It’s been a long, hard road for one of the most beloved video game developers of the 16 and 64 bit eras. Rare, creator of such classics as GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, and Donkey Kong Country, has languished in Microsoft’s boiler room since being bought in 2002. While Viva Piñata was successful, they’ve mostly been relegated to churning out Kinect Sports games, which are at best little more than crappy Wii Sports knockoffs. The sad decline of Rare now begins a new chapter as they have laid off around 16 employees. Two of note include Chris Sutherland and Gavin Price, both veterans of the halcyon days when Rare made games that weren’t complete garbage.
This news comes on the heels of both tepid sales for their recent Kinect Sports Rivals on Xbox One, as well as Microsoft announcing it will be shipping their console without the Kinect. So what does it all mean for this developer going forward? Well, according to Phil Spencer, that’s still very much up in the air.
“I think I’ve heard a few times from people asking about Rare – they’re in the process of evaluating what they want to do next, and we’re working closely with them to see what their new project will be.”
There’s always hope…a fool’s hope perhaps…that Rare will catch hold of something interesting and turn it into greatness, but for the time being it’s sad business as usual.