News Article

A Decade After Being Bought By Microsoft, Rare Still Wants To Channel The Spirit Of Nintendo

Posted by Damien McFerran

UK studio wants Kinect Sports Rivals to emulate Nintendo classics

As we all know, Rare used to be one of Nintendo's most valuable development studios, but was acquired by Microsoft in 2002 to work on its Xbox console. As the years have passed the company has seen staff come and go, and few remain who can remember the days of the SNES, N64 and GameCube.

However, Creative Director Simon Woodrooffe — who made the fantastic Simon the Sorcerer series many years ago — has stated that he wants Rare's forthcoming Xbox One title Kinect Sports Rivals to replicate the kind of mainstream success enjoyed by Nintendo's best offerings:

We think–well, we hope–that this is the sort of game that’s still one of the first things that anyone who buys an Xbox One gets even two or three years from now…sort of like Wii Sports and Mario Kart for the Wii.

Even after a decade under Microsoft's wing, it's encouraging to hear that Rare still considers Nintendo to be the company to emulate.


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User Comments (52)



Mahe said:

It probably isn't possible to reach the quality of Wii titles with Kinect, when there is no controller. From several reports, even Kinect 2 technology is still too unreliable and laggy compared to an actual motion controller like Wiimote.



ICHIkatakuri said:

The original RARE is pretty much gone and all they made for Xbox over these last few years is a laggy sports game and a bunch of avatar clothing. If I was in their position, I'd want something to push my status back up.



Reverandjames said:

Such a waste of talent...simon the sorcerer I was a great game, and now Microsoft has him making a casual sports title. Funny thing is, the wii casual generation has passed now, so Microsoft need to stop trying to jump on the bandwagon.



Peach64 said:

Rare were already going down hill due to all the Free Radical guys leaving. You should only buy a dev for their IP, because staff are always coming and going. I do love Viva Piñata though.



WaveGhoul said:


Plus both Move & Kinect are limited to only 30 frames per second which is pretty pathetic. I have a really hard time dealing with anything but 60fps based games these days. The new PS3 Castle of illusion, Giena sisters and Trine 2 which all run at 30fps look god awful in motion on an HDTV....Let alone, sidescrollers should NEVER be locked in at 30....It's unecceptable. On an HDTV you get that horrible frame double/juttering effect with 30fps material which is much more noticable on plasmas since there's no crazy LCD motion blur to hide it



MAB said:

Awwww! isn't that nice of them... M$ 'we still want to copy Nintendo' well duh



Ricube said:

I didn't know that Woodrooffe is creative director at Rare. Maybe you can hear the sound of a child's dreams shattering to pieces. I mean, the first two Simon the Sorcerer were so amazing and my first adventure games! I can't believe this guy is still in business now working for M$. Such a wasted talent. He should go away from Rare and start his own company, a lot of people my age and older would support for example a Kickstarter game from this guy.



edhe said:


When I read the headline, I thought they were going to channel the spirit of Nintendo with a new platformer or adventure game.

But it looks like they'll always be shackled to the Kinect Sports franchise. Rare Ltd. - The goto company for casual sports games and xbox live avatars.

For heavens sake, Microsoft won't even let Rare work on Killer Instinct - one of their most well loved creations.



Romeo said:

so cute.................. xD Kinect Sports lol.......

poor Rare, they were so great back then
Microsoft ruined it all



Damo said:

@Ricube He's hardly a wasted talent, if you look back on his career he's done a lot since the Simon the Sorcerer days.



Ichiban said:

Id like rare to channel the spirit of Banjo and make a real banjo-kazooie 3!



MrGawain said:

Well obviously they've upset the core customers it was competing for with Sony by plugging the Kinnect, so the other option is....



Shiryu said:

The talent is just not there anymore. Sorry to be so harsh on the people working there, but Microsoft has no clue how to properly manage them.



DilMan33 said:

bahhh...... Rare were nothing without Mr Miyamoto's guidence and under Microsoft they can only dream of their Nintendo days.

Kinect sports.... lol



Rafie said:

@WaveVorhees Well of course 7-8 year consoles will have games running at 30 fps as 60 fps is only possible with a few games. Not many at all. That won't be the case with the upcoming consoles though.



Rafie said:

I REALLY hate the fact that Nintendo lost the rights to Rare. Especially with Killer Instinct. I really believed Nintendo finally had a quality fighter exclusive to them. It's all good. Nintendo will still be great without them.



Kamalot said:

Why are these pistol-shooters closing one eye?

That is NOT the proper way to fire a pistol.



Jeyl said:

I remember reading an article where Nintendo openly said they would not continue their business with Rare Ware and a short time later they were bought out by Microsoft. At first I was thinking "Well, Nintendo. Now they have the company that made some pretty outstanding titles for your systems." It was a grim outlook to be sure, especially after Rare released a teaser with Banjo, Conquer and Joanna Dark essentially worshipping the XboX.

Than they released actual games for the XboX. Sometimes Nintendo knows what it's doing.



NESguy94 said:

Oh course they want to emulate Nintendo! They were far more successful when they were under Nintendo. The Donkey Kong Country Series, Killer Instinct, Goldeneye, the Banjo-Kazooie franchise, and Conker's Bad Fur day are games many people still play and love.



Rafie said:

@Tasuki Thank you for that reply from the last article. Never did tell ya that. Now as far as Rare and Nintendo goes....I thought Nintendo owned a piece if Rare. Which was why KI never made it on a Sega console or any other console until MS. I guess Nintendo will never see a new Battletoads game either.



element187 said:

@Rafie Actually that is the case with upcoming consoles. The PS4 version of Watch Dogs for example runs at 30fps, the developer has stated.... When the developer was pressed if Watch Dogs for PS4 would run in 1080p, the developer dodged the question.

So what we have is a cross generation game, running at 30fps on the PS4 and I guess because he dodged the question we can assume that it wont be running in 1080p.. possibly a sub 1080p resolution (or heaven forbid 720p on the PS4).


I think people are expecting way too much out of the low end GPU in the PS4, and the even slower xBone GPU.... The PS4 is barely 6 times faster than the Wii U. The Radeon mobile 7850 just wont be able to push out 60fps on the visually intensive games like Watch Dogs, Shadowfall.



Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

if you dont work with or for nintendo you can never make a nintendo style game sorry.... microsoft only cares about freakin first person shooters...



Ryo_Hazuki-san said:

not all about graphics... games are what matter wait until smash n mario kart come along... they will take over... also you name these games like watch_dogs... umm fact is its coming to all systems and will play the exact same so what you get graphics wii u gets the gamepad functionality its a win win for sony fans n nintendo fans. each console minus xbone has something special to offer its fans... plane and simple.



Rafie said:

@element187 What you say is true. Still, it doesn't negate that both the PS4 and Xbox One are capable of 60 fps, like the Wii U. Both consoles GPU's are much stronger than the Wii U and yet the Wii U is pushing 60 fps no problem.....with Nintendo games. These are 3rd party devs that is placing games on multiple formats. To be honest, I expect the Wii U version to look EXACTLY like the PS4 and Xbox One version. This is why I hate ports. Ports dumb down games on an extremely capable system. OR devs can just develop that particular game on that particular console to maximize the game at it's potential on that said console. Yeah I know that was a mouth full!



ACK said:

@Rafie It's the developers and publishers, not the consoles. Many won't trust their game design enough to stop from adding more glitter and sparkles, regardless of the hardware.

They think we are all cavemen who will covet the shiniest object, as opposed to the most useful.



Rafie said:

@ACK True words friend! Very true. The sad part about that is that we (consumers) are intrigued with new bells and whistles even if the product itself has no innovation nor is it really new.



FishieFish said:

I bet people are going to be begging for Banjo-Kazooie 3 even though it is never happening.



JebbyDeringer said:

Nintendo was brain dead to let them go in the first place even still they don't have enough in house developers since third parties do little to push Nintendo forward.



bigtig said:

microsoft can keep rare... just sell nintendo some ips like jet force perfect dark banjo killer instinct and goldeneye



MrWalkieTalkie said:

@AhabSpampurse Totally agree. During my short time with XBOX, Viva Pinata was the game I kept coming back to. It had that Nintendo-like charm that I get when I play Nintendo games. Sorta makes me sad it's owned by Microsoft, I would love a Viva Pinata on Wii U or 3DS...



DarkEdi said:

Imagine a game colaboration between Retro Studios and Rare. It could be epic. But only it could happen in a parallel world.



Tasuki said:

@Rafie: Well Nintendo did own 49% of Rare, which they sold after the Stamper bros sold their 51% to MS since Nintendo didn't see the point in owning a part of an MS company. Still it was sort of an agreement between Rare and Nintendo to keep KI on the Nintendo systems but if they wanted too they could have put it on other systems. But yeah Rare owned all of KI.



Capt_N said:

Emulation/Imitation: known as a form of flattery; generally the highest. Also, it's debatable if those series(Toads, Banjo, KI, etc.) would be the same in feeling as they once were, if Nintendo were to ever acquire them from Ms.

Plus, I sometime do wonder if what @MrCharles77: (#16) said above is true? I wonder if Ms back then, really believed they would get the DKC franchise &/or characters?



RantingThespian said:

The RARE from the Nintendo era doesn't exist anymore. It's an entirely different staff with a completely different direction. Instead of coming up with original ideas for games, they are told to make certain games. The only thing that is the same is the name.

RARE is dead. R.I.P.



JimLad said:

I've been playing Star Fox Adventures recently for the first time since it came out. I remember at the time being so dissapointed that it wasn't a proper Star Fox game. But now I look beyond the IP and realise just how high quality of a game it is.
What made Rare so great was they could create family friendly games that were actually good enough for adults to enjoy, much like Nintendo. It's a practice that is sadly missing from today's market.
Like others have already said though: Rare is just a name now.



TheRealThanos said:

@element187 "The PS4 is barely 6 times faster... "
Make that 4, at the most. A quick overview of the specs comparison ( shows that in some instances it is barely 3 so all those Sony and/or MS fanboys (not saying that's you, by the way) are going to be in for more nasty surprises, such as Watch_Dogs running at 30pfs and so on, because quite a bit more of that is going to be coming our way. Like I always said: the difference isn't going to be ANYWHERE as big this time around.
On topic:
Good luck 'Rare' but you're not going to succeed. The glory days are well and truly gone forever. Especially with practically none of the original team left to bring that special thing that made Rare so good, even when you leave out Nintendo's influence and/or help.

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