Rumor: Rare Suffers Layoffs, Future May Hinge on Kinect Sports 2

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Rumor: Rare Suffers Layoffs, Future May Hinge on Kinect Sports 2


Sources close to Rare say there have been large cuts to its art department, and the future of the UK dev will rely on the success of Kinect Sports 2.

Late last month, a post on 4Chan claimed the UK developer Rare was in trouble, and, "In an effort to cut costs, Rare has cut their last permanent members of art staff. All artists working there are temps." It also mentioned "Rare's fate is directly, totally, and unequivocally tied to the success of Kinect Sports 2." It being a post on 4Chan, all information contained therein was inherently (and rightfully) suspect.

But more rumors, substantially more credible, are lending credence to the 4Chan post.

According to Edge Magazine, two independent sources have confirmed Rare's entire art department has been informed of their redundancy (what the UK calls a layoff), and that about 23 of those artists will be moved into managerial positions.

This appears to be an attempt at skirting a UK law that says any redundancies over 19 requires a full consultation process, seeming to imply Microsoft wants these layoffs to happen quickly and quietly. However, several artists were angry enough to take the redundancy packages offered for leaving, driving the number of layoffs higher. One of the sources did not know the exact number of people leaving but said "due to the consultation period coming in, it would seem to be more than 20."

When asked for comment, a Microsoft spokesman said, "While redundancies are never easy, these organisational changes are part of Rare's ongoing strategy and operational planning which typically coincides with the shipment of a title," and mentioned "Whilst we're not discussing the exact numbers involved, I can assure you that it's far fewer than you've indicated and represents a small percentage of the total Rare team."

While the sources have made no mention of any reliance on Kinect Sports 2 for Rare's existence, the 4Chan post appears to be startlingly accurate as it pertains to the art department. This could mean that Rare is in trouble, or some troll made a lucky guess. The shift to contractors in the art department, in itself, is not indicative of either option; it could just be a shift similar to one much of the games industry is making to the "Hollywood Model" of hiring contracted workers.

Either way, today 4Chan was at least partially credible. I fear for the world.

Source: Edge Magazine


Protip: Make another Banjo-Kazooie platformer. Instant millions.

It's sad for Rare. They used to be such a big name. Let's hope things turns out for the better.

Damn. Remember when Rare used to be cool?

Damn. Remember when Rare used to be cool?

Nope, it was too long ago.

Damn. Remember when Rare used to be cool?

On the N64?

Whilst it's never good to hear about job losses, Rare (possibly) going under wouldn't exactly be a loss to gaming as a whole.

The last game they released of any worth note was Starfox Adventures (or arguably Viva Pinata, which was nice but horribly misjudged as a 360 exclusive). Either way it's almost ten years since the words Rare and must play have appeared in the same review, something Microsoft can and should take full credit for. Major publishers never seem to learn that buying out studios then gutting them for the licenses is not a good method for long term success.

It would be a shame for the developer that defined my child hood to vanish entirely, but I along with many others finished mourning it some time ago.

Protip: Make another Banjo-Kazooie platformer. Instant millions.

Didn't they try that a couple of years ago? I remember only limited success.

The fate of Banjo-Kazooie rests on shovelware? Fuck.

... I miss that bird :(

Damn. Remember when Rare used to be cool?

They should have stuck with Nintendo. After playing the new Goldeneye, I think Perfect Dark Zero would have kicked ass on the Wii.

Protip: Make another Banjo-Kazooie platformer. Instant millions.

Bam, this right there. Rare can't die before it makes a respectable Banjo Kazooie installment for the current gen. (Nuts and Bolts doesn't count) You wanna put Rare in the black, start updating and remaking some of their older titles; chief among them Banjo-Kazooie.


Didn't they try that a couple of years ago? I remember only limited success.

Nuts and Bolts didn't do very well because it wasn't a true Banjo-Kazooie title. The series was used more as a framing device for what boiled down to a lego game not set in the lego universe. Despite the hours I've spent building stuff in it you forget very quickly it has anything to do with the titular Bear & Bird combo.

Protip: Make another Banjo-Kazooie platformer. Instant millions.

I would be incline to agree, but I seem to recall Nuts N' Bolts not being a power-seller.

Damnit, return Rare to Nintendo already >:(

Protip: Make another Banjo-Kazooie platformer. Instant millions.

Ding ding ding, we have a winner folks.

Rare was one of the greatest 3D platformer developers back in the N64's Golden Days.
Make a proper Banjo-Threeie and it'd be a mega hit.

I remember when Rare used to make awesome games which contain shit like this (literally):

unfortunately I think Microsoft have forgotten.

Man, Rare used to be one of the most innovative developers for platform games, but then it got bought out by Microsoft, a company that it was so totally mismatched for.

Honestly I don't why Microsoft has had such difficulty crafting memorable platformers and in the process, memorable characters. Nintendo had Mario, Link, DK, and God-knows-how-many-others. And hell even Sony had reliable platformers with Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, and Ratchet and Clank. Microsoft put too many of its eggs in Halo and Gears of War to incite Rare into making a memorable platformer for all ages.

All we got out of the Microsoft-Rare affair was Grabbed by the Ghoulies (a game so ill-received that the developers themselves trashed it in the last Banjo game), Viva Pinata (which had massively niche appeal), and the new Banjo-Kazooie (which while innovative, completely ignored the platforming fun of the previous games)

Damn, when Rare was with Nintendo we got the Donkey Kong Country Trilogy, Donkey Kong 64, Goldeneye 007, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo-Kazooie 1 and 2, Jet Force Gemini, and the crown of them all, Conker's Bad Fur Day.

Meh. I'm sure people will blame Microsoft for their decline, but the weren't really that good back when they were still with Nintendo. They had some good N64 games, but they also had some awful N64 games. They were on the road to being the "meh" dev they are today long before Microsoft got involved, so if Microsoft ends up deciding that they need to do away with Rare, oh well. I won't shed any tears.

Well they're boned. Unless they make a advertisement of a happy multicultural family in a room with white walls, hardwood floors, white couches, whites clothes, and everything else white with little white puppies with brown on its coat, all happy and smiling around a big TV moving around and laughing to kinect sports with sound coming out of black speakers.

boom instant seller.

Rare needs to be given the old yeller :/

They made some of my fav games of all time and everything but since they moved with microsoft they have just become a shell of there former selfs nothing amazin all the great talent is gone and that new logo is gah. I dont wana see em get any worse its just to sad to see a once great game maker now so bad xP

Rare!? No! You can't do that! They were just trying to do different things! WHY DIDN'T I BUY VIVA PINATA?!!

It was a good run friends. You made some of the best and worst games ever.

Really? All of this talk about Rare and shit... and not ONCE Killer Instinct is brought up? Really? You guys mention Banjo Kazooie getting them in the black... fuck that, I want another Killer Instinct.

Future May Hinge on Kinect Sports 2

Wow, that's about as grim as it gets.

I feel horrible for the members of the art team who were layed off.

This is what happens when you sign an exclusivity deal with Microsoft, whose console panders to the hardcore demographic, when you DON'T make hardcore games.

If they'd stuck with Nintendo, they'd be making a mint on Banjo-Kazooie Wii and Perfect Dark 4 with Wiimote integration.

Instead they are forced into Nuts and Bolts and stupid shit...I can't love them anymore. I'm playing through BK right now since I dug my N64 out of the attic, but I can't give them any love, just pity and remorse.

There's going to be a Kinect Sports 2?
At least Nintendo waited a year or two before releasing their expansion pack.

Also, if that's the best you can do, Rare, then I'm very disappointed about having once been a fan of yours.

How far the mighty have fallen.

I remember back when I heard Rare was making a new game and get excited; hearing this now I'm hardly surprised. Always sad to hear about people losing their jobs like this though.

how bout conkers bad fur day remake?(rare made that right)


What did people expect? They used to make mind-blowingly good games and now they make crap like Perfect Dark Zero, a game that so horribly missed the mark I don't think anyone involved ever played the original.

PROTIP: Make a proper sequel to Perfect Dark (or any of the other good IPs you still have, Jet Force Gemini or Conker or something) and restore your reputation.

In the 90s Rare was a premier developer that I remember getting my friends excited when they announced a new title. Nintendo must have seen something when they sold them off, because since then...well, it's not been good.

Another original developer crushed under the wheels of "progress".

...Wait, did I say "progress?" I meant "Total and Utter Stagnation".
Plus, it was Microsoft. The only successful franchise I can think of that came about as a result of them buying out another company was Halo ala Bungie.

And as it's been demonstrated, it wasn't buyout so much as "One fucking long contract".

Damn. Remember when Rare used to be cool?

You mean Rareware right? Cuz Rare was never cool

Sean Strife:
Really? All of this talk about Rare and shit... and not ONCE Killer Instinct is brought up? Really? You guys mention Banjo Kazooie getting them in the black... fuck that, I want another Killer Instinct.

This, this, a million times this.

And this thread should end in the one manner fitting for the company that spawned not only Killer Instinct, but its music CD "Killer Cuts". I still listen to that.

This is what happens when you put a leash made out of dollars on a creative team. Except the dollars ran out, and they are left on their own now? Eh..

They used to be my favourite developer. 12 years ago they were the best in the industry, producing just as many good games on the SNES/N64 as Nintendo did. I'm sad to see them go, but all of the old talent is gone now. So long, old friend.

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