Rare isn’t going to end up as the Kinect Sports studio, says Xbox boss Phil Spencer.
Goldeneye, Banjo Kazooie, Perfect Dark – Rare was once one of the UK’s most treasured developers, but core gamers have become disillusioned by the studio’s recent focus on Kinect games.
Speaking with CVG, Spencer said he wants to see Rare recognised for its diversity.
“Right now with Rare we’re at a point where I don’t want the Rare brand to mean Kinect Sports. The Rare brand can be more valuable to them, to us and to gamers than that,” he said.
“I think it’s about them thinking about the next game that’s going to be the next ‘Rare game’ and really stand for what they are.”
Spencer said Rare is thinking about “some great ideas” and will have something to show him on his next visit later this year.
“So they’ve got some new ideas, they’re excited about them and I think Rare should, can and will be an important part of our game future,” he added.
Spencer said he was a big fan of Rare back in the N64 days and appreciates the “wide variety of genres” the developer tackled.
“I don’t see them as a ‘certain genre’ studio: their strength has always been in their diversity,” he said, going on to say that Rare’s constant experimentation is what drove it to focus on Kinect.
“They started building out the Avatars – that was really their work – and then frankly Kinect, which they were innovating with before we’d even decided we were going to do something like that. They actually build this kind of wand thing on their own before the Wii came out,” Spencer said.
Rare’s had a rough few years, chucking in a bunch of projects after Microsoft u-turned on the Kinect, and letting a number of staff go.
It really does seem like the impetus to make Kinect games has come from inside Rare itself, which is something many fans don’t want to believe. It’s apparently much easier to picture Microsoft as an evil tyrant, irrationally wasting its investment by crushing a company, than that industry insiders might see a future in accessible games.