Microsoft confirms Rare staff cuts as part of reorganization

By Stephany Nunneley, Wednesday, 16 February 2011 15:20 GMT

Amid rumors that staff cuts were set to happen at Rare, today, Microsoft has confirmed that a “small number of employees” at UK studio have been notified that their jobs are to be part of a reorganization process.

Per the official statement handed to Edge: “While redundancies are never easy, these organizational changes are part of Rare’s ongoing strategy and operational planning which typically coincides with the shipment of a title.

“We are working closely with the affected employees to support them through this transition and help them apply for other roles within Microsoft,” said a spokesperson.

According to other sources speaking with Edge, positions in Rare’s 42 person art department are currently at risk and that 19 staff will be let go, which is the maximum redundancies allowed under EU employment law unless Microsoft plans to provide full consultation.

Microsoft has declined to offer up a number of employees affected, stating: “Whilst we’re not discussing the exact numbers involved, I can assure you that it’s far fewer than you’ve indicated and represents a small percentage of the total Rare team.”

Another source claims Rare plans to become primarily staffed by contractors and temporary employees, according to Edge, with the Kinect Sports franchise possibly being shared with Joy Ride dveloper Big Park.

We previously asked Microsoft for comment on the rumors few days ago, and have yet to hear back from them. We’ll send another mail.

Thanks, Eurogamer.

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