When you have a fan community website that has been up and running for almost a decade, you'd think that it would stick by the developer through thick and thin, right? Apparently not, if that developer is Rare. It appears that MundoRare has run out of reasons to support the creator of such classics as GoldenEye 007 and the Donkey Kong Country series because of the company's own doing.
In honour of Rare's 25th anniversary, MundoRare was fully prepared to embark on its "most ambitious project to date": to shoot an hour-long documentary on the company's home turf in England to be distributed over the Internet and Xbox Live. What was meant to be a celebration of the company's 25 years of service, as well as an opportunity to revitalise the community site, was met with disappointment as Rare's PR department denied them permission to shoot, claiming the low cost/risk film wouldn't be "on message."
Shutting down the website was an option we were already considering in case we couldn’t make the process of working on it worth the effort. Therefore, we designed a win-win deal that could have resulted in a wonderful project for us and a terrific treat for fans everywhere. Despite its ambitious scope, we felt it was an irresistible offer. In fact, we are still puzzled over their response. It was a risk-free operation to be carried away with all legal safety measures deemed necessary and full of good intentions. It simply makes no sense. It has changed our perception of Rare forever and leaves us with no other option but to end our support for them. Yet it wasn’t the only cause.
The company's numerous efforts to rush half-baked titles to the Xbox 360 didn't help matters either. Whether the cause of these less-than-impressive games was down to the Microsoft executives or the development team at Rare, the end results led to MundoRare staff's declining interest.
The site claims to have never given bad reviews where it wasn't due, and their preview of Kinect Sports was the first and only time a game from the post-Nintendo era got an openly-negative review, which Rare allegedly used as an excuse for shutting down hopes of the documentary ever materialising during what were said to be already poor negotiations.
Sadly, we see Kinect Sports not only as an uninspired response to Nintendo’s success, but also as a major turnabout that collides with the interests of our website. As a game targeted to casual players, its audience doesn’t include our readers or us. Naturally, if that’s the path Rare wants to follow from now on, we can’t go along with them.