News Article

Microsoft To Announce Sequel To "Historic" Rare Franchise At E3

Posted by Damien McFerran

Time to get jealous?

In case you hadn't noticed, Microsoft lifted the lid on the Xbox One this week. The new system is the successor to the popular 360 console and will be getting plenty of support from the company's stable of internal developers — one of which is former Nintendo partner, Rare.

The UK-based studio was purchased by Microsoft over a decade ago and has launched titles such as Viva Pinata, Kameo and Kinect Sports since then. Nintendo fans will of course remember the firm most fondly for its NES, SNES, Game Boy and N64 contributions — titles like GoldenEye 007, Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, Jet Force Gemini, Banjo Kazooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day are considered to be classic titles, made during what many regard as the company's golden era.

Bearing this in mind, the recent confirmation by Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer that an "historic" Rare IP will be unveiled at this year's E3 may cause serious outbreaks of jealousy among Nintendo lovers. Speaking to Polygon after the recent Xbox One event, Spencer commented:

Fans of Rare and Rare IP I think will be pleased with what we're going to show at E3. We had a limited amount of time today and a lot of story to tell. But Rare remains an incredibly important part of our development capability. That historic IP that they've built I think can play a real important role on Xbox One.

Which game could it be? Microsoft recently moved to renew the Killer Instinct trademark, which suggests the one-on-one fighter could be the mystery title — albeit with a slightly different title, perhaps. Maybe Rare will update Perfect Dark for a new generation — after all, Perfect Dark Zero was a 360 launch title. Or could the company be looking even further into its past and be working on a Battletoads revival?

At this stage, your guess is as good as ours — which is why we positively encourage you to post a comment below and share your predictions.


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User Comments (129)



erv said:

-saves money for pikmin 3-

..what? oh...

-waits for pikmin 3 -



dumedum said:

DKCR and Star Fox. Oh yeah. No then. Nothing.

I got it: It's Kinect Sports Season 3.



Smitherenez said:

I think that they will go for something that resembles a FPS, because it is a genre that sells. To the question if we should be jealous: I don't thinks so. One of the reasons is, that if the game turns out to be good, you can buy a xbox if you really want to play it. It's not like that we are not able to buy it at all, because it is on a different platform. My second reason is that Rare is not what it used to be.



Einherjar said:

Rare has long lost its touch, so no reason to be jealous. Microsoft will never let them reach their full potential because it wouldnt target their audience.
Also, there is no way im going to buy the xbox -359 under the current circumstances. Its like selling your soul and willingly inviting a spy to your house



Tra_Venous said:

Whatever it is, it won't feel like a Rare game. I'm guessing Killer Instinct, since the Xbox One actually has a dpad made for 2d-plane fighting games now.



XCWarrior said:

First of all, not Nintendo news. So shame on you Nintendo Life.

Second, Rare hasn't made a quality game since Microsoft bought them. So yeah, whatever horrible revival of a game this might be, Nintendo fans won't be missing out. The Banjo return came back to mediocre to bad reviews.



Epic said:

Must be Killer Instinct after solving that trademark issue with FOX.



DualWielding said:

I would love killer instinct Co-co-combo Breaker!!! but not enough to buy an xbox one just for that,



Placlu said:

The only reason I bought a 360 was to play Banjo Threeie & Viva Pinata.
So unless its DK64 HD which I somehow think it's not It won't change my mind into getting one..



FritzFrapp said:

No reason to be jealous at all. The Rare of old is gone. There's no one left at the company who would have worked on any of the original games.
It's probably Kinect Killer Instinct.



GiftedGimp said:

Having brought/played Perfect Dark Zero at the 360's launch I really am not bothered. It was good but never as good as the original, same will be the same on the sequel, especially Rare are not the same people than back when the Original Perfect Dark was released.
Since getting rid of my 360 a couple of years back I'm more bothered that I can't get the Original Perfect Dark on VC, Hopefully Nintendo still have some rights to bring it to WiiU VC, butbI doubt it.



Ridley said:

If it was Kinect Sports 3 I'd just laugh and laugh.

Would quite like B-K, PD, VP, Kameo or Blast Corps sequels but it's definately not enough to make me want the console. I'd rather Rare did something that didn't remind me of Nintendo titles.



GoombaSlayer said:

Looking forward to reading news about Mario at the Xbox-sites during E3...

However.. Microsoft has employed 100+ new peeps to Rare ltd. during the last two years so they might actually have something interesting to show. Their last games havent been that good, for sure, but maybe the new talent will bring something new to the table.

Problably though they will keep focus on the casual/kinect... even though they might hide it behind a core-label. "Better with Kinect" or something.



Ricube said:

I remember that a lot of talented people left rareware when it was acquired by MS and founded free radical studio (or something like that). They made the three Timesplitters (I loved the second one on gamecube, it was kind of a spiritual successor to goldeneye). Anyway, the best thing Rare made until then was the HD remake of Perfect Dark and nothing else like their games fir the N64. Maybe Nintendo saw that coming, when they didn't buy the company. I'm not really jealous, but if they make a really good perfect dark - banjo kazooie - conquer game I may think about getting a xbox one, but I can't see that coming...



GoombaSlayer said:

@Ricube, Yeah, they went on to do the horrible Haze, almost went into bankrupcty before being saved by Crytek. They has since developed the multiplayer mode for Crysis 2 and are now working on Homefront 2... They suck as well



Adam said:

The announcement of a new Battletoads would make me an Xbox fan for a second before I remembered the quality of game Rare is responsible for today.



TwilightV said:

I predict something that'll either be abruptly cancelled or released to highly negative reviews. Either way it'll look pretty.



rmeyer said:

It will be Killer Instinct since its easy to make and have ready by launch. Don't expect it to be as great as Gold or anything



ThreadShadow said:

If its PD, they tried that with PD:Zero at 360 launch and no one really cared. They later released PD HD on Arcade and it seems nobody cared about that one either.
Might be Banjo-Kazoo3, or Jetpack "One"? Sabrewulf? Killer Instinct? I don't think there are enough KI fans left for it to be relevant or anything close to a system seller. New people will see the "hokey" characters, combos and blood and just say, "I already own Injustice and MK."
As far as MS is concerned "historic" could refer to Viva Pinata or Kinect Sports!



Wiicube64 said:

I can't believe it isn't a sequel to Blastcorps
It's a no brainer and would be a perfect mix for the new technology
1) It would stand out, it's not yet another fps, it's a unique entity
2) The first one was awesome but not perfect, as fun as it was it could have been so much better, this married with improved hd visuals and achievementsmultiplayer would make me insanely jealous
3) It's the one no one is really mentioning, it would bring a wow factor if done correctly

A new banjo game done correctly would also make me slightly jealous
What they are really missing is an ace card like Diddy Kong Racing 2 HD which can't happen because Nintendo hold the rights. We've seen how popular Mario Kart has been over the years



Wii-1 said:

This could sound a little harsh. I like Rare but the only reason Rare produced such classics like Goldeneye and Banjo Kazooie was Nintendo was holding their hand. Rare will never be the company they were without Nintendo.



tudsworth said:

@GoombaSlayer To be fair to Free Radical, their eff ups are a result of trying to apply old-school development mentalities to "next gen"/HD gaming. That killed a lot of developers during the early 7th gen.

Still, you're right, both Rare and Free Radical were gutted of all their talent, some of whom are now trying to teach a new, albeit mostly complacent, generation of games developers.

Back on topic, my money's on either Viva Pinata 3 or Kinect Sports 3. Microsoft wouldn't know the meaning of the word "Historic" if it beat them over the head with a priceless Mayan artefact.



Funny_Moblin said:

Can't wait till they release Donkey Kong Racing! By the way, I know they just released Conker's Bad Fur Day, but it's so good and I want a sequel! I bet they will make a sequel, but I'll wait. Doesn't matter if it takes 3 or 5 years.



Wiicube64 said:

It's funny to think that Before Rare got saddled with their reputation of creating candy-colored mindless collectathons that they were actually a developer of some skill and innovation. No game demonstrates that quite as well as their N64 cult classic Blast Corps. Piloting a vast variety of vehicles, you must demolish structures to clear the way for a truck carrying nuclear missiles. The gameplay is open-ended, frantic and fun, and it's only hurt by the technical limitations of the N64. Blast Corps would benefit greatly from advances in gaming - think about online co-op multiplayer with this.



Damo said:

@GoombaSlayer It could happen, just with a slightly different title. Just because the copyright was denied doesn't mean the entire project is shelved (assuming that it is the project they're talking about, of course).



Ricube said:

@Funny_Moblin Conquer is a game for N64 released in 2001. The remade it for the first xbox. A donkey kong racing game (think you meant diddy kong racing for N64) is unlikely because donkey kong is property of Nintendo



Peach64 said:

MS didn't ruin Rare, nor did they lose their touch. Dev studios are in constant transition of staff. None of the people that made their great games are there anymore. It's why buying dev studios is dumb. A dev studios greatest asset is their staff, and you can never own them.

I did enjoy Viva Piñata, but that's the only game of theirs I have enjoyed since the 64, and even that was 7 years ago.



Moshugan said:

With every well intention, let's hope it's something good.
Even though ''the Rare of old'' is gone, it would be a shame to see their great franchises go to waste!
In all honesty, I'd like to see Nintendo buying Banjo, Perfect Dark etc. from Rare.



Damo said:

@Peach64 Rare is still an amazingly talented studio. Kinect Sports Season 2 is fantastic fun, and I thought Banjo 3 was underrated. I think the company's output is badly mismatched to the audience of the Xbox, myself.



Whopper744 said:

If it's Banjo or Perfect Dark, it may tempt me for a Xbox One....may be the only franchises worthy of doing so...then again....don't know if that's worth like over 500 bucks....



The-Chosen-one said:

Huh, has microsoft bought the killerinstinct license? because Nintendo had the rights of that game. rare only had some characters and music.



GoombaSlayer said:

@The-Chosen-one All Rare-franchises went to Microsoft, except for those being based on Nintendo-characters.
Nintendo never fully owned Rare (as Microsoft now does) so the content created by Rare was also owned by Rare.



rmeyer said:

@GoombaSlayer Microsoft was having trouble with the tv show, but they had an entertainment agreement. I am 80% sure the reveal will be a new KI



The-Chosen-one said:

i am not interested in perfected dark, if they bring killer instinct, that means i will have Xbox one in my collection together with my WiiU



GoombaSlayer said:

@originaljohn Except from Retro doing some obvious Rareware-fanservice with DKCR i wouldnt really compare them. Rare was more of a extension of Nintendo with colorful adventures while Retro Studios seems to be more about darker games.



OverturePT said:

If it was the same Rare from old times, yea. Rare still has a bit of potential but the people that made the games we loved aren't there. Rare is just a name now.



SnackBox said:

OF course! Banjo Kinect! Or Perfect Dark One Kinect. Rare you are dead to me. Rare Ware was where the Rare I cared for



Trikeboy said:

Why does this site keep bringing up Rare like they are significant anymore? They will be bringing their classic to Xbox One but the people who made the original game great won't be working on it. Rare, who cares.

Before you call me a fanboy, Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero are part of my game collection, unfortunately.



Shiryu said:

RARE has not made a single hit product since Nintendo sold them to Microsoft, I see nothing for us to worry about here. Unless by some obscure reason they do come up with a brilliant, amazing, open world ultra-super next gen "Jet Force Gemini", I think were safe.

PS: "Battletoads One"
PPS: "Killer Instinct One"



aaronsullivan said:

Jet Force Gemini would get my attention but I agree with the sentiment that Rare is just entirely different people now and haven't done anything impressive for a long time. The IP list has some real gems, but hopefully someone awesome has been hired to whip the studio into shape and make something worth attention regardless of the IP.

I admit it has the potential to get me interested in XBox One. It's the games, people. It would probably take Jet Force Gemini for me, though, and the likeliness of that is near 0 percent.



uximal said:

If its Killer instinct then I might actually consider getting the xbox one.




RARE IS DEAD!! Banjo and Kazoowi Nuts and Bolts anyone?? Don't even get me started on that HORRIBLE Perfect Dark Zero game they made at the launch on 360 or their lackluster Viva Pinyata series. Their just CRAP just stop it and change your name you are NOTHING to me anymore.



Rezalack said:

The first Viva Pinata was their only decent game since the old N64 days. I'll be jealous if they release some mind blowing Conker or Perfect Dark footage, which I highly doubt. It's a shame that Rare isn't still with Nintendo.



Shiryu said:

By the way read on some comments above that RARE only made good games with Nintendo holding it's hand. Not true! RARE were true visionaries back in the 8 bit era and their brilliance endured well into the 16 bit and the N64 age. But when Nintendo sold the company, the original staff from RARE started leaving one by one, for instance funding Free Radical and even the founding members brothers Tim and Chris Stamper left. RARE has been RARE only in name alone for quite some time now.



Dpullam said:

I'm not really interested in a new Killer Instinct or Perfect Dark game. The only games that would help me lean towards getting the Xbox One would be a true sequel to Banjo Kazooie or a new Jet Force Gemini. I did think that Nuts & Bolts was pretty fun though.



Dpishere said:

I 101%ed Donkey Kong 64 for the second time a few days ago and am currently playing through Jet Force Gemini, and even though they may not be the company they used to be I still hope they can put out another great game like Nuts & Bolts since I felt that game was great.



hYdeks said:

@Burning_Spear totally agree

why is this news worthy? Unless the headline saids "Recently crappy Rare comes back to the winning team, and is bringing back a historic genre" than who's interested? Not me...Rare has sucked at everything since Microsoft bought them.



WindWakerLink said:

It's probably going to be Killer Instinct... but even if it is..."so what? That wont change the fact that 1) MS is charging a fee for used games to be played on the system & 2) system having to be online all the time to play." And besides... "all, if not most, the good RARE people that made those golden age games we grew up with are not even with the current RARE company now."



mikeyman64 said:

The only way I wold be upset is if it was a true Banjo platformer. Perfect Dark died with it's single release, and I'm more of a fan of Street Fighter than I am of KI.

A Viva Pinata release would make me a tiny bit jealous, however I can't see anyone calling a that a "historic" IP.



GraveLordXD said:

Jelly of what ever comes out on the xbox1 lol yeah I don't think so, whatever it is they'll probably ruin it anyway



Highwinter said:

@Peach64 Thank you for bringing some much needed sense to these comments. Game development staff change all the time, it's not something that's exclusive to Rare and I don't know why it's constantly brought up when they're mentioned.

Also, Nuts & Bolts and Viva Pinata were fantastic games and probably would have been loved by most people here if they were on Nintendo systems. They're easily the amongst the most underrated games this generation.



DarkCoolEdge said:

@Ricube @GoombaSlayer if I remember correctly Retro was created by some of Rare's best too, not only Free Radical. I guess Nintendo didn't lose that much except that Retro has only released 4 games and contributed in MK7 in more than 10 years. Their new project must be very close to completion (oh yeah)



HawkeyeWii said:

So you mean like how they destroyed banjo and kazooie? Then no I am not jealous even in the slightest.



Funny_Moblin said:

@Ricube What do you you not know Donkey Kong Racing? It's gonna be on the Gamecube. They made a trailer if you wanna search it up. I already played Diddy Kong Racing on the N64, it was amazing.

So excited for Rare's next Star Fox game!!!
I think that now, with the recent release of the Gamecube, there's a lot of potential for Rare to develop amazing games for the Gamecube. Maybe Banjo-Kazooie 3?



Gunnerholic said:

@Frapp That's not quite true, there are a number of Rare staff that have been there through it all. Gregg Mayles for instance has been there since 92 and was instrumental in the creation of Donkey Kong Country, Project Dream (which later became Banjo-Kazoooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day. Lousie Ridgeway, Paul Cunningham and Huw Ward also still at Rare from the early days.
It's interesting to note that these guys have been rewarded with their loyalty and are now the head of their relevant department in order to blood the new talent and encourage the Rare ethos. I still think Rare can release quality games and I look forward to hearing about the new games they are working on...even if it is on an Xbox :-S



seronja said:

well i did plan to buy the xbox in a year or two, but if the xbox will launch with a real BANJO-THREEIE or killer instinct, heck even a conker game i will buy it at launch period!



Damo said:

@DarkCoolEdge Rare is a company with a strong connection to Nintendo, and they've just announced that they're reviving a classic IP - hence us covering it. This news is clearly of interest to the wider Nintendo community.



FritzFrapp said:

@Gunnerholic. Yeah, I shouldn't have used the absolute "no one," though it's certainly not the same company it was. Huw Ward? Wasn't he a tester in the NES days? He's still there? Crikey!

@Damo. Precisely. It's clearly relevant and of interest.



Megumi said:

Don't care about them anymore...although I wanted to see Jet Force Gemini on the Wii U. But yeah, like everyone said Rare died when Microsoft took them. (original devs left)



Mizzah_Tee said:

@Peach64 said " A dev studios greatest asset is their staff, and you can never own them."

Mostly true, but owning their IP's can be just as great an asset with the right developers reviving them. Like how Retro revived Donkey Kong and Metroid.



WanderingPB said:

Ahhh so many Rare classics on the N64…im feeling a bit nostalgic…i wish the studio the best regardless if its part of Microsoft…i still remember feeling excited for any good game in general…how times have changed though im glad in this perspective i have not…good old healthy gaming competition brings out the best in this industry kinda like Sonic & Mario back in the 90's…



kereke12 said:

"Time to get jealous" REALLY!? How am i supposed to jealous on how Rare going to make a Mircosoft "exclusive" To be honest the ONLY good thing Rare did was...if i can remember
Search on Google:.............Waiting........Oh!! thats right Donkey Kong, and Really!? How is this Nintendo News?? I believe your "logo" for your Website is called Nintendo Life not: Nintendo/Mircosoft/Sony Life....Cause if it was I would understand.....Whats next Sony:releases PS4 console outlook....



Neram said:

I think everyone knows that Rare isn't the same team anymore, and anything they make wouldn't be as good as it used to be, so there's no point in getting seriously excited over this.



Funny_Moblin said:

@OptometristLime Ok, so just because it's been a couple of month since the GC release, you consider it a long time? Hmm...sometimes I'm not sure how people will be able to wait 5 or 6 years until the next console.

Gamecube 2 should be similar to a cell-phone design. You open it, and you have like a little TV screen on top, and the controls are on the bottom. I don't care if it's a little heavy cube you have to carry, as long as it's portable and protected in the inside!!



ivanmata said:

Do they own donkey kong 3d or any part of it ??? If they release a 3d donkey kong that would be a huge blow to us.



P-Gamer-C said:

Perfect dark on 360 was a disaster and rare doesent make games they have been handcuffed for far too long i know when soft bought them in 02 half the staff left but i think if they are pushed they can make something great fingers crossed.



Bulbousaur said:

@ivanmata The Donkey Kong characters are completely owned by Nintendo, there's no need to worry about that.

Please don't let it be Conker or Banjo Kazooie, I still have a shred of hope Nintendo are working on buying them back



Drobotic said:

Seeing all the crap Rare's been doing for Microsoft(cough Kinect Sports),I highly doubt this is going to be worth not getting Animal Crossing:New Leaf.



sonik said:

Blast Corps 2 please, that game has Rare promised since they moved to microsoft....

Loved the first game to N64 still my 3rd favorite N64 game (after oot and mario 64)



CanisWolfred said:

Never liked any Rare games, except Banjo-Tooie and Perfect Dark. I don't trust new Rare to make good sequels to those, to be quite honest.



tripunktoj said:

What do MS know about "historic" gaming IPs? Im sure they mean kinect sports haha! Or maybe they are denigrating Banjo with a horrible redesign and game... again



doctor_doak said:

Battletoads hahahaha!! I guess it could be a Banjo K game, they've done a couple of those on XBox haven't they?? It won't be a Goldeneye reboot because Activision own the Bond license (god knows why...)

Fair chance its a Perfect Dark entry...but uh...there isn't hardly anyone left at Rare from the good ol' days...including myself It'll be a Rare game in name only most likely...Thanks Microsoft.



kevkeepsplaying said:

Anyone good from Rare left long ago, it's a shell of it's former self, reduced to creating Kinect shovelware. After the accident that was Nuts n Bolts, I could hardly be jealous, even if it was Killer Instinct, because it's frankly going to be trash.



The-Chosen-one said:

true, the former employees, are already gone, and the new team sucks, so i dont trust them with Killerinstict, i loved the arcade killerinstinct made by Nintendo rare and midway.
the combos where brutal.



Tra_Venous said:

@XCWarrior the words decorous, proper, and respectable are common synonyms for decent; indifferent, middling, and ordinary for the's that the same? The game received 8s and 9s facepalm



Araknie said:

100% Will ruin it.

Rare does not even have the original members that worked on all those franchises. It's like the 2nd generation of Bioware developers, UUUuuuuUUUuugh!



XCWarrior said:

@Tra_Venous Oh really? Check the link, under #5, which is related words to decent:

Multiple definitions for the word decent, one of them basically meaning mediocre.

And I know Viva Pinata got 8s and 9s... but I like that as much as I like Animal Crossing... which is mediocre (I know, for shame... but I need an end goal for my games, and since GCN version, theres been no NES games to find.)



LeVideoGamer said:

It won't be Banjo, or else Grant Kirkhope wouldn't have said what he said on Game Grumps. It sure as hell won't be Blast Corps or Conker, because they won't sell. Viva Pinata and Kameo are in with a shot, but in my opinion, the three most likely IP's to arrive are Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, or Jet Force Gemini. Perfect Dark because it's a shooter, Killer Instinct because it's a fighting game aimed at older gamers, and Jet Force Gemini because it can be developed into an AAA sci-fi shooter, similar to Halo, that could have the potential to attract a lot of people if done properly.

Well, I suppose they could just disappoint people even further and announce the game as a Kinect Sports sequel.



Henmii said:

I find it hard to believe that all of a sudden Microsoft lets Rareware work on a REAL game again!!

Or maybe Microsoft just lets some other company work on a Rareware IP!

Anyway, don't get to excited about a new Perfect Dark! The reason why Perfect Dark Zero wasn't that popular may be because it wasn't special enough! Over the years the bar has been raised pretty high! Nowadays most shooters have to do something special to get noticed! That's what I think anyway!



LI0NHART said:

While I do agree Rare have not been the same since being bought they have made Kameo which was awesome. They should move on from the Kinect or do less of them and go back to what made them great. I wish and hope this historic franchise is either Conkers, Perfect Dark or Banjo.

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