“There is still some magic left at Rare,” says ex-MGS head Fries

Wednesday, 8th February 2012 15:40 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Ex-head of Microsoft Game Studios Ed Fries has said there’s still “magic” left at Rare, despite the studio moving away from its roots in recent years.

“My seven-year-old son woke me up a couple mornings ago because he couldn’t find Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts,” said Fries, speaking to Eurogamer.

“As you might imagine, he has lots of games to choose from in our house. But that’s the one he wanted to play. That game, of all the games. It says to me that there is still some magic left at Rare.”

Former director of gameplay at the studio, Phil Tossell, also believes there’s some talent left at Rare today.

“A lot has been made by press and fans of the fact that many old-time Rare employees are no longer with the company, and that how somehow as a result that there’s no talent left there anymore,” he said.

“But I can safely say there are still many talented people there and I wish them continued future success. My only regret is that some of the cool prototypes we were working on never got to see the light of day.”

Fries was in charge of Microsoft Game Studios when it paid $375 million for Rare in 2002, buying stakes from the Stamper brothers and Nintendo.

Since the buyout, the studio has edged away from the core games it’s best known for, such as Banjo Kazooie and Perfect Dark. In the past few years, the company’s worked on Kinect projects, such as Kinect Sports and Avatars.

Read the rest of the feature at the link.



  1. Colin Gallacher

    “My seven-year-old son woke me up a couple mornings ago because he couldn’t find Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts,” said Fries, speaking to Eurogamer….It says to me that there is still some magic left at Rare”

    You’d think his house would be swimming with copies of Nuts and Bolts seeing that it didn’t really sell that well. While I’m sure there is still some magic left at Rare…we’re hardly going to see it if all they’re having to make is Kinect Sports titles.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. diego-rbb-93

    There´s a different about working a game wou want, or working the game others want. Rare won´t be again “THAT” developper, for the moment.

    I really hope Microsoft led this guys in the next-gen to do big games, not Kinect funny games. But, even with that, im not really sure about the potencial they still could keep…

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Moonwalker1982

    Such a damn shame they fucked up Nots & Bolts, it had nothing to do with Banjo Kazooie. Recently been playing Banjo Tooie and you just feel that ‘magic’. They should have made N&B a true platformer, not with those vehicles and nonsense.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    I do agree, I think they didnt lost their magic,iam in the minority group that did like Kameo Elements of power and perfect dark zero, and loved so much banjo nuts and bolts and viva piñata, all this games retain their touch while doing different things from the nintendo era, if theres one thing i would reproach to Rare, well theres two actually, where are the next killer instinct and jet force gemini?, i cannot forgive you for that long iatus on both series, both would be a non brainer for microsoft to give the green light, that way they assure two new exclusives on their console, well if you are waiting for the launch line up of the next xbox then i forgive you 8D

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Psychotext

    @3: I loved Nuts & Bolts, but I would have loved to have seen a pure Banjo platformer in that engine. It would have been glorious.

    Am also a huge fan of Viva Pinata and Kinect Sports… I just can’t help feeling that much like a number of other developers, their skillset just hasn’t transitioned that well to this generation. Tastes have changed, significantly.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Tearsir

    Where is my Killer Instinct 3?

    Been waiting for 17 years.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Gadzooks!

    Rare have made great games this gen, but its true that Banjo N&B should have had a better vehicle/platforming balance.

    I really want an N&B followup, with a few tweaks they could have a genuine classic.

    As for Kinect Sports, I’ve been playing them pretty much every week since launch with my friday night couch crew. Really great party gaming and requires much more skill and fine control than first impressions give. Darts and bowling especially so.

    #7 3 years ago

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