Microsoft confirms Rare restructuring

Microsoft has confirmed to Develop that its UK studio Rare is currently undergoing a 'review' that could lead to job losses at the world renowned developer.

Coming as part of the organisational refocus already announced by Microsoft Game Studios in January, the move will see Rare focus on three new areas: expanding the Xbox 360 audience, developing social content for Xbox Live, and continuing to develop triple-A titles.

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Lou-Cipher3533d ago

Microsoft needs to stop messing with their 1st Party Developers, and stop spending ridiculous amounts of money for DLC that should come with the game in the first place.

If they need to make cuts at Microsoft: GET RID OF THE ZUNE, NOT FIRST PARTY STUDIOS.

Foxgod3533d ago

Restructuring doesnt really mean firing people.
Yes its possible that people get fired, but usually new people also get hired.

What they are doing is reviewing the organization, so they can improve the overall quality of it.

Kushan3533d ago

There's nothing wrong with the zune, aside from the fact that they DON'T SELL IT OUTSIDE THE US!
This really irks me.

Unfortunately, one thing Microsoft is good at is making money and the side effect of that is they're very good at saving money. What exactly has Rare done for the 360 that's noteworthy? Banjo was a bit of a flop, Perfect Dark was a bit of a flop and Kameo was decidedly average. Oh and Avatars, those things nobody seems to like (For whatever reason). I hate to say it, but I can understand why some directors somewhere thought this would be a good idea.
Jobs may go, but at the very least they're not shutting them down, it might even be a good thing, means they could get them to make better games, maybe. Not likely, but it could happen.

Crappy economy causes things like this. I agree, though, Microsoft needs more 1st party developers. Seems they're more content with paying 3rd parties for stuff, though.

thereapersson3533d ago

I'm going to have to disagree with you, Lou. I love my Zune too much to see it go away.

Mindboggle3533d ago

I can assure you if the Zune was realesed in europe specifically the UK it would flop like a fish. The iPod is dominating.

Who would buy a Zune or a walkman when you can buy an iPod ??

Back to topic....Rare are an extreamly talented studio and are being brought down by Microsoft..Personally I think Microsoft should sell them and they should go back to Nintendo, and make games for the wii and ds. They would be much more appreciated for their family games than the fps crown on 360.

But if microsoft wouldnt spend pointless money on crappy gta and fallout dlc and exclusive 1 week rights for demos then they wouldnt be making these sacrifices. Microsoft's days are numbered due to their crap business strategies.

The gaming industry only needs 2 companys..Sony and Nintendo. Remember how good last gen was when MS were barely in the equation. Wait microsoft until Sony cut the price...Your in trouble then.

SaiyanFury3533d ago

Personally I think Nintendo was insane to sell Rare to MS just because they made a more adult-focused game in Conker's Bad Fur Day. Rare's games attracted the Nintendo-centric fans and were very successful on Nintendo consoles since the original NES. Since then, Rare's games have never gotten great sales because of the hardcore focus that gamers have of the 360. Rare doesn't suck, and neither do 360 gamers. But the sheer content of Rare games, even today, seems more at home on a Nintendo console than on the 360.

thats_just_prime3533d ago

@Kushan Kameo might of had "decidedly average" sales but it was a damn good game its really a shame that more people didnt get this game. Oh and everyone I no it pretty indifferent to avatars they dont hate or like them they are just kind of there. Viva Pinata sold almost 2 million copies Rare only real hit on the 360.

Restructuring Rare seem like a good idea so they can make games better suited to 360 players like KI3 and good Perfect Dark game and I love to see Kameo 2 from them

Jdoki3533d ago

@ thats_just_prime...

I agree Kameo 2 would be great. It had a lot of good ideas that just needed a little more refinement. With the lack of a proper Banjo Kazooie game, Kameo could easily have become Microsoft's answer to Ratchet and Clank, or Jak and Daxter.

It was the first game I played on my 360 on an HDTV, and it blew me away at the time!

RadioactiveTouch3533d ago

I just want to agree with the first poster. Microsoft's attack on its first parties is seriously scaring me. I get the impression that it's a matter of time before the Xbox brand relies solely on third-parties. The worst part of it all for me is that when Free Radical and Midway started having financial trouble, it seemed obvious to me that Microsoft would make a run to buy either one, if only for the licenses. Then, it became clear that they wouldn't since they're more interested in sabotaging themselves. Seriously, a PS3 and its incredible first-party support is looking good right now.

Kushan3533d ago

"Who would buy a Zune or a walkman when you can buy an iPod ?? "

I would. I hate iPods.

thereapersson3533d ago (Edited 3533d ago )

"Who would buy a Zune"?

Well for starters, someone who isn't a trendy asshole and doesn't want to deal with Apple's BS? Not everyone is an iSheep, you know.


Just because it doesn't have a ton of peripheral support and everyone and their mother doesn't own one, doesn't make it a bad player. And don't try to compare the iTouch to the Zune because that's like comparing apples to oranges. Not to mention the fact that I've tested both with premium Sennheiser headphones, and the Zune has considerably better audio quality.

Half the people who buy iPods only do so because they see everyone else with them. Most consumers go in blind and usually buy what's most popular.


Go ahead and disagree -- It doesn't negate my statement any.

SpoonyRedMage3533d ago

Well Rare are a good company and I hope they make it through here but Nintendo sold the minority which they owned as they ended up owning 49% and MS owned 51%, I think it would have been great if they could have stayed like that.

Rare are also free to develop for the DS right now because MS aren't really interested in the handheld market which I think is good because Rare can continue to make the more cartoony games on the DS for now and the more adult ones of the 360.

Haha, I use my DS for my MP3 player with the attachment. Part of the reason I can't wait for the DSi.

I think it's good that MS entered the console business because it's wrestled people away from Sony's chokehold. I mean even though the Wii is a run away success all three companies are here to stay whereas last generation there was a danger Nintendo was done for in the home console market. I think it's good that the market's evening out and it promotes more healthy(and I'd hope friendly) competition and lead to great advances.

AAACE53533d ago

I believe almost everyone has said that Rare games aren't as good as they used to be. And a restructuring could help this problem. It has been obvious that overall, Rare is unorganized and have no real direction, which is what contributed to less than steller games.

Their existing franchises as well as their new ones haven't been fully realized. It almost feels as if Rare is being run by EA! You can say stuff like "MS makes them rush games out!", but other developers have gotten better quality games out with the same amount of time that Rare took to develop some of their previous games.

The problem may be "Too many people, not enough getting done". Or they have the wrong individuals working on the wrong game, and may have to rearrange their teams.

Overall, it could be a good thing!

There is nothing wrong with the Zune except for the fact that the Ipod had more time to become popular, and the Zune lacks the extra features. You can throw design in there as well if you want. I don't really like apple products, but you gotta admit that their designs are sexy and beg for attention! When you see them, it's almost like they are saying "TOUCH ME!"

Monkey5213532d ago

I don't want to start anything, but what about the people that enjoy Mac's products genuinely? Am I an A$$hole for buying a Mac laptop? (and getting a free iPod Touch)?

gaffyh3532d ago

I agree with Kushan, the Zune is fine, MS just need to sell it outside of US and market it better. I imported mine, and it's great

power of Green 3532d ago (Edited 3532d ago )

So says the PS3 fan lol.

As if a loyal PS3 fan would wan't to see MSFT do something that would put Sony under for good(More 1st party titles) hahahahaha

You mean: You hate when MSFT gets exclusive content because that adds greater value to 360 games which hurts Sony's console.

griff23532d ago

"..Not to mention the fact that I've tested both with premium Sennheiser headphones, and the Zune has considerably better audio quality".

Really, I use Senhheiser HD 650's, normally reserved for my Earmax Pro headphone amp using top quality rips and 24/96 flacs fed from a top quality DAC, and I'd say that the iTouch aquits itself pretty well, even in such company. I'm not an Apple fan by any means - especially when it comes into their tying you into proprietary hardware - but they do know a thing or two when it comes to making hi-fi portable devices.

y0haN3532d ago (Edited 3532d ago )

PoG you have a serious superiority complex, get a doctor. Also, you put a ' between the "n" and "t" in "want". "Want" is not a contraction it's a word.

thereapersson3532d ago

Oh, I'm not saying the iPod's sound quality is "terrible" by any means. However, it is well-known that Apple is using a lesser-quality sound chip in their newer classics than the previous iterations of the player. If you do a little looking around on google for "iPod classic poor audio performance", or "ipod classic sound quality", you will see that they actually changed the chip out for a different one.

I'm not attacking your argument -- rather, i'm just trying to explain where I am coming from on this. I just hate the fanboys who think it's the second coming of Jesus in a DAP form, yet have no idea about the inner-workings because they're casual users.

XxZxX3532d ago

so many disagreed on foxgod and nobody care to comment.
I guess when a person fails at obvious thing, there is nothing else to say.


"Kameo was decidedly average"

And there your logic failed hard Kushan. You were saying other Rare games were flops and then you trow this.

First, being "average" (quality) has nothing to do with being "a flop" (sales). Second, Kameo was definetely one of those games that punch me hard on the face by the time the PS3 was coming out and I was already decided to get this console before 360, make it tough times to be a single console owner.

Maybe not your kind of game, but Kameo was much more fun and original than most things that came out on 360 after it. Maybe it lack the APPEAL, but not the quality.

You are shooting the wrong guy trying to defend your console/company of choice, really, aim it anywhere else.

I actually just disagree in that and the Zune thing, really, there is more than enough MP_ [insert your fav number here] players out there, your phone probably do all that already and much more, better and just caring one gadjet, but then again I'm also against iPods (yes, it feels alone sometimes). I would defend Zune if it was a gamecentric device, but that isn't the case.

Aside from that, I agree, people shouldn't go so over defending about Rare, it's not like they are making great Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong-leveled games all the time. Altrough I don't totally agree that MS is cutting the money on the right place (not like they have much of a choice, the cuts was demanded on the entertainment division, it's not that big, it's Zune, PC Games or Xbox) I would kill Zune before messimg (more) their gaming division.

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 3532d ago
II Necroplasm II3533d ago (Edited 3533d ago )

I don't like the direction Microsoft is taking with XBox 360.
Lou-Cipher is making a very good point.

Not all DLC deals is bad and lots of DLC packs are good but most really are way unnecessary to charge people for it when it could have been put in the final version of the game itself.

They really need to keep their eye out for the right decisions to make for their consumers and not just to make easy money in the gaming industry or they will fall and everyone will be depending on Sony for the AAA games.

Why o why3533d ago (Edited 3533d ago )

what's the problem? Don't tell me. You're from the US right? sheesh

Hopefully this will get the remaining members of rare to pull their fingers out and produce something worthy of their history. Nobody really wants to see them disappear no matter what side of the fence you shout from.

Eduardo is back!

LightofDarkness3533d ago (Edited 3533d ago )

Actually, in the US it's spelled solely with the 'z.' In the UK you can use the 's' if you want but it's preferable to spell it with the 'z.' Poor letter 'z' doesn't get as much use as it deserves, I say :p

Still, OP fails.

Why o why3533d ago (Edited 3533d ago )

i know that and its why I nailed he was from the US. Many words spelt using a 'Z' would be spelt with an 'S' everywhere else except the US. Its the irony of his assumption that the English, English spelling is ......... u know....... wrong;). u gotta love the web

oh and yep, the letter 'z' should definitely get used more as it personally makes more grammatical sense to spell the words like the ones i mention with a 'z'...... ironically:)

X_GAMER_X3533d ago

I think big guys like these KNOW how to run business otherwise we are they on one of biggest companies in the world?

every company need to see whats best for their economy..thats how to run business.

But here..It really makes me laugh. People who doesn't know anything about how to run a restaurant comes with so silly comments about why MS or Sony do this or do that. These companies doesn't need ours comment thats is droven by our fanboyism.
They have smart people driving the companies. Otherwise how could they survive.
So Please..If YOU wanna talk about somthing..Stick to the games..Even that you cant really handle

Why o why3533d ago

but when I hear some of the 'wagger' that comes out of some of the VP's mouths sometimes I think that the real difference between them and us is that they're getting paid whilst we get bubbles:(

Lou-Cipher3533d ago

I get where you are coming from, and you are partially right about most of what you say.

I don't know what is going on behind the scenes at Microsoft, and I am not really qualified to make gaming decisions for Microsoft but it is really crappy to have to pay $60 for an incomplete game and then pay $5-$20 for the rest of the game at a later date. (it baffles my mind why they work so hard trying to rip us off rather than make AAA titles exclusively for the 360)

My point was that Microsoft's biggest weakness against Sony is the lack of 1st party games, and they don't seem to care,but they would rather cut their 1st party more than cut something that is not going anywhere, such as the Zune.

Your statement about not knowing anything about running a restaurant is wrong, because I was a restaurant manager for several years at a fine dining restaurant.
(I know the restaurant thing was just analogy, but I thought I would mess with you a little bit)

X_GAMER_X3533d ago

(( Rare issued a statement earlier today saying that now was the time to “restructure our current approach so we can speed development and better manage the scale required to create high quality games.”))

I think they got pretty talented people at RARE But But it looks like they are missing more. So if cutting more jobs and adding more talented people will help makes high quality games so please restructure all the way you want.