Rumour: Rare Ltd on the way out

What's going on over at Rare these days? If a forum post is to be believed, developers are packing their bags and leaving the troubled developer. Many are apparently choosing unemployment over continuing to work for the Microsoft studio.

The story popped up on 4Chan last month (we know, we know, a haven for the truth), announcing that "In an effort to cut costs, Rare has cut their last permament members of Art staff". It goes on to explain that a significant chunk of the developer's creative team had already left, and that all remaining artists at the studio are temps.

Rare Ltd's future, as explained on 4chan

Rare Ltd's future, as explained on 4chan
(Click to enlarge)

Now, it's been a little while after that post, and it's starting to look like poster theknowledge did actually know what they were talking about.

In an effort to cut costs, Rare has cut their last permanent members of Art staff. All artists working there are temps (in other words: cheap).


A number of their creative team left much earlier than today. They didn't have any new jobs lined up, they just got so sick of working under the current management that they took unemployment over continued stay at Rare.

Also, the current studio head (a man from Microsoft who replaced a long-time Rare man late last year) has said that Rare's fate is directly, totally and unequivocally tied to the success of Kinect Sports 2.
And going by the success of Kinect Sports 1, and the unwanted, unmarketable, bandwagon-jumping bit of crap that is the Kinect in general, it's pretty clear at this point that Rare is f*cked.

How far into 2011 will it be before the studio's closure is announced?
Place your bets.

People are starting to leave the Kinect Sports developer - including former Art Coordinator Steven Crow, who's now at Lightning Fish Games, and Andrew James and Ryan Firchau, who have both embarked on a full time freelance career after 5 and 10 years respectively at Rare. Dean Smith, formerly environment and object artist on Kinect Sports, and before that, lead artist on Rare's DS range, is now merely a "contract artist".

Rare has been around in various guises since 1982, and brought us Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong Country, the Viva Pinata series and the classic GoldenEye 007. Last year, the studio announced that their main focus would be developing games for the Kinect platform, starting with Kinect Sports and avatar development.

Rare Ltd

Rare - about to live up to its name?

We've asked a few people a few questions, and are hoping to have some real answers soon - but, for now, it looks like Rare might be not long for this world.


This story was featured in Episode 3, Season 2 of GamePron News:

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14 Responses to “Rumour: Rare Ltd on the way out”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by afkmofo, GamePron. GamePron said: GamePron: Rumour: Rare Ltd on the way out http://bit.ly/faB5sQ [...]

  2. Ballz McGee says:

    This is sorta true. Microsoft is doing some restructering of the Rare Studio. They’re making them move and forcing everyone to reapply for their job. Now the way this works is they can either take a serverence pay or reapply. The severence pay is actually a lot higher than normal and a lot more people than Microsoft originally thought are taking it. The rest of the 4Chan makes sense when you factor that in.

    Peace.

  3. CB Lingo says:

    It’d really be a shame to lose Rare, even if it is a far cry from what it used to be in its heyday on the N64. It should be the lynch pin of the Microsoft first party developers and definitely not the Kinect-banished whipping boy it has become.

  4. Alex says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    Before they disappointed me with N&B, later with Kinect Sports, then cancelling sequels to Banjo, Conker, Perfect Dark, Kameo etc…
    Microsoft I hate you.

  5. Alex says:

    Before them… now this…

  6. Josh says:

    Kinect sports is fun, you all are haters.

  7. [...] this week looks at the unfortunate demise of Bizarre Creations, and the fact that Rare may well be headed the same way. Crytek responds to piracy and later, Sony does too, once they finished announcing the PlayStation [...]

  8. [...] on the demise of Rare may have been premature, with today’s news that it’s picked up a new Senior [...]

  9. Nason says:

    honestly if rare just went back to their roots they could actually make a game worth buying

  10. redcloud says:

    goddamn you microsoft!!
    you’ve destroyed rare
    i’m getting a ps3
    fuk u!

  11. Mpnagem89 says:

    Adios Rareware…

  12. Kyle says:

    I used to like Rare, until they betrayed Nintendo. If they went back to Nintendo, they would probably survive.

  13. Tlaloc says:

    ^ Nintendo plays hardball and is as much as an asshole as Microsoft is. Ever heard of how much of a bitch they were to third-party developers who wanted to make games for the N64? If anything, Nintendo owes Rareware for the success wave they were riding on the 90′s and early 2000′s; they should have invested in buying the developer instead of letting it rot and allow Microsoft play with its carcass. Talk about who betraying who, ain’t it?

    Now the two console giants are churning half-assed, unoriginal gimmicky game crap, and serves them and the people right for considering game developing and publishing a fucking “industry” devoted to only make money, instead of a passion worth sharing with the masses.

    Oh,and Sony made the sloppy-seconds console, so nobody says I am a fanboy of any sort.

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