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GwiDan

Rare

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Seeing Sea of Thieves in some game of the  year lists reminded me that Rare still exists. What I can’t work out is why Microsoft bought them from Nintendo - their output in about the last 15 years has been Perfect Dark Zero, Kameo, Viva Piñata, some Kinect stuff, and now Sea of Thieves. I think that’s tragic for a company I used to think was the best third (second) party in the world for quite a long time. What a waste! 

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My old neighbour worked for them. When I snapped my Achilles and couldn't get out he took pity on me and brought a load of XBox games around, plus said I could pick any games from his list that he can get for free and he'd order them for me, nice chap :)

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I used to work with a guy who was a relatiely senior artist at Rare back in the day (the goldeneye years). The culture there sounded great until the takeover. It's such a damn cliché that these deals kill off creativity in such companies that it's amazing the leadership let it happen so often.

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43 minutes ago, GwiDan said:

Seeing Sea of Thieves in some game of the  year lists reminded me that Rare still exists. What I can’t work out is why Microsoft bought them from Nintendo - their output in about the last 15 years has been Perfect Dark Zero, Kameo, Viva Piñata, some Kinect stuff, and now Sea of Thieves. I think that’s tragic for a company I used to think was the best third (second) party in the world for quite a long time. What a waste! 

 

They made the Xbox 360 Avatars too.

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26 minutes ago, GwiDan said:

Serious question then, why did Microsoft buy Rare? They didn’t do anything of note with them. 

 

An insane budget for the Xbox program -- as Microsoft wanted to beat competitors to the "monetise the living-room" market -- So they could straight money-hat a few studio's and take them over, rather than honing talent of their own. 

Look at the  stories of crazy marketing money that various MS executives had at their disposal during the day's of the first xbox. For Halo 2, they built a fully working warthog and pissed away a huge pre-production budget trying to get the film off the ground. As well as that, hiring fucking Nile Rodgers to produce a Halo 2  accompanying original music soundtrack in accompanyment to the orchestral one.

They were on the warpath to gain market share, and with that did come some great games and a great online service, and the first few years of the Xbox 360 were pretty incredible. 

 

Both them and Lionhead were ground to dust, victims of their refocusing around 2010, with a move towards a more "casual" market for lack of a better term. A focus on making Kinect software or Avatar's as prior mentioned as they predicted the market to move towards less of a dedicated games one, and one that's more of a multi-media focus. Music, video-streaming, casual and free to play games.

Projects cancelled, studios like Bizarre Creation and Bungie sold off.

 

The house of cards that they'd been building since the inception of Xbox got knocked down, and still today they're struggling to re-direct that course.   

 

...and if you hire people to work at a world class studio like Rare, you'd imagine you'd be hiring the kind of imaginative game developers that want to make cool, weird and imaginative games. When after a few years, there's a company wide re-direction and instead they're just making shit Kinect games or Avatars the employees are not doing what they were hired for, and all that talent will leave, moving onto greener pastures.

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Rare. :wub:

 

I always forget Perfect Dark Zero exists. Had been out 3 years by the time i got a 360 and not once did i ever have the inclination to buy it all the times i saw it in shops for £2.50. I didn't play any of their 360 games, what's wrong with me?

 

There's some interesting documentaries about Rare on YouTube if anyone has not yet caught them. 

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47 minutes ago, GwiDan said:

Serious question then, why did Microsoft buy Rare? They didn’t do anything of note with them. 

Throwing money at trying to make the original xbox succeed - without yet really knowing what they were doing in the console industry, nor why Rare were revered at the time. 

 

Rare Replay is a good package. 

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1 hour ago, morcs said:

My old neighbour worked for them. When I snapped my Achilles and couldn't get out he took pity on me and brought a load of XBox games around, plus said I could pick any games from his list that he can get for free and he'd order them for me, nice chap :)

Did he tell you about all the great games they weren’t working on?

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1 minute ago, Mr Cochese said:

Did he tell you about all the great games they weren’t working on?

 

He was having to learn JavaScript to work on some in game web-based interfaces, is all I remember. (Having been hired as a C# dev originally)

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1 hour ago, Theholyhogg said:

They also made nuts and bolts guys,one of the greatest games ever made.

Lets not forget that!

At least it would be if the frame rate and load times weren’t a factor.

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29 minutes ago, Mr Cochese said:

At least it would be if the frame rate and load times weren’t a factor.

 

It runs really well on Xbox One X....

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Was an Ultimate Play The Game devotee. I still vividly remember cobbling together my pennies to buy Sabre Wulf in WHSmiths years ago to the absolute horror of my Dad at the price...£9.99 (the first one at that price)! :lol:

 

Loved their output on the N64 and was so excited for Xbox but sad days arrived for all the reasons discussed above. I still have a secret hope they'll come back with some stonker but who knows now. Looking highly unlikely methinks. :(

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Are the games they made post Nintendo *that* bad though?

 

They are all fun IMHO. Enjoyed Grabbed By The Ghoulies on the Xbox, Kameo and Pefect Dark Zero were way above average release titles for the 360, we still play Kinect bowling, Viva Pinata was actually deeper than most people think., Sea Of Thieves has been receiving good feedback etc.

 

Think perhaps people want them to produce games that they want sometimes whilst not trying out or enjoying the content they have made.

 

Personally thought the Kinect stuff they did was fantastic given the restricted hardware.

 

 Back in the Spectrum and Nintendo days there wasn't that much quality stuff on the market and a lot of rubbish so they stood out. Now the market is much more competitive and they are less likely to shine as they once did. Think rose tinted glasses is going on a bit here IMHO. Anyway... just my 2ps worth....

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I hope the circle does not repeat itself with the recent Microsoft purchases of Obsidian, InExile, Ninja Theroy, Compulsion, Undead Labs & Playground.

 

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Viva Pinata was fucking wonderful.

 

Once you'd got through the hateful tutorial and all its horrible intrusive videos that would stop you just as you were starting to have fun.

 

Then you needed to find ways to turn off all the horrible threats that had been added in the name of gameplay. None of them were fun for a single minute.

 

And you also had to get through about 2 or 3 dozen achievements and unlocks that would also keep popping up every couple of minutes for the first couple of hours, whilst you were just trying to work out how stuff worked.

 

Once that was out of the way though, it was properly brilliant (and so very charming and funny) . A cracking example of a great game being delivered despite seemingly everyone-involved's best attempts to ruin it.

 

(The sequel was much more of the same, only I think the twats who'd tried so hard to sabotage the start of the first game now concentrated on the end of this game and made breeding the rare piñata far more tedious than it should have been. Still, a top game, but the last few rarities were soooo hard to unlock).

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I like Rare, I never loved them though. Best during the 90s and we need a new Diddy Kong Racing really. I'd love to race those rubber rings with a modern game engine, a lot of fun. 

Goldeneye is my favourite and a masterclass is gaming. Perfect Dark Zero was terrible but I enjoyed the quirky Grabbed. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mr Cochese said:

At least it would be if the frame rate and load times weren’t a factor.

 

That, and it’s shit.

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