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Rare hit by job losses

Rare hit by job losses

Kinect Sports Rivals was released earlier this year and is the first high profile Kinect-based game to be released on the Xbox One.

UK-based developer Rare has been struck by downsizing which will include senior staff.

Microsoft confirmed that an unspecified number of jobs will be cut. These job losses follow poor sales of the studio’s latest release, Kinect Sports Rivals although this has not been stated as the cause of the reorganisation.

’At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences,’ said a Rare spokesperson. ’As part of Rare's commitment to this goal, we have made a decision to change our development process and methodology at Rare to best support our future projects, this has led to us reviewing the skills and the makeup of our development teams in our business. Rare continues to invest in our people and future projects.’

As reported by CVG, of those affected in the cull are Gavin Price and Chris Sutherland, Rare veterans with 35 years of experience at the studio between them. Eurogamer also reports that the full number being let go is approximately 16 people.

Rare was once renowned for its collaboration with Nintendo on the SNES and N64, contributing games including Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007 and Banjo-Kazooie. The studio was bought out by Microsoft in 2002 in a $375m deal.

Since 2010, Rare’s output has been limited to the Kinect Sports games with this year’s Kinect Sports Rivals marking the third entry in the series.

Another possible contribution to Rare’s motivation in cutting jobs is Microsoft’s decision announced earlier this month to drop the Kinect from the standard Xbox One bundle. This will mean the motion control peripheral’s install base will not be as guaranteed as it had been previously, something that is definitely bad news for any studios developing Kinect-based titles.

Last month, a spiritual successor to Rare's classic Banjo-Kazooie was also confirmed to be dead in the water. The project that was being driven by several former Rare staffers had fallen by the wayside as a result of everyone moving on to other full time jobs and projects.

5 Comments

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Guinevere 20th May 2014, 11:48 Quote
'If' (big if) VR takes off then devices like Kinect will be key to mapping IRL motion to in an game avatar, but did MS really think the $£$£$ spend on Kinect games would have a quick pay off when the Wii Sports novelty has surely worn off just about everyone now?

Kinect could be part of the 'next big thing'. Just part.... shame MS isn't bringing anything fresh to the full immersion table.
DatenThielt 20th May 2014, 14:08 Quote
If they just made another damn B&K Game they would not have this problem!!!

edit: NOT A RACING ONE
Dave Lister 20th May 2014, 14:26 Quote
Sad news given Rare used to be the guys who couldn't do a thing wrong. Oh well I guess the world will keep on turning, maybe the two mentioned staff members will set up a new studio and get back in the game so to speak.
schmidtbag 20th May 2014, 15:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
Sad news given Rare used to be the guys who couldn't do a thing wrong. Oh well I guess the world will keep on turning, maybe the two mentioned staff members will set up a new studio and get back in the game so to speak.

Hey it's not Rare's fault. A development team means jack squat when a company buys it out without the intention of utilizing their IP. There's a reason Rare was so good - their developers were skilled and had a true passion to make an amazing product. When you've got someone with no creativity and a business degree telling your development team what to do, you're bound to get terrible products.
mi1ez 20th May 2014, 23:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
Sad news given Rare used to be the guys who couldn't do a thing wrong. Oh well I guess the world will keep on turning, maybe the two mentioned staff members will set up a new studio and get back in the game so to speak.

Hey it's not Rare's fault. A development team means jack squat when a company buys it out without the intention of utilizing their IP. There's a reason Rare was so good - their developers were skilled and had a true passion to make an amazing product. When you've got someone with no creativity and a business degree telling your development team what to do, you're bound to get terrible products.

I agree, left to their own devices Rare could probably still create something amazing but being asked to create yet another sports game is like polishing a turd - the best French-polisher in the world couldn't get someone to buy it!
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