Many long-standing Nintendo fans have a special place in their hearts for Rare, the British developer responsible for Banjo Kazooie, GoldenEye 007, Jet Force Gemini and more. In 1994 Nintendo bought a 49% stake in the developer, guiding it to create hit after hit, but in 2002 the studio was bought outright by Microsoft, spelling the end of a particularly fruitful collaboration.
Eurogamer.net's recent article Who Killed Rare? talks to the people most affected by the buyout and assesses its aftermath. Former Rare employee Justin Cook believes comparing the studio's past and present is fruitless:
You can't compare 'old' and 'new' Rare because the comparison is no more valid than comparing steam engines to bullet trains. What is incredible is that Rare still exists. It is still making high-quality games that millions of people play. There have been bigger and more successful studios but there aren't many that are still in business and going strong. Rare is a survivor and as we approach the next massive upheaval in the games industry it would be foolish to write off a studio as talented and adaptable as Rare.
While Rare has had considerable sales success with Kinect Sports, many still hold the developer's previous output in far higher regard, due in no small part to the close relationship it held with Nintendo.