There’s no doubt that Microsoft has made many contributions to gaming with new innovations and the introduction of popular game franchises like Forza and Halo. Achievements alone have changed how gamers look at, approach, play and purchase games. There’s another thing Microsoft has done by entering the videogame market. When it was announced that Microsoft was purchasing one of the biggest developers in videogames, there was a mix of excitement and frustration. Rare, the home of Banjo Kazooie, Killer Instinct, Jet Force Gemini and RC Pro Am (among many other Nintendo-owned intellectual properties) was about to unload some of the greatest games and series on the Xbox line of consoles. At least that’s what we thought.
Since the Stamper brothers and Nintendo sold Rare to Microsoft in 2002, it’s been all downhill. Games like Grabbed By The Ghoulies on the original Xbox (later on XBLA) and the severely lacking Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts on the Xbox 360 have shown that even with some success in the home console market, Microsoft cannot sustain a good in-house developer to put out AAA titles. Many might argue that Bungie has done this, but we all know that Microsoft was unable to retain Bungie as a first-party developer. They’ve remained on good terms, but many at Bungie feel that MS simply wanted too much Halo and stifled the talented studio.
Is this what’s happening at Rare? We doubt it since nothing good has come out of there since being purchased in 2002. Where is Killer Instinct 3? We hear rumors every year around E3 and TGS, but nothing ever materializes. It seems as if Xbox 360s with the RROD aren’t the only thing dying in the game industry. Microsoft has killed one of the greatest development houses in gaming history. The biggest news to come out of Rare in the last eight years is that they changed their logo. Instead of a new hit game from Rare, we have various Lucky Charms marshmallows with Rs on them for Rare logos.
What is your opinion?