Is RARE a Big Waste of Money for Microsoft?

Xboxist writes, "After paying $375 million in cash for the developer, has buying Rare ended up being nothing but a big waste of money for Microsoft? It doesn't take a genius to answer that one. But the real question is why hasn't their success on Nintendo transferred over to Microsoft? What happened exactly to the once dependable hit-maker?"

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swingingape3401d ago

Having RARE at Microsoft is like jamming a square peg into a round hole. They shoulda stayed at Nintendo to crank out mascot games or pump out casual games. Maybe then everyone would be driving around in expensive sports cars. They woulda raked in a ton by now.

SaiyanFury3401d ago

The big problem with RARE is that after the mature-gamer focused Conker's Bad Fur Day, Nintendo became annoyed with them, and they seemed to want to distance themselves from mature games. Since then, they sold RARE to MS for a great amount, and no RARE games really did well on MS's systems. Sure RARE saw some games sell OK, but their audience really rang true with Nintendo's platforms. Nothing in recent history on MS's consoles can compare to the success that RARE had on any Nintendo console.

3401d ago
FreeMonk3401d ago

It's a hard one to answer this.

Rare has released some great titles (Kameo, Banjo, Perfect Dark), and released 2 excellent games (Viva Pinata 1&2, in my opinion anyway) on the X360.

But not of the titles above have moved copies the way that Gears of War or Halo have, and when you have a company you own under you making games, that is something that you must expect.

Also, Rare is not the games company it was back in the years of Nintendo. A majority of staff, including it's founders, have moved on from Rare, so the people who are the creaters of the original Banjo Kazooie, GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, Jet Force Gemini, are not creating the games that we want from yesteryear.

Also, I'm guessing that Microsoft are not helping themselves, and really supporting Rare. You look at the advertising for MS games and games like Gears of War & Halo, plus 3rd party games like GTA4 and Resi 5 are advertised heavily from Microsoft, but Rare adverts are very 'Rare'.

I can only remember seeing 1 Rare advert (Viva Pinata, which was very funny), but no other game has been advertised. This is a major flaw on MS's part, especially when they plough money into this company.

MS need to put Rare on the market, and spend that cash on a new group of staff, and create a couple of smaller parties, and create brand new IP's, covering everything. Seeing that a lot of games companies are closing down now (Free Radical, Midway etc), they can easily employ some fantastic game designers, create new in house programmers and make some games that could rival Sony's excellent in-studio programers.

Microsoft have lost Bungie & Bizzare Creations, and only have Rare as there big in-house party left. Having only third party games, even if they get timed exclusive rights to certain games, is not enough to attract gamers.

This is what Sony had problems with when it first came out, but now are starting to catch up, especially with all these original in-house IP's that are arriving on the scene (Killzone 2, In-Famous, Heavy Rain, Project Ico, MAG, God of War 3 etc). Sony are starting to catch up, and with a price drop on the horizon, MS need to pull something out the bag.

I hate to say it, but my beloved X360 is starting to look a little light on games compared to my PS3, and that's something I thought I'd never say! :(

Here's hoping that MS prove me wrong, and instead of coming out with figures of how many consoles they've sold, or how many X-box Live! accounts are active, instead blow me down with an hours mindmash of new games, throwing game after game after game at me, until I can't take anymore. Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen.

Mindboggle3401d ago

Ive always said RARE are a fantastic developer, but the games they make are not really for the 360 audience. Games like Banjo are brilliant games, but just dont sale on the 360 as noone really cares about a platformer. I think maybe a Killer Instinct or Perfect Dark would be a lot better for the 360 audience.

Perjoss3401d ago

even though its not every gamers cup of tea, the viva pinata series of games is top quality. Anyone who has played them alone or with their kids will know this.

Daoshai3401d ago

I think microsoft is really pushing to break into that casual gamer market. They have motion control coming out and RARE seems to be more of a casual gamer type devoloper. The tough thing is breaking into a market dominated by the Wii

edgeofblade3401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

Rare makes Perfect Dark Zero, a justifiably lousy game. Suddenly, Rare is the social pariah of the Microsoft first party?

Look at Viva Pinata. I don't expect the majority of the hardcore users on N4G to acknowledge it, but it was quite the hit with the Pokemon crowd. It was well crafted and obsessively nuanced. I watched my wife eat it up... along with the time I would have spent playing my 360 otherwise.

And though people like to snark that Avatars are ripping on Mii's, they are quite successful, and you have Rare to thank for that. Once 1 vs. 100 hits, people will have another reason to update their Avatar's look every so often.

I think Rare could be doing MORE... and they certainly are diminished from their glory, pre-FreeRadical days, but I'm far from counting them out.

The Lazy One3401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

Since M$ bought them they've had 11 titles on M$ platforms, and about the same released for the DS. The bulk of those titles have been released in the last 4 years.

Just because 2 games (PDZ and Banjo nuts and bolts) didn't do great doesn't take away from the fact that they're still making good games. Kameo and Viva Pinata were both great original franchises. Conker was one of the best online games on the original xbox. PDZ even wasn't as bad as a lot of people make it out to be. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it definitely didn't suck.

edit: they're also supposed to be working on 3-4 titles for the 360 currently.

edgeofblade3401d ago

Perfect Dark Zero was such a big disappointment in gamers minds because it not only diminished Perfect Dark and by proxy Goldeneye: 007, but because it aged horribly over time. Go back and play it. It's awkward and unpolished (laminated graphics not withstanding...) as a result of being shuffled from the Gamecube to the Xbox to the 360.

kevnb3401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

but they have put out successful titles, Id say games that sell over a million copies are successful... would you not? I mean if it were a ps3 exclusive that sold over a million people would call it a success.

ManGastaS3401d ago

if Rare is a waste for M$, what is Guerrila games for sony?

The Lazy One3401d ago

It's almost 4 years old. It was literally the FIRST shooter of this generation. Of course it feels aged.

And it wasn't the best, but it was still fun. Co-op was fun, multiplayer was fun, the single player was decent. Not perfect, maybe disappointing, but not a horrible game. If it didn't have the "Perfect Dark" name tied to it, it wouldn't even be that disappointing.

RememberThe3573401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

The problem is that MS isn't using Rare the way Sony is using GG. Sony had GG make them a fantastic graphics engine.

Sure Rare created the Avatars, but who is really into those things anyway?

Your point is still valid, but I wanted to add some perspective. That, and I'm pretty sure that Sony didn't buy GG for anything close to 375 million dollars, that number cannot be over looked.

TheDude2dot03401d ago

I wish MS bought a better studio. Maybe keeping Bungie would have been a better deal.

cmrbe3401d ago

plus. MS dosen't know how to treat their devs well i.e MS dosen't know know how to best harness the best out of their devs.

Light Yagami3401d ago

lol @ sony fanboys trying to make themselves feel better.

Jaces3401d ago

I just think that Rare still has that "kiddie" feel to it, so it would make sense seeing how most of the games they've developed for the 360 were overlooked or simply ignored.

Hard to win over a hardcore FPS crowd. I've enjoyed a lot of their games back in the past and hope that they continue to push on. Just because they haven't pushed out anything that has redefined the gaming industry doesn't mean they should be cut loose.


Megatron083400d ago

Viva Pinata 1.45 million
Perfect Dark Zero 1.29 million
Kameo: Elements of Power 0.52 million (sad it didnt do better its a great game)
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts 0.51 million
Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise 0.29 million
Viva Pinata: Party Animals 0.16

While no 1 game has been a huge hit they have still sold over 4million games in 3.5 years. So if they keep selling at the same rate the will sell around 8 million games (given a 7 year life) in the life of the 360. However if they are releasing the muh rumored KI3 I think that they might be about to have a big hit game. So I think it the long run rare will pay off its just not going to make the kind of money epic of bungie did for ms

Wizeguy213400d ago

I'm glad it wasn't 375 million in dog hairs... :-D

Enigma_20993400d ago

... I'm sorry, you think we're upset about this? Who lied to you?

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 3400d ago
3401d ago Replies(5)
Halo3 MLG Pro3401d ago

This guy is clearly misinformed. Both Perfect Dark Zero and Viva Pinata has sold 2 million copies. Kameo is a fantastic game and hoping for a part 2. Rare has been releasing great games on the 360 as of late. No flops yet. And a lot of rumors are starting to pick up about a next gen Killer Instinct at E3. I'm sure in the long run Microsoft will easily profited from the purchase of Rare.

BattleAxe3401d ago

I like my steak medium Rare.....

Jinxstar3401d ago

... Your making assumptions based off blogger rumors. Good job. and Alan Wake is 'all but confirmed" as well right. Might as well be duke nukem forever's twin. if you want kiddie games then thats cool. rare is the studio for you and just remember what the whole appeal of KI was in the first place. Graphics. Gameplay was unbalanced, flashy and over the top. it will be like soul calibur with crappy characters...

Omegasyde3401d ago

Halo champ

Despite those titles selling that much lets say 6 million for all of their titles on the 360...

~6 Million copies sold at 60 US Dollars= 360 million which is not quite 375 yet.

I don't think that covers the operating expenses for the last 3 years, in reality Microsoft has yet to get a return on the investment from purchasing RARE.

I suggest they cut loose RARE and purchase EPIC Games.

Microsoft should really open its bank account and do a hostile takeover of Epic games. It would piss people off in the begining, but they could use Epic development to crank out top notch titles. Mark Rien would leave, but I am sure Cliffy B would stay if Microsoft handed him a bonus.

II Necroplasm II3401d ago

Ofcourse you don't like Killer Instinct Jinxstar, it's not a PlayStation game

Halo3 MLG Pro3401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

Like I said in the LONG RUN the purchase of Rare should be profitable. And I don't see that Microsoft needs to buy any other developers since the 360 has been selling extremely well and is very successful. They're doing just fine.

Jinxstar, that made no sense.

Why o why3401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

thats like saying everybody with a 360 loves killer instict, personally i didnt care for that game from....check this out......B4 MS even entered the console that allowed;) You never know though, maybe ps3 will love it if it comes even though we hate on it......kinda like tekken, devil may cry, mgs, you see where im going.......all in good fun though


nah, i feel MS should keep rare AND purchase epic if i was thinking from their perspective. Some devs will make profits at different speeds. MS should hold on to the few that they have.

FarEastOrient3401d ago

You are forgetting that Microsoft hasn't always been making logical decisions about the companies they own. For example Ensemble Studios was profitable and can bring in more revenue that Rare with Halo Wars as one of their examples.

clinker3401d ago

You cite the success of games like Viva Pinata, but how much of its success was due to a MASSIVE marketing push paid for by Microsoft. after all is said and done I don' think that they have turned a profit on Kameo or VP.

edgeofblade3401d ago

Jinx, I tend to agree that KI was subpar gameplay with pretty pre-rendered sprites, but there is nothing keeping Rare from improving on that. That's like saying Killzone 1 kinda sucked, so Killzone 2 automatically sucks. Each game should be evaluated on their own merits.

Sarcasm3401d ago

"~6 Million copies sold at 60 US Dollars= 360 million which is not quite 375 yet. "

It's not like they keep all 360 million. You do realize a big cut of it goes to the retailers, publishing for the discs, marketing, etc.

So actually, they haven't profited one bit from Rare.

Omegasyde3401d ago

Yea I didn't factor in retailers cuts or taxes and overhead cost of the studios themselves.

I honestly think that Microsoft shouldn't of acquired Rare and should of kept ensemble games. Rare past portfolio was great, but they just haven't been able to duplicate the success they once had.

Perhaps Microsoft could purchase Midway for cheap before Warner gets its hand on them :)

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 3401d ago
NegativeCreep4273401d ago (Edited 3401d ago )

Yes, Rare has been a big flop for Microsoft! But that may be more of Microsofts fault than Rares.


And publishers have more than a "stand by and see what happens" role with first-party developers.

With this obvious ignorance, I am convinced all the Microsoft loyalists are nothing but 8th-grade candy a$$es!!!!

II Necroplasm II3401d ago

They're the developer not Microsoft.

NewZealander3401d ago

whats wrong with rares games?

i loved viva pinata and it scored reasonably well, i also loved kameo, for a launch game it still looks fantastic and i hope kameo 2 is anounced at e3, it was a bit short tho.

banjo nuts & bolts was a bit weak, sure it was fun for a wee while but not rarse best offering, banjo tryed to offer something new, and even tho id didnt quite work it was a hell of alot better then any new ideas sega ever tryed with sonic.

PDZ was a fun game, at launch it didnt show much potential graphically but what do you expect when it started on gamecube, as a multiplayer game it was a hell of alot of fun and people still play it even now.

party animals...lets not go there.

with any luck rare will work on kameo 2 and PDZ2 next, with some hard work they could make awesome sequels, i would like to see something brand new too tho, maybe something along the lines of zelda.

i own every game from rare on 360 and the origonal xbox, they are a quality company but unfortunatly i dont think they get the respect they deserve.

Omega43401d ago

Considering the majority of their games score an average of over 80 and sell over 1ml they are doing pretty well for MS considering a lot of 360 owners are FPS fans