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Microsoft confirms Rare Layoffs

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Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One has become a massive flop. I’m not sure why anyone at Microsoft is even surprised by this. the original Kinect Sports did well because people were still interested in the potential of motion-sensing peripheral – but that ship has long sailed. For the most part, nobody cares about Kinect or its games. Microsoft forcing Rare to make Avatars turgid, casual motion-gaming fluff is one of the greatest crimes in the history of video games. Microsoft has now perpetrated another injustice on Rare; they’ve let go of a number of staff, including senior staff and veterans.

In a statement, Microsoft has confirmed that it’s laid off a number of staff following Kinect Sports Rivals failed release.

“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.”

Sources suggest that 20 staff have been let go, including Chris Sutherland, who has worked on Rare games for more than 20 years. Sutherland was lead programmer on Battletoads and all three Donkey Kong Country games. He also not only lead the Banjo-Kazooie games, but provided the voice for the game’s heroes too.

Rare, I fear, is Rare in name only. The company responsible for all those great Nintendo games has been stripped of the life that made it, and it’s a damned shame. who knows though, maybe doing this frees them up to start their own projects, and actually make games people want to play again.

With Microsoft reducing Kinect’s importance in this new generation, perhaps Rare itself will be given time to shine once more. As of now, the company’s future projects have yet to be decided on.

Last Updated: May 20, 2014

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