Tag Archives: rare

More Battletoads

During today’s Windows 10 event, head of Xbox division and Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer was unabashedly sporting a Battletoads t-shirt. Polygon followed up:

When asked, Spencer told Polygon, “I don’t think I’ve ever worn a t-shirt that’s been a complete head fake. I don’t think I have … have I? I wouldn’t do that.” So if it’s not a “head fake,” we’ll consider it a confirmation of more Battletoads.

Rare games could be system sellers in my book. Relinking to last year’s post, Xbox One: Swinging for the Franchise Fences with Rare IP?

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Grant Kirkhope Releases Banjo-Kazooie OST on Bandcamp

Kyle Hilliard, GameInformer:

Grant Kirkhope, composer for Rare who created the Banjo-Kazooie soundtrack along with many others, has posted the soundtrack in its entirety online for download.

When we say the entire soundtrack, we mean everything. Among the 164 tracks, you will find familiar tunes, but you will also find the small musical cues and fanfares related to things like opening doors and collecting certain objects.

I’ve been streaming the Super Mario 64 OST from YouTube at work a lot lately. (Yes, YouTube.) I understand Nintendo has a sales strategy in place for their OSTs (see Super Smash Bros. 3DS Sleep Mode OST), but come on. Want the Super Smash Bros. OST? Here’s the deal (emphasis mine):

Buy and register both the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U games to receive a special soundtrack from Club Nintendo!

I’m not sure how Kirkhope is able to release this content, but he’s got my money. (And I’ve got a great Nintendo 64 era OST in ALAC.) Download here.

Someone call Koji Kondo and tell him we are ready for his box set.

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Rare and Lionhead are Crown Jewels

Phil Harrison, Microsoft Studios Europe, in an interview with Eurogamer:

We are very fortunate in having Rare and Lionhead in the UK as crown jewels of Microsoft Studios.

Rare is working on a couple of things at the moment, which we will announce at the right time. But I’m really excited by the things they’re doing and I believe you will be as well when you hear about them.

At E3 2014, Nintendo won over the hearts and respect of longtime fans by investing in first-party favorites, doubling-down on the Mushroom Kingdom, and acknowledging classic IP. Microsoft is not blind to the effectiveness of this move.

Killer Instinct was rebooted last year and Conker is making his way into Project Spark. My suspicions still lie here.

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Layoffs hit Rare

Wesley Yin-Poole, Eurogamer:

While Microsoft did not confirm how many people had been let go, Eurogamer understands the number is around 16, a figure one source said was made up of some software staff, but mainly design and project managers. Kinect Sports Rivals was a 150 person project.

A Microsoft spokesperson issued Eurogamer the following statement:

At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences. 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.

This news comes on the heels of Rare re-evaluating their direction after Microsoft’s decision to offer Kinect-less Xbox One units. My thoughts to those let go. Layoffs list updated.

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Xbox One: Swinging for the Franchise Fences with Rare IP?

With the recent news that Microsoft will be breathing new life into a ‘historic’ Rare franchise, a light bulb fired in my head. Could this be Microsoft’s attempt to appeal to the playful/children’s market that Nintendo has been rooted in for so many years?

Microsoft nor Rare have offered any insight to which franchise will be making a return; however, most of Rare’s franchises have been well known within the gaming community since the N64 era. I would even argue that Rare’s cast of characters and franchises are more recognizable and lovable than the majority of Microsoft’s and Sony’s combined.

After the Xbox One reveal, my “one” big take away was that Microsoft’s focus is not specifically the gaming market, but all markets. It’s not to say that people don’t love the Halo, Fable, and Gear of War franchises, but why not capitalize on a children’s market?

After the seemingly disappointing failure of Sony’s Playstation All-Stars and Nintendo’s continually draw of fantastic IP, Microsoft surely recognizes the importance of having a recognizable cast of characters to market to all-players, children through adults. While Nintendo’s consoles may not appeal to many, their franchises surely do. Colorful legends like Mario, Zelda, and Star Fox appeal not only to the child within the adult gamer but also to children and the parents buying their games.

While Killer Instinct is the rumored refresh, it surely would not serve as the greatest marketing strategy; however, the select few of playful characters such as Banzo-Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini, and Battletoads could easily garner notoriety. Tone down a character like Conker and you’ve got another to add to the mix. While Donkey Kong is out of the question, Rare could take a lesson from Nintendo and develop a few more fun loving characters for each genre (Star Fox = dogfighter, Metroid = FPS, Mario = platformer, Zelda = adventure).

With a revival of Rare’s IP, Microsoft could pull the franchise rug out from under Nintendo and make their gaming line-up more recognizable, vast, and nostalgic than Sony’s.

What are your thoughts on the Rare announcement? Do you miss Rare Ltd.? Sound off in the comments!

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Notable Rare franchises/games:

  • Killer Instinct
  • Goldeneye
  • Banjo-Kazooie
  • Jet Force Gemini
  • Conker
  • Perfect Dark
  • Battletoads
  • Donkey Kong 64

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Originally posted on IGN.com

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