Rare, Xbox 360)

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dedicatedtogamers  +   1172d ago
The problem is that Microsoft wanted to make Rare into the CASH COW that it was with Nintendo. The problem is that when they let Rare do their own thing, they made Kameo, PDZ, and Viva Pinata 1 and 2. None of those games were the "cash cow" that Microsoft was looking for. So what did Microsoft do?

They milked.

"Oh, we're coming out with a new Banjo Kazooie game! But wait, because we want to push more XBL Gold subscriptions, let's radically change the core gameplay to allow for XBL online play"

And even THAT didn't work, which is why Rare now makes flail-your-arms Wii Sports clones nowadays.
StrongMan  +   1172d ago
Well said. MS kills creativity. Even Bungie found a way to get out of their contract with MS so they wouldn't be locked in a basement making Halo forever.
from the beach  +   1172d ago
Rare made the games they made, dude. I happen to think their output over the past decade has been very good, but if people within the company aren't happy they only have themselves to blame.
lategamer  +   1171d ago
Rare made creative games. Grabbed by Ghoullies, Kameo, PDZ, Viva Pinata, and Nuts and Bolts. The thing was, the games didn't sell that well, nor were they AAA. Kameo has 79 on metacritic, PDZ has 81. And Microsoft let Rare do there thing, they didn't interfere. Rare fucked up, Microsoft has some part of the blame, but it's not like Rare wasn't given chances. They were given many chances.

Now, even if there games are not that great, they still sell well. And the Avatars they developed are still used and great source of income for Microsoft.

Edit: I wasn't a big fan of most of there (Xbox 360) games, but I have to admit, Viva Pinata was awesome. It's a shame it gets labeled as a kiddie game. Its very deep. If you haven't try the demo out on XBL and buy the game. It should be cheap now a days.
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Cueil  +   1171d ago
Bungie didn't find a way to get out of their contract they were wholly owned by Microsoft. They asked Microsoft if they could buy back their company and Microsoft respected the developer so much they allowed them to do so. You think Sony would let their studios buy themselves back to independence? Or that Activision would let Blizzard go? I don't think so.
THE_MACGREGOR  +   1171d ago
In a basement? wow your a fool. Bungie had it made...apparently ya never watched the behind the scenes that shipped with halo 2....
and bungie got to branch out . They overseen the hd version of Marathon and I.P which they got to keep from Microsoft. M$ didnt do them any wrong . Prolly the one studio that was treated like a God above all else.
Eyeco  +   1172d ago
The thing that doesn't make sense to me is, why would Microsoft need a Talented dev like Rare, to make simple casual, lame Wii party game knock off's it makes absolutely zero sense to me, there are plenty of small niche 3rd party dev houses that can do that, just look at the Wii's library for christ sake.

it doesn't seem logical to spend £300 million on a talented dev just so they can end up making cheap Wii clones, yes their profitable but like I said there are plenty of small dev houses that would have done that and probably wouldn't have costed 300 million to purchase, what a waste of time, money, and talent.
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lategamer  +   1171d ago
Rare made many games over the years. Grabbed by Ghoulies, Conker Reloaded, PDZ, Kameo, etc. They didn't sell as well or were acclaimed as well as Microsoft would like. So Microsoft put them to work on Kinect games, which sold better than any of there previous games. As a business, Microsoft wants to make money. And that seems logical to me. Its a shame we won't see these franchises, maybe next gen :/?
GraveLord  +   1172d ago
and even those Kinect Sports games aren't the blockbusters Microsoft wanted...
Locksus  +   1171d ago
They've sold well nevertheless.
StrongMan  +   1172d ago
Good read. So sad to see what they did it to RARE.
Eyeco  +   1171d ago
In all fairness allot of their key players did leave in the early 2000's to fomr Free Radical, why do you think Timesplitters 2 was so badass
FarCryLover182  +   1172d ago
Should have let Rare do whatever they wanted to do.
ronin4life  +   1172d ago
There are three key Nintendo 2nd party studio stories; Rare, Silicone Knights and Retro.

Rare and Silicone Knights went straight to hell after their ties with Nintendo ended(with a former SK employee all but confirming Nintendo was an important driver in their management), and Retro was turned to gold after its aquisition by Nintendo.

While the whole Rare story speaks volumes of MS(as does Bungee) I think it also says a lot of Nintendo.
MorbidPorpoise  +   1172d ago
'' I didn't like what was done with her character in Perfect Dark on Xbox 360. Personally, I didn't think the character was very strong, who she was. She is meant to be this assassin and it's like, oh, she looked a bit like a pantomime. She looked very corny.''

Couldnt agree more with him.

Would love to have seen Core finished, Zero to me lost the Cyberpunk and dark look and feel of the original, which was why I fell in love with the franchise.

More I read these (Been a fair few last couple of years) I really wish MS didnt shut down the devolpment of pretty much all there games, Urchin, Core, Kameo 2, Conker 2.... After the average launch release titles, these could have reinstated Rare to how they were with Ninty.

Its a shame they wernt given a 2nd chance.
Reaper9937  +   1172d ago
You want creative freedom Chris Seavor; why the fuck haven't you knocked on Sony's door yet?
-MD-  +   1172d ago
He's making his own games now.
Reaper9937  +   1171d ago
Yes I know that, but Sony can give him something that he doesn't have right now, a huge team of dedicated staff so that he can make Urchin or Ordinary Joe, and we can finally get a real Rare game.
Locksus  +   1171d ago
Being an indie developer grants you more creative freedom.
Jazz4108  +   1171d ago
Sony can barley keep the studios open they have. I hope you were joking about sony as ms is a much more stable company to work for.
PandemicPrawn0  +   1172d ago
Some bad calls all round from what I read from this.

This guy wants Rare to make a Perfect Dark game that plays like Halo. Why would MS want that? They already have a FPS that plays within a sandbox environment, and it sells bucket loads.

OK what about a dark fairytale in the mould of Fable? Why would Microsoft want this when they already own Fable? Why make the same game from two different studios?

KI 1 & 2 on XBLA followed up with KI3 is a no brainer in my opinion and MS are dumb for not seeing that.
Locksus  +   1171d ago Killer Instinct on XBLA might happen, you know. Fingers crossed.
jay2  +   1171d ago
Well Rare are now making games for people that are just out of nappies.........
from the beach  +   1171d ago
Perfect for you then.
Hicken  +   1171d ago
Everybody funny.

Now you funny, too.
from the beach  +   1171d ago
#8.1.2 (Edited 1171d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report
Ben_Grimm  +   1171d ago
Damn shame, would have loved to get another Perfect Dark especially a sandbox style PD. Let's hope that MS can get something like this out with its next system.
StreetsofRage  +   1171d ago
Rare had an amazing run this gen. The most creative game ever created in Viva Pinata. A game about freaking farming pinatas. And it was actually fun and addicting!!! Kameo was another possibility for an amazing franchise. PDZ and Banjo was also solid titles. They could of build on these. And than of course Killer Instinct and Conker.

Oh well, what are you going to do? Stupid suits that don't know anything about gaming.

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