Rare Ltd. Talks About Microsoft Mismanagement

It was a sad day in the early 2000s when Microsoft bought out childhood-memory-makers Rare Ltd, the company behind Donkey Kong Country, Battletoads, Konker's Bad Fur Day, Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie, and much, much more. Since their acquisition, the company has slid into obscurity, and while it is no secret that a major reason for that was poor management of the developer by Microsoft, a recent issue of Retro Gamer magazine shed a bit more light on the subject.

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GarrusVakarian1802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

Wow, so MS stopped Rare working on titles that people loved, to focus more on crappy Kinect games? Why doesn't that surprise me? Talk about holding back a developers talent.

gamesR4fun1802d ago

yep very sad to see or not

I mean imagine what they could've done if they had the freedom to make the games we love

abzdine1802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

Rare have been greedy and they followed $$ and now they are nothing but the direct result of their greed.
Rare in 90's was like today's Naughty Dog, everything they touched turned to gold.

EDIT: Rare is dead!! They already got the chance to work on non kinect games on 360 and xbox original but they turned into poo all of them. I blame Microsoft but blame especially Rare for their rare efforts they have shown

JimmyLmao1802d ago


wow, that was brilliant. lol

FriedGoat1802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

All the talent left rare before Microsoft even got them. Does nobody remember timesplitters?

The talent are now called Crytek UK, formerly known as Free Radical.

Bigpappy1802d ago

You guys are so melodramatic. You are cheering for another Crackdown and Kameo 2. I am not saying these games should no be made, but do you realize that Kinect Sports sold more copies that either of them? Kinect Sports is the BEST selling stand alone game for Kinect.

BitbyDeath1802d ago

@Bigpappy, any game can sell millions when it's bundled with hardware.

The game was pushed to sell no matter what.

cyclindk1802d ago


Holy crap funniest thing ever, new family guy right there! I dont watch television but if that came out as a new series i would totally watch.

Very well made.

ShinMaster1802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

Most of the talent that we knew and loved from Rare has left.

It's why they gave KI to another developer.

nukeitall1802d ago


The Kinect Sports franchise has sold more than 8 million copies. Most likely more than Kameo, and Crackdown has sold combined!

Seems to me like MS did the right thing there....

bviperz1802d ago


Some of the greatest games out there have the crappiest sales figures. Hell, one of the most popular game in the world, League of Legends, is free. So please don't insinuate that 'sales equals good' crap.

inveni01802d ago

This is why Sony has better exclusives. They let the devs chase their passion.

SilentNegotiator1801d ago (Edited 1801d ago )

Certain people (delusional fanboys) love to claim that because people left, Rare didn't have any talent left when the generation started. To those people I refer to Kameo and Viva Pinata.

Before Microsoft shoved XBL down poor Banjo's throat and then Kinect up Rare's behind, Rare was giving us quality games.

"Kameo 2 was given the go-ahead and was looking very promising when, after a further three months in production, it was abruptly shelved. The reason? Microsoft decided to focus all of Rare's attention to its great waving hope, the Kinect"

No Kameo 2 because of Kinect. Sigh...

Death1801d ago


Rare doesn't have the same talent they used to have.

Kameo and Viva were the last games released before the Stamper bros left. We haven't seen any "great" games because the creative forces that used to drive Rare have left the building.

gaffyh1801d ago

You know I very rarely put the tinfoil hat on, but looking at Bigpappy and nukeitall's comments in this thread, I can't help but feel that they must be hired by MS to do social media interference. If not, they are really not gamers, because Rare of old was fantastic, and the new Rare is absolute shite. Anyone arguing against that is a complete idiot or corporate shill.

SilentNegotiator1801d ago (Edited 1801d ago )

"Kameo and Viva were the last games released before the Stamper bros left"

And after the Viva sequel, it was Nuts and Bolts, where MS ruined our chance at a new BK platformer by making them create an XBL-integrated game. Then it was Kinect, Kinect, Kinect.

Two people leaving isn't going to wipe out all talent in a company. Terrible restrictions that keep them from making interesting games will.

Death1801d ago


The Stampers were not just two people. They were the founders of Rare and the creative force behind their games. After they left the studio struggled along for a few years before it was restructured. There really isn't much left of the studio Microsoft purchased. It was a very expensive lesson learned about the downsides of buying first party studios.

H0RSE1801d ago (Edited 1801d ago )


"Some of the greatest games out there have the crappiest sales figures. Hell, one of the most popular game in the world, League of Legends, is free. So please don't insinuate that 'sales equals good' crap."

You're right. Popularity =/= quality. It kinda puts a new perspective on PS4 having more pre-orders than X1...

On topic, although I can see where "having masters," can have its downfalls/shortcomings, Yes, Rare has made many great games, some of which likely make up some of our greatest childhood gaming memories, and if left to their own devices, perhaps they could have continued this legacy, but I can't help to realize that things change, whether it be people, the business or whatever.

Look at other great developers like Bioware and Blizzard. Although they are still hugely popular and successful, they are not like they used to be - because things change. People leave, business deals are made, design philosophies shift, etc. This happens in other facets also, like music. You see it all the time - a band comes out and you love them, and as time goes on, the music changes, the musicians taste's shift, and you're left with they typical "sell out" rhetoric.

Yes, Rare was a great company that made really good games, but I don't think that their track record would have remained consistent, regardless of intervention of MS, simply due to how real life works.

SilentNegotiator1800d ago


They were gone for like, 2 years before Microsoft came and planted a Kinect flag in Rare's ass.

Between the Stamper Brothers leaving and Kinect, they had only sequeled Viva Pinata (with positive reception), remade 2 classic games, and created BK:N&B because MS canceled their BK platformer for a racer (and then canceled that for a "hybrid").

They had the talent when MS bought them, they had the talent when the Stamper Brothers left, and they had the talent when they left. Microsoft's restrictions are what killed RARE.

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 1800d ago
XB1_PS41802d ago

This is actually my biggest gripe with Microsoft. They ruined one of my favorite Devs just to support the Kinect..

itBourne1802d ago

They ruined Ensemble too = (
Never will I get an AoM 2....

thisismyaccount1802d ago

Karma is a bitch, Rare!

Next time, before jumping ship from a well-known console maker to >something else<... maybe you should do a "double check/history" before agreeing to a "take over" and get "·@#$%!

Conker 64 was great on the N64, it ended there... Nintendo knew this and made some extra cash by selling Rare.

mohuzas1801d ago

How can you sell something you don't even own?

mickaelmc1801d ago

You are amazingly uninformed.

thisismyaccount1799d ago (Edited 1799d ago )

Hmm... Mocosoft gave Nintend about $400 Mio. pennies and got Rare for that. As far i recall, Rare never released a game on any other System than a Nini-one (8/16-64bit era).

So.. why am i wrong with my "thesis"?¿

Nintendo minus Rare = $$$$$ for Nini. was a great move! Conker 64 didnt sell much and was prolly (due its nature) not well-recieved at the highest floor at NINI-headquaters.

You would have expected them to release more games... but they didnt (partially thx. to M$). So... they had a great run (Conker, D.Kong) and that´s Rare resumée at the end.

$400 Mio. or mediocre sales (below 1mio. when it was released) of Conker 128bit version on the GameCube ? :)=

Best Deal Ever for Nintendo!

come_bom1802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

After reading the article and knowing about all the games Microsoft shot down, Yep, Microsoft really ruined Rare. Bungie was smart to leave Microsoft otherwise they would be making Halo's for the rest of their lives. Now only if Rare could leave Microsoft like Bungie did...

amiga-man1802d ago

the real Rare left M$ a long time ago.

Lwhit61802d ago

I hate to say this, but Microsoft is very closely resembling a communist regime.

Veni Vidi Vici1801d ago

They are resembling a money hungry business. It has nothing to do with communism. How do you even come to that conclusion?

Lwhit61801d ago (Edited 1801d ago )

Veni Vici Vici
Well, in relation to this article, taking someone and their talents and forcing them to make other games because they need Kinect games is exactly how China is. The government will take say.. a master blacksmith and force him to become a factory worker because they need another factory worker.

Microsofts old policies of requiring always online are another example. (And oh you better believe they're still going to do it in the future). They're going to force us to go all digital just because THEY THINK that's where "the future is going". I hate downloading games! Thats why i wamt a tangible product that i can hold and call my own and know that its mine to sell/trade/gift or even destroy!I Don't want some imaginary 2-hour download thats locked behind a paywall and covered in restrictions. Forcing something onto the consumer/citizen by policy/law without the consumer's/citizen's consent is just like communism!

H0RSE1801d ago

You need to actually know what Communism is before you can attempt to explain it...

What you talk about sounds closer to Fascism.

davidDIRK1802d ago

I don't get why they push that kinnect shit. Its soooo insignificant. If Xbox tanks or is sold off I wouldn't be surprised they spend their money on stupid stuff like kinnect, timed exclusives, early call of duty map packs. Oh yeah and that fruit loop Larry herb 100k a year salary to give his opinion on Xbox live...that's money well spent.

ajax171802d ago

Just imagine if Sony had bought Rare.

Misaka_x_Touma1802d ago

typical sony fanboy response

ajax171802d ago

Yeah, because Sony doesn't give their developers complete creative control

BOLO1802d ago


Typical butt-hurt Xbot retort...Rare was a class act developer in their day when Nintendo backed them...Killer Instinct to Jet Force Gemini to Blast Corps to many others. It was your beloved M$FT that put a full stop to Rare's creativity.

H0RSE1801d ago (Edited 1801d ago )

Many publishers give studios creative control, including the nefarious Microsoft and EA, among others. Sony does not hold exclusivity on giving developers creative control.

When Bungie was initially with MS, they were a 1st part studio, wholly owned by Microsoft. After the restructuring at MS, they were 2nd party, meaning MS owned a stake in the company and would help finance Bungie's future games in the interest of retaining exclusivity with the studio.

If Bungie worked on new IPs, they themselves would maintain creative control and ownership despite whatever financing MS gave them. However, if Bungie works on MS owned IPs (like Halo), MS would maintain all rights and could exert a certain amount of creative control, but Bungie still had a degree of creative control in those instances.

As for EA - http://www.escapistmagazine...

As far as Rare is concerned, it isn't just the fault/mismanagement of MS that is to blame. Rare is responsible for their downfall as well.

Taken from a Eurogamer article "Who killed Rare?":

"However, in time it became clear that everyone had underestimated how much of the studio's success was down to Nintendo's gentle steering. "It seemed like Microsoft was really a novice in the games industry and for some time they left us to try and see how things worked," Cook explains. "They wanted hit games for their console and since they weren't sure how to go about it they trusted Rare to do what was necessary. The problem here was that Rare was a very long way from the very corporate structure of Microsoft and when Rare had made games it wasn't in isolation from Nintendo but as a creative partnership."

- So it seems MS left Rare to their own devices, and had problems delivering the goods. MS did give Rare freedom and control, which is why we have games like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Viva Pinata, and Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, which may have been decent enough games, they weren't very successful, so essentially, Rare made a series of commercial and/or critical failures and in this regard, Rare killed Rare.

They were "in control of their own destiny," so to speak, and started pumping out games people didn't want to buy. When it was evident that they couldn't quite cut it without the assistance of a corporate body working with them, Microsoft put them to work on Avatars and Kinect games, where they've likely haven't been as successful since Banjo Tooie.

I don't doubt that MS had/has a part in Rare's downfall, but I also don't doubt Rare had a hand in it's own fate.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1801d ago
Lykon1802d ago

The arrogant blinkered pursuit of Kinects success by MS really harmed gaming. They wanted a slice of the wii profit pie instead of listening to what gamers wanted. MS get what they deserve.

Azzanation1801d ago

Lukas_Japonicus your an idiot and so are the rest of you fangirls. Do your research first. Rare made Perfect Dark Zero, Conkers Bad Fur Day HD, Banjo Kazooie Nuts n Bolts, Grab by the Ghoolies etc. They all failed. No wonder MS put them on Kinect, Rare lost the plot since Star Fox Adventures on the Gamecube. Nintendo sold Rare I believe for these reasons, they knew Rare didn't have it anymore.
However Rare on Kinect have made massive leaps in sales and made Kinect what it is today. The fastest selling device in the world. And with games like Kinect Adventures which sold over 20million copies (something Sony hasn't done since they started gaming 15 years ago)

DestinyHeroDoomlord1801d ago

BK:Nuts and bolts, viva piñata:tip are some of my best games this gen

MoveTheGlow1801d ago (Edited 1801d ago )

I hope you all read the article, because there are two out-of-touch companies in this case: Microsoft and Rare. Microsoft throwing the broken Kinect at companies was awful, and yes, if Rare were left to their own devices, games would have been made, and probably decent ones. Their initial efforts, as listed above by Azz, were compromises to that new audience - even Ghoulies - and they were out of their element. Bad Fur Day HD hardly counts - it was a remake.

Rare's underestimation of their fans is rampant throughout the interview. They just assumed they had to make games for a different audience, so guns and robots it was - seriously, if they really made a great Banjo game on there, the fans would have flocked to the 360. They would have had Nintendo's older audience. Microsoft screwed up by way of the Kinect, but Rare left their history behind before Microsoft made it happen, too. It's a royal mess. If Rare is ever to make a great game again, they need to lose their management.

-Foxtrot1801d ago

LOL...and MS said they don't force Rare to make Kinect games

This proves they do

Lunarassassin1801d ago

This is going to sound strange but i really want another Banjo Kazooie games based around vehicles. There was something about Nuts N Bolts that really made me play it for hours.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1799d ago
GentlemenRUs1802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

You tell them RARE!

*misses you*

EDIT: Rare, You could always tell M$ to go shove it and come into the world of the Playstation :P

sigfredod1802d ago

that's how one of the most talented developer went to waste under M$ claws

scott1821802d ago

I used to love their games, I'm bummed how things turned out for them.

Manic20141802d ago (Edited 1802d ago )

I Certainly Hope MS stop being bitches and just let Rare, develop games they want.......
I assume that Don Mattrick was the dev's at Rare into Kinect; now that he's gone......I'm hoping for the best.

twinspectre1802d ago

is Microsoft's Faul , the truth is this they don't care about gaming guys , Microsoft don't give a flying Beep about Gamers #DealWithIt

Shinox1801d ago


Wake up derp , they become Anti-Gaming !

Haven't we forgot may 2013 ?