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RARE ? Was it a waste of money for Microsoft?


cantonarv
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.::: As much I dislike their output, even I can't imagine they are only working on Viva Piñata. There must be a Banjo-Kazooie around the corner, not?

I just pray it's like the original and not the sprawling mess of Banjo-Tooie.

Click-Clock Woods FTW.

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Jet Force Gemini was good until the 'end' then you have to go back all the way through to collect ship parts (?)

Crying shame that. Brilliant game up until it became a boring collect-athon.

It seems that the magic of RARE was definitely of 2 parts, as Free Radical haven't released anything decent either IMO.

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It seems that the magic of RARE was definitely of 2 parts, as Free Radical haven't released anything decent either IMO.
I do like TS2 and 3. They both have good challenges and Arcade League modes, and Future Perfect really does have a decent story mode too. I haven't played Second Sight.

Speaking of the classic GoldenEye team splitting up, has anyone heard anything more about that Funkydilla music game that Martin Hollis is working on? I can't remember hearing much since that Edge interview a few years ago.

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Crying shame that. Brilliant game up until it became a boring collect-athon.

It seems that the magic of RARE was definitely of 2 parts, as Free Radical haven't released anything decent either IMO.

Second Sight was pretty good, it performed pretty well in every regard, it looked good, played well told a good story in an interesting way too.

I thought it was better than Psi-ops (which was still a good game, just suffered from unappealing characters, overly dark levels and a tedious plotline; luckily the actual mechanics - although lesser than SS's were enough to elevate it above those handicaps)

Im hoping their forthcoming collaboration with lucasarts yields something thats more like SS than timesplitters (though that was OK)

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In hindsight, yes, what a collosal waste of money. PDZ was soo fucking pathetic it wasn't even funny, unless your Nintendo.

Still, it was a bit of a coup at the time and, who knows, the Viva Pinata thing could work. To be perfectly honest, I stopped caring about Rare a long time ago. They have NO goodwill left in my eyes, and deservedly so.

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Total waste of money but the problem with buying a developer is that you aren't necessarily locking in the talent (i.e. the people).

They can all go elsewhere unless they have very restrictive employment contracts so all you've bought is the name and not necessarily the people who made the great games in the first place.

Not sure if that's what happened with Rare (did a lot of good people go when they were bought?) but I wouldn't be surprised.

Either way, probably one of the most over-priced takeovers in videogaming history and Microsoft would be kicking themselves if it wasn't for the fact that they have so much money they can just laugh it off while sipping Pina Coladas by the pool and burning banknotes just for the fun of it.

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Well, for starters those three you mention are also publishers and not just first parties. The purchase price would be far greater. Secondly, Square-Enix does not produce more than 2 worthy games a year and the FF and KH franchises are too important to Sony to let them go so easily. SEGA has been a flop in the last years with minor exceptions while Capcom is on a winning spree the last couple of years and it would be really stupid to become one-platform only company.

You reckon Sega, Capcom and Square are worth more than a billion pounds each? I'm sceptical about that.

Who cares if Squenix only produe two good games a year when those games may guarantee you the dominant market share in Japan, and let's face it that's where MS's problems lie, being outsold by the WonderSwan colour!!! Rare haven't produced a great game in years and no one in Japan has ever even heard of them or their games.

Pretty depressing how Rare have gone so downhill since the N64.

Not sure if that's what happened with Rare (did a lot of good people go when they were bought?) but I wouldn't be surprised.

I think the majority of people responsible for all the good stuff formed Free Radical didn't they?

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I think the majority of people responsible for all the good stuff formed Free Radical didn't they?

I don't think that's remotely true. Unless you think Rare only made two FPS games.

The people that made Rare a success were still there at the time MS bought them as far as I know. These are people that worked thier arses off for years. I'm guessing that they are so rich now that they've lost their drive.

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The split wasn't just to Free Radical though was it? I'm certain I've read somewhere that numerous people split in different directions. Didn't some of them form a group that went under the wing of SCEE? They never actually released anything, but they did have something in the pipeline. Their name is on the tip of my tongue, but I can't remember...

*edit* it was Eigth Wonder.

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Well, key designers, artists, musicians, leaving then, it not an actual split. The Wiki entry makes it sound like they lost some people who were certainly key to the more succussful games at the time: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_(video_game_company)

Responsible people on a project perhaps but not key to the company or its ethos. Most of the Goldeneye people were on their first project. Rare generally recruit new graduates, work them hard (for not great pay I believe) and have a fairly high turnover. They are a very strange company, almost a religion rather than a business.

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Fair enough, but if I owned RARE and I lost the guy who designed the levels for Banjo, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and the guys who did the graphics for those games, then I'd be worried that I lost someone who was fairly vital to the success of those games. As it happens, it was graphics artists, designers, and musicians who left, all of whome worked on the companies most successful titles (at that time). It's no coincidence that since that exodus, the companies output has been somewhat lacking.

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Fair enough, but if I owned RARE and I lost the guy who designed the levels for Banjo and Perfect Dark, and the guys who did the graphics for those games, then I'd be worried that I lost someone who was fairly vital to the success of those games.

People you had trained from scratch. And people who haven't gone on to create anything especially memorable.

I think you'd have to know these people to understand but the sheer force of will at Rare is quite incredible. The place is run off the back of a few key personalities. And that team has been intact since the mid 80's.

That wikipedia article is rubbish BTW. If it doesn't mention the role of the Hochbergs then it's missing a key ingredient.

To me, the only explanation for their apparent decline is simply that these people are too rich to be quite so driven. And who can blame them? There's more to life than working 24/7.

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...Rare haven't produced a great game in years and no one in Japan has ever even heard of them or their games.

But Japan hate Western games so there's no point Rare being popular over there.

I still feel Rare, given enought time, could pull something out of the bag but it's been a long time.

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They are a very strange company, almost a religion rather than a business.

wicker-man.jpg

I can understand getting rich and losing their drive though - when you're rich and there's nothing left to prove, people tend to get a bit complacent. Maybe they believe in their own history a bit too much too. "Hey, we're Rare! Of course it'll be a great game! Look at the great games we've done in the past!"

I'd have more faith in them if they tarted up all their 8bit back catalogue and put it on Xbox Live Arcade. Atic Atac 360? Yes, please.

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OK.. from the horses mouth (so to speak). And forgive the long post/rant.

Rare were originally a great company to work for (I was there over 8 years). The hours were shite (which dev company can say otherwise?) and the pay was OK --- ish. Sometimes. Maybe.

The problems started IMO with the both the buddy- buddy system of promotion, also with them trying to keep the "family" type environment AND the corp type environment. They simply dont mix well.

There is a hell of a lot of very very talented people there, but a lot of creativity is completely ruined by management dinosaurs who hold absolute control over both projects and their respective departments. And by that I mean RIGID control, where new ideas made by people NOT in the "magic circle of friends" are viewed with skeptisism at best, and open hostility at the worst.

If the teams were given more of a free reign with design and ideas, and certain managers and team leaders did the right thing and just fucked off to Barbados for the rest of their lives, then the place would STILL seriously be within the top 5 of dev companies on the planet. Some of the staff there right now are stunning individuals, full of creativity and love for the industry. I really genuinely want these guys to succeed, they put the work in and are competely dedicated to making great titles.

You know who you are.

But.. as it stands, there is simply way too many old timers who would rather get rid of entire departments than face criticism, and too many arse licking toadies who recognised that lately, the only route to promotion was through fellatio.

Sadly, it proved to be the case.

Kameo.

Starfox Adventures (shudder).

Even a lot of PDZ was messed up by them.

The staff turnover has always been a problem there, due mainly to the big cheeses in the company skimming off MASSIVE slices of the pie and leaving the others literally crumbs to scrap over. I mean, what sort of idiot buys a new porche or BMW M4 and rubs their staffs noses in it when they can often not afford to upgrade their old piece of shit?

And by that I do not mean (some) team leaders or designers, I mean the guys above that. Sounds like sour grapes (of fucking course!!) but seriosly, team morale there means nothing to some people.

Some quotes from people that shall remain nameless for your entertainment:

"Take out the reloads" (referring to PDZ at a very late time in dev.)

"I see other peoples suggestions as stones thrown into my pool of ideas"

"I dont play any other games when I am making one."

(one guy bought a can of shandy from the Rare canteen) "You are not allowed to drink that, alcohol is not permitted on the premesis and you will be subject to discaplinary action if you do".

"it could be worse, you could be woking in Japan in a work pod or stacking shelves in Sainsburys"

People were even sometimes moved to what the Management called the "concentration room" if they flaly refused to do overtime. A room away from the team to work alone until they left.

Without fail, they always did.

This sort of thing happend so often it was unbelievable. Almosy weekly.

If MS are reading this: seriously guys, ask the staff at ground level and in confidence what they think. And I do not mean go via HR, as everything is directly passed to the managers in question without any confidentiality whatsoever.

They probably will realise who this is but, hey, so fucking what. 7 or 8 people there fucked up what was a great company with unbelievable prospects and a future that looked certain to be made of solid gold. :)

I just hope that the dedication shown by a lot of the staff there is seen by MS and they realise what is going on. Good luck for the future guys.

/rant off.

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