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On this day 20 years ago, Microsoft purchased Rare

bender

What time is it?
I thought Kameo was an okay launch game. Viva Pinata was one of my favorite games on the system. Never tried the sequel as I brunt myself out on the original. People swear by Nuts & Bolts. There is a lot of love for Sea of Thieves. I'm not sure Microsoft got what they were expecting with Rare but I commend both that studio and Rare for sticking out a sometimes rocky marriage.
 

radewagon

Member
 

NeoIkaruGAF

Gold Member
Lol people, Nintendo did absolutely the right thing letting Rare go. The age of googly-eyed character and British puns was over. Nintendo looked kiddy enough without Rare's usual output, and no, Conker wasn't mature, it was a juvenile game with edgy teen humor predating stuff like Bulletstorm by years. Nintendo made their fortunes, they couldn't make Nintendo's fortune any more. Read up on Rare's history, if they did DKC is because they were one of the few devs being able to afford the tech back then. Rare's head honchos were as rich as you could get with game development at the time.

Thinking back to the announcement, I remember the MS's guy smug face (was it Ed Fries?) like they had bought the biggest property in gaming. See how they used it since then, lol. Rare's output in the last 20 years has been decent enough, sure, but it's obvious MS didn't know what to do with them past the initial "let's get some previously Nintendo-only games on our system" streak. Rare used to make that many games in the span of a single generation, not 4 gens. Buying talent isn't enough if you can't put it to good use.

Anyway, Rare's shtick on Nintendo systems was at odds with MS's vision of gaming, at least when the acquisition happened. When one of the first things you get to release is a Conker remake, it's pretty clear what's expected of you. (so double LOL at the game being censored... stupidest idea ever.)
Think about the acquisitions that happened recently and the speculation about who should buy whom, and tell me if Rare was a fitting choice for MS. Today, every single one of you would laugh their ass off at the very idea.

In the end, the world of gaming was changing and Rare wasn't what it used to be even 3 years prior. Nintendo made the right move at the right time. MS had to keep Rare to save face after making the whole thing look like they'd bought Nintendo itself, but Rare have been at best a AA studio for 20 years. Had they stayed with Nintendo, they could have had more space, but Nintendo had to outgrow the typical Rare output to step into the modern gaming world.
 

bender

What time is it?
Lol people, Nintendo did absolutely the right thing letting Rare go. The age of googly-eyed character and British puns was over. Nintendo looked kiddy enough without Rare's usual output, and no, Conker wasn't mature, it was a juvenile game with edgy teen humor predating stuff like Bulletstorm by years. Nintendo made their fortunes, they couldn't make Nintendo's fortune any more. Read up on Rare's history, if they did DKC is because they were one of the few devs being able to afford the tech back then. Rare's head honchos were as rich as you could get with game development at the time.

Thinking back to the announcement, I remember the MS's guy smug face (was it Ed Fries?) like they had bought the biggest property in gaming. See how they used it since then, lol. Rare's output in the last 20 years has been decent enough, sure, but it's obvious MS didn't know what to do with them past the initial "let's get some previously Nintendo-only games on our system" streak. Rare used to make that many games in the span of a single generation, not 4 gens. Buying talent isn't enough if you can't put it to good use.

Anyway, Rare's shtick on Nintendo systems was at odds with MS's vision of gaming, at least when the acquisition happened. When one of the first things you get to release is a Conker remake, it's pretty clear what's expected of you. (so double LOL at the game being censored... stupidest idea ever.)
Think about the acquisitions that happened recently and the speculation about who should buy whom, and tell me if Rare was a fitting choice for MS. Today, every single one of you would laugh their ass off at the very idea.

In the end, the world of gaming was changing and Rare wasn't what it used to be even 3 years prior. Nintendo made the right move at the right time. MS had to keep Rare to save face after making the whole thing look like they'd bought Nintendo itself, but Rare have been at best a AA studio for 20 years. Had they stayed with Nintendo, they could have had more space, but Nintendo had to outgrow the typical Rare output to step into the modern gaming world.

Ed Fries, yes.

We have to remember the Xbox was a startup and acquiring the talent at rare and the stable of IPs would bolster their own first party offerings to date with just a bit of overlap (Halo/Perfect Dark). Conker and Banjo could give them mascot platformers and help broaden the appeal of their system to a younger audience. That was a large misreading of the direction the industry was heading, but it is somewhat understandable for a newcomer. That wider audience is probably why Conker was foolishly censored. And maybe they had a better read of the industry direction when Banjo was announced, but boy oh boy did that seem like an ill fated announcement. Every once anticipating a new Banjo only to get a spin of property.

I do kind of take issue to your point about output. Games were starting to take longer and longer to make and they did release two launch titles for the 360. But that's a minor niggle.

There was certainly a reason that Nintendo sold Rare and a corresponding reason why Microsoft wanted to purchase them. Before being relegated to Kinect duty, nothing they created really justified the purchase even if a lot of those games were interesting. Sea of Thieves is interesting for a lot of reasons. The popularity it gained considering how it launched is impressive, but more impressive would be that Rare was even around to make it in the first place. It's a very odd success story. I really thought they were done for after the Kinect fad faded.
 

Y0ssarian

Banned
Don't really care to comment whether Rare was or is based, but Everwild was looking cool. It was my most looked forward to game for xbox series. I really like that artwork
 

daTRUballin

Member
Anyway, Rare's shtick on Nintendo systems was at odds with MS's vision of gaming, at least when the acquisition happened. When one of the first things you get to release is a Conker remake, it's pretty clear what's expected of you. (so double LOL at the game being censored... stupidest idea ever.)
Think about the acquisitions that happened recently and the speculation about who should buy In the end, the world of gaming was changing and Rare wasn't what it used to be even 3 years prior. Nintendo made the right move at the right time. MS had to keep Rare to save face after making the whole thing look like they'd bought Nintendo itself, but Rare have been at best a AA studio for 20 years. Had they stayed with Nintendo, they could have had more space, but Nintendo had to outgrow the typical Rare output to step into the modern gaming world.
I don't see how keeping Rare would've made Nintendo's output more kiddy than it already is. Nintendo will never stop making those types of games.

Rare was also one of the few Nintendo developers that was making more adult oriented stuff like Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Killer Instinct, and yes, even Conker. Sure, it's juvenile, but it's something that can't really be targeted towards children, can it? It appeals to an older crowd. Like South Park and its ilk.

Nintendo could've really used that type of stuff. It wasn't all just "kiddy" fare from Rare.
 

pasterpl

Member
Isn’t sea of thieves their most successful game? I think kena also did okay, while Conker got strong following. Viva Piñata also had some success and Kinect games were quite popular at the time.
 
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Chittagong

Gold Member
Here are some facts that will blow your mind.

At 20 years, Rare has been 3 years longer with Microsoft than the entire company had existed before the acquisition -17 years.

Microsoft has owned Rare for 20 years. Nintendo owned Rare for 8 years.
 
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thought the writing was on the wall for rare, when Nintendo wanted to give them some of the minor Crown Jewels with star fox. But rare just wanted to make a dinosaur themed rpg (with weapons and characters)

Where the two companies had been so tight during the late snes and n64 days (Nintendo allowed the subversive squirrel on their system. When just a few years before mortal kombat couldn’t have blood !!!) and rare was one the better performing devs during those tough n64 days. It just seemed a seemed a strange decision at the time for Nintendo to take the money and run

Maybe they thought that the company without the stampers. Wasn’t the company they had been investing in ?

Or that they had peaked by the close of the n64 days and now was the time to cash in. After all nintendo was much smaller then and controlled by completely by one man

But thank you rare for the memories and experiences. But most of all for letting me boot up golden eye on my n64 and having my mind melted ❤️. (Crazy bot multi player, with mad weapons and some friends on perfect dark was another highlight 😎. amongst many in the years before that)

Companies rise and fall all the time, but rares brief moment in the sun (if you don’t count Kinect 🤣🙈😬) was truly breathtaking with its variety and quality.
 
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SenkiDala

Member
Here are some facts that will blow your mind.

At 20 years, Rare has been 3 years longer with Microsoft than the entire company had existed before the acquisition -17 years.

Microsoft has owned Rare for 20 years. Nintendo owned Rare for 8 years.
And compare the results. How many memorable and historic games under the Nintendo era and then the Xbox era. Pretty self explanatory.
 
Imagine having a company literally single-handedly carry your ill thought out console generation with games like Banjo, Goldeneye, Jet Force Gemini, Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, Banjo 2, Perfect Dark, Conner and DK64 and then passing on the option to buy them. I mean what the fuck did Nintendo think they were going to replace their games with knowing they were again going with mini dvd’s and with that cutting out a lot of the big third party publishers.

Nintendo are by far my favourite game developer but my fucking god they’re dumb at times. They should have took out a loan for Rare had they not had the on liquid cash for the deal.

Nintendo would be a mix of what they’re now and Sony if they had bought Rare. Yes they’re strong now but imagine nurturing those franchises and developers while creating more. They’d have at least another 500 developers on hand aswell to help with the likes of finishing up Zelda development (to put that in perspective Nintendo currently has less than 2000 developers in their whole company).
 
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THE DUCK

voted poster of the decade by bots
Imagine having a company literally single-handedly carried your ill thought out console generation with games like Banjo, Goldeneye, Jet Force Gemini, Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, Banjo 2, Perfect Dark, Conner and DK64 and then passing on the option to buy them. I mean what the fuck did Nintendo think they were going to replace them with knowing they were again going with mini dvd’s.

Nintendo are by far my favourite game developer but my fucking god they’re dumb at times. They should have took out a loan for Rare has they not had the on liquid cash for the deal. Nintendo would be a mix of what they’re and Sony if they had kept them. Yes they’re strong now but imagine nurturing those franchises while creating more. They’d have at least another 500 developers on hand aswell (Nintendo currently have less than 2000 developers in their whole company).

Yep they should have bought them, they had tons of cash reserves even back then, they could have done so easily, they sold for 375 million.
 
Yep they should have bought them, they had tons of cash reserves even back then, they could have done so easily, they sold for 375 million.
Yeah they still had that massive NES/SNES/GB cash floating around and although N64 only sold 1/3 of PS1 it was very profitable because of first party software.

This is the issue with Nintendo which happened again the generation after and I don’t like to bad mouth the guy in death because I admire him, he has a ton of good points and he did a lot of great things but Mr Iwata should have invested half the Wii/DS revenue in restructuring, rebuilding, and re strengthening their development pipelines for the coming of High Definition development. We all knew how that went and how it cost them with the biggest flop in their mainline hardware lineup Wii U.

In the years before his death, Iwata seemed to have learned his lesson though by looking at Apple and iOS and building towards a unified development path where the OS / account is essentially the main service and people buy different hardware devices of all different power levels and sizes to interface with it. They also opened their eyes to acquisitions with Next Level Games and I’m sure a few more long time partners. This has obviously all lead to the now 100+ million selling Switch so he certainly steered them in the right direction before he passed.

Not buying Rare is second only to the stupidity of fucking Sony over in front of the World with ragards to the Nintendo PlayStation and thus creating a monster which would end up being their biggest competitor and give them some right beatings throughout the years.
 
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PaintTinJr

Member
Why did Nintendo sell Rare? I've never understood that part. Was it bad blood between them? Rare made so many successful games with Nintendo, iconic some may say, so it's strange that Nintendo didn't wanna keep them and let them grow. Is it because Star Fox Adventures flopped? I love that game but I remember it got some middling reviews and it didn't perform so well. But one dud? Come on.
Judging by the unbelievable value of the GC hardware - based on pricing, I bought 3, 2 for family - I suspect it was too much of a money offer from an asset they didn't fully own and could then use that money to subsidise the hardware and fight xbox with its own money.

If that was the case, it is why Nintendo withdrew from leading the market (tech) because even with such cheaply priced high-end hardware and an amazing quintessential Nintendo roster of their games made to high technical standards - which have only truly been appreciated years later - they only managed joint second/third with Xbox, and PS2 sold 140m(?) and wiped the floor with both. Allowing them to conclude if they couldn't compete in a straight market fight with $400m free subsidy, could they ever truly fight that battle in the future?
 

bender

What time is it?
Judging by the unbelievable value of the GC hardware - based on pricing, I bought 3, 2 for family - I suspect it was too much of a money offer from an asset they didn't fully own and could then use that money to subsidise the hardware and fight xbox with its own money.

If that was the case, it is why Nintendo withdrew from leading the market (tech) because even with such cheaply priced high-end hardware and an amazing quintessential Nintendo roster of their games made to high technical standards - which have only truly been appreciated years later - they only managed joint second/third with Xbox, and PS2 sold 140m(?) and wiped the floor with both. Allowing them to conclude if they couldn't compete in a straight market fight with $400m free subsidy, could they ever truly fight that battle in the future?

N64 with great Rare support didn't fair much better against PlayStation than the Cube did with the repurposed Dinosaur Planet release. Nintendo certainly needed to shift their console strategy because being cutting edge failed them two times in a row. Maybe they just figured Rare's best days were behind them and it's kind of hard to disagree with the decision.
 

Shut0wen

Member
I miss snes/n64 era rare. They’ve been wasted at microsoft.

Nintendo greatest failure is letting them get bought
What happened at rare now would of happened at nintendo or anywhere else regardless, everyone that made rare great pretty much left after banjo, just ashame rare wasted alot of time on kinect games, rare just went the way of treasure but everyone likes to think its microsofts fault for them being mid tier now
 

Shut0wen

Member
Imagine working on classics like Donkey Kong Country and Banjo Kazooie then being forced to make Kinect games by Microsoft so they could push a product that was doomed to fail from the start.
Microsoft never forced them to do kinect games though, it was purely rares choice, rare and ms have stated this years ago, people dont want to hear it but rare lost there magic before star fox adventures came out
 

Shut0wen

Member
Rare would have been a waste on the Wii, so it's just as well, we got a few more years of Rare magic on cutting edge hardware as it should be.

But good grief, that steep drop off after Nuts and Bolts lmao:messenger_grinning_squinting:

I haven't even played it but I'm sure Sea of Thieves is a better use of their time, but it seems to me like the "real" Rare died after Nuts and Bolts.

Can I just say though that Perfect Dark Zero is really underrated? It's a little rough around the edges given it's launch game status but it's still really cool.
Considering how nuts rare went with kinect your right cant them making anything decent out of the wii
 

JLB

Member
Rare has a great 360 era, were bad during Xbox One, but released their best IP with Sea of Thieves. I see a bright future for them.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
Now remove the units that were packed in. Same shit with Wii Sports.
Ooh sales numbers for bundled in stuff leads to the best discussions.

if it weren't for Wii Sports and the "we would like to play" ad campaign featuring elderly people throwing imaginary bowling balls at their screens I bet the Wii would have sold just as poorly as Wii U.
 

Saber

Member
I remember playing Live and Reloaded, its a fantastic game and surprising better version of Bad Fur Day. Also back in days used to play Nuts and Bolts. Not a good game, let aloe a decent one, but I love to explore thefirst area. Such a chill place to explore.
After that they are pratically dead to me, its sad to see what they become.
 

phil_t98

Member
Thats a low output, roughly about the same no. of games as they put out during the N64 era.

They were technical geniuses but even at the end of N64 they were going a bit off:

DK64 bug requiring expansion pak fix (if true) is dreadful.

Controls on JFG were clumsy and don't get me started on tribal collecting.

Banjo Tooie was a bit of a slideshow and felt a bit overwhelming with the collectables.

WTF was that Starfox story? Felt like a hissy fit making it so jarring.

Conker remake?? Censored why??

I bought an original xbox hoping to play the upcoming rare games. I was left dissapointed.

12 games in 20 years, that's less than a game every 2 years?
 

6502

Member
12 games in 20 years, that's less than a game every 2 years?
How many teams do they have left?

I appreciate the dev times are totally different and that they were missing steps shifting development between gc , xb , 360 but did they not get the required investment to scale up or something?
 
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phil_t98

Member
How many teams do they have left?

I appreciate the dev times are totally different and that they were missing steps shifting development between gc , xb , 360 but did they not get the required investment to scale up or something?

teams?

Rare is the team. they have produced a lot of games in 20 years
 

nush

Member
Ooh sales numbers for bundled in stuff leads to the best discussions.

if it weren't for Wii Sports and the "we would like to play" ad campaign featuring elderly people throwing imaginary bowling balls at their screens I bet the Wii would have sold just as poorly as Wii U.

I can tell you brought into the message.
 

00_Zer0

Member
Lol theres maybe one/two ‘good games’ in 20 years. Thats kinda pathetic given their pedigree.
You can buy the name, but you can't keep the talent. Other examples include buying Halo and Gears of War outright.

Nothing can compete with the original talent or the culture within the old Rare studio. That culture doesn't exist anymore within the Rare of today.

Most of the original devs are fragmented and splintered off from each other where no influence can be passed on by what came before.

Unless you are Nintendo, who passes along their culture, while still fostering a creative work environment with their next generation of developers, but this Rare-ly happens.
 
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