The world of Xbox’s been a quickly evolving one over the past few months, and with so many changes have come more word on one of its most beloved partners.
Fresh off a string of layoffs this past April, Microsoft owned UK developer Rare Studios has been largely quiet in the time following the ill-fated release of its Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts back in ye olde 2006. Since then, the company’s worked exclusively on the Xbox’s Kinect Sports series, with its latest entry being Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One.
Combined concerns for the folks at Rare regarding both its layoffs and Microsoft’s own decision to unbundle the Kinect from its newest console have led to great deal of speculation concerning the studio’s future, but Microsoft’s apparently confident that Rare’s not going anywhere for the time being.
Speaking with Eurogamer, Microsoft Studios Europe boss Phil Harrison insisted Rare still had the support of its parent company:
“I’m very happy to go on record to alleviate any of those concerns you might have. We are very fortunate in having Rare and Lionhead in the UK as crown jewels of Microsoft Studios.”
Harrison continued that Rare was presently hard at work on several new games to be unveiled when the studio felt ready:
“Rare is working on a couple of things at the moment which we will announce at the right time. But I’m really excited by the things they’re doing and I believe you will be as well when you hear about them. Rare is an incredible talent and they have some very very ambitious plans for the future and we’re supporting them in every way we can.”
Eurogamer reported last month that the Twycross, Leicestershire based Rare had let roughly 16 people go following the reported loss suffered from the release of Kinect Sports Rivals. Back then, a Microsoft spokesperson issued Eurogamer the following statement:
“At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences. 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.”
Fans may thankfully recall that Rare’s own Craig Duncan had assured Eurogamer that a number of unknown projects were well in the pipeline already:
“I’m super excited about Kinect Sports Rivals and I’m really excited about that launching, but I’m also excited about what’s next for Rare, because that’ll be an important project in the same way. Our goal as a studio is to always make great quality games. What you’re saying is, will Rare always make Kinect games? What I’m saying is, we will come up with great game ideas and we’ll look at the platform that makes the most sense for those game ideas to be on.”
In the meantime, we can always dream about those forgotten treasures just waiting to be made whole again.
Tell us: What long lost series do you want to see Rare make next?