Rare is one of those classic studios that has failed to appeal to the masses, while still appealing to very different groups with unique IPs. Games such as the Conker series, Banjo-Kazooie, and Starfox have brought renown to the developer without ever getting it to premiere status.
In this light, Rare is currently under review by Microsoft in order to make it a more prominent and productive organization. This will likely mean job cuts, but it should also translate into better games.
Three points for improvement were targeted by Microsoft for their video game business back in January:
“1) Expand the Xbox 360 customer base by delivering experiences that allow our customers to interact with our content in new and innovative ways”, “2) Better support efforts to extend the appeal of Xbox LIVE as a social entertainment network to drive greater adoption across the Xbox 360 customer base” and “3) Continue delivering AAA gaming experiences that excite both our current and future customers”.
With this in mind, in an interview with Develop, studio manager Mark Betteridge noted:
“As the entire industry struggles to address the increasing scale and cost of development, we too have felt a need to restructure our current approach so we can speed development and better manage the scale required to create high quality games. With four projects recently underway, now is the right time to make this change.”
“Throughout its history, Rare has demonstrated a willingness to embrace new approaches and commitment to delivering game-changing experiences to our customers. This announcement is no different and builds on that tradition as we work with MGS to make interactive entertainment as culturally relevant in people’s lives as books, movies, and television are today.”