Rare buy out resulted in “culture clash”, says former staffer

Monday, 1 July 2013 06:40 GMT By Brenna Hillier

One-time Rare employee Phil Tossell has said Microsoft’s acquisition of the Banjo Kazooie developer resulted in the team losing its “spark”.

“I think most of the people who worked at Rare at the time were Nintendo fans and we loved working closely with Nintendo. Rare was also a close knit family and so it was something of a shock to suddenly become part of such a huge organisation as Microsoft,” Tossell told Nintendo Enthusiast.

“There was a severe culture clash which perhaps didn’t become apparent at first as Microsoft mostly allowed us to continue as we had always done. However as time passed and there were staff changes at MGS, together with Tim and Chris (Stamper) leaving, the culture changed and it began to feel more Microsoft and less Rare.

“While Rare continues to put out high quality games, for me it lost some of the spark that had made the company special.”

Tossell said the company is going through “something of a rebirth” now as “most of the old staff have left”, but did say he’s excited to see what it does next.

This isn’t the first time Tossell has commented on Rare’s relationship with Microsoft; early last year he said he still believed the studio had plenty of talent despite a series of high-profile departures.

The Rare veteran now heads up Nyamyam, which is working on a game called Tengami for iPad and Wii U.

Rare had a very strong relationship with Nintendo and was partially owned by the Japanese company before acquisition by Microsoft. In the last few years it has produced only Kinect Sports titles, which has disappointed many fans.

Thanks, Destructoid.