Microsoft has confirmed to Eurogamer today that Rare, the Microsoft-owned game development company, will be undergoing some changes as a result of poor sales for Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One. It’s been confirmed that up to 16 individuals who were working on software and design will be laid off.
If you can still remember some of Rare’s Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 platform masterpieces, then it’ll probably be really easy to sympathize with those being let go. Microsoft seems to be taking the usual professional, PR route when trying to explain the reason behind the release of the individuals.
“At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.
“As part of Rare’s commitment to this goal, we have made a decision to change our development process and methodology at Rare to best support our future projects, this has led to us reviewing the skills and the makeup of our development teams in our business. Rare continues to invest in our people and future projects.”
These British game developers took to great heights with their partnership with Nintendo during the early 90’s and 2000’s, sparking some of the most memorable titles such as Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007 and Killer Instinct. While their work with Microsoft granted them some freedom to work on Nintendo DS titles while staying on path to create beautifully crafted titles like Kameo: Elements of Power and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, Rare has had trouble succeeding with sales, and thus has become a major concern for the higher ups at Microsoft.
We can only hope that today’s announced layoffs isn’t the beginning of more unfortunate happenings with developers who, still to this day, instill great philosophy when developing awe-inspiring video games.