Before Microsoft acquired British studio Rare, Activision nearly beat the platform holder to the punch.
After working with Nintendo for years, producing classics that many remember fondly to this day, British studio Rare went looking for a buyer after Nintendo couldn’t provide them with enough money or acquire them outright.
In 2002, the studio began taking offers from potential buyers, and the biggest bids came from Microsoft and Activision. Microsoft obviously won in the end, but that wasn’t always the case.
Speaking to IGN, Xbox co-creator Ed Fries said that the Call of Duty publisher had outbid Microsoft at one point. “So we put in a bid and then Activision outbid us, and it looked like we were going to lose the deal,” he told the site.
Former Xbox head Robbie Bach apparently stepped in to adjust the bid, which ended up in Microsoft’s favour. “And then at the very last minute Robbie [Bach] increased our bid and we won the deal,” recalls Fries.
“And that was it. Who knows what could have happened with Rare.”
After making Kinect games for years, Rare has switched gears to work on core products again. The studio is currently developing Sea of Thieves, which is coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 next year.