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Former RARE employee says multiple staffers wouldn't have left if Nintendo still owned RARE

A portion of an RFDB interview with former RARE employee, Chris Seavor...

RFDB: If Rare were still with Nintendo today, do you think the company would have still been the same as it was all those years ago?

CS: Pretty much. Tim and Chris would still be around, Mark B, Simon, loads of other people who subsequently left as well… Even me maybe :) A company isn’t defined by bricks and mortar. It’s a people thing, so yeah , bar a few tweaks it would have been pretty much the same, both the good and the bad ;)

Full interview here (thanks machenspiel!)

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24 total comments (View all)
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 12:25

I miss you RARE :cry:
They where some of the best developers out there during the SNES and N64 era. The M$ buyout was one of the worst things that happened to them, i still wish them the best though
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 12:33

Rare was one of, if not THEE greatest developers of all time. No one came close to making games like them. Second only to Nintendo.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 12:35

To this day I insist the biggest mistake nintendo made was selling rare. Its obvious after banjo tooie things did start to go downhill but you could have at least kept the IPs.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 12:38

Every time I see a RARE post, I always think of how much I want another Banjo-Kazooie game, done right.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 12:47

Man. Makes me so sad to hear. RARE was my favorite game company. I remember that day when Microsoft acquired them for $365 million.... ten years ago this year. So much would be different now if it didn't happen.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 12:50

So I hate to de-rail this article, but I have something that is on topic with this article.

I'm going to be interviewing three former Rare veterans for notenoughshaders.com. I'll be interviewing Steve Ellis, Martin Wakely, and Lee Musgrave about their new studio, Crash Lab. Steve Ellis was the co-founder of Free Radical (who made the Timesplitters series). They've worked on games like Diddy Kong Racing, Goldeneye 007, Blast Corps, Perfect Dark, and Jet Force Gemini.

If you guys have questions you want me to ask them: Private message me questions, or send them to me as a tweet. (Don't want this article flooded with questions). I'll get them answered. Thanks guys!
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 13:00

Yeah, what he said have been heard for quite a while in the wild. It's pretty evident that it is the case.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 13:05

Blast Corps was one my favorite games on the N64. i wish we could get a sequel somehow or even a re-release on XBLA if license not owned by Nintendo.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 13:30

@LegendofSantiago

Correction. In my opinion, the M$ buyout was one of the worst things that happened to them and to us! I think the gaming community missed out on some future great titles (KI3 anyone?) because of this.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 13:37

GoNiners wrote:@LegendofSantiago

Correction. In my opinion, the M$ buyout was one of the worst things that happened to them and to us! I think the gaming community missed out on some future great titles (KI3 anyone?) because of this.


Not only that, but Microsoft cancelled Sabreman Stampede, Kameo 2, Savannah, Perfect Dark Core, Conker's Other Bad Day, etc. Looking back at it, I don't think gamers, Rare, or Nintendo benefited from the buyout at all.

People say Rare wasn't the same company when Nintendo sold them. But before Star Fox Adventures came out, they released Conker's Bad Fur Day which was critically acclaimed.
No Avatar
16 Sep 2012 13:57

Emily Rogers wrote:So I hate to de-rail this article, but I have something that is on topic with this article.

I'm going to be interviewing three former Rare veterans for notenoughshaders.com. I'll be interviewing Steve Ellis, Martin Wakely, and Lee Musgrave about their new studio, Crash Lab. Steve Ellis was the co-founder of Free Radical (who made the Timesplitters series). They've worked on games like Diddy Kong Racing, Goldeneye 007, Blast Corps, Perfect Dark, and Jet Force Gemini.

If you guys have questions you want me to ask them: Private message me questions, or send them to me as a tweet. (Don't want this article flooded with questions). I'll get them answered. Thanks guys!


please ask them if they have any plans to make a new game for the WiiU and if the game were a success and Nintendo noticed, if they were to propose themselves to Nintendo as an exclusive developer or accept if Nintendo offered them a contract to become part of the Nintendo owned developers.

thank you :D
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 14:05

GoNiners wrote:@LegendofSantiago

Correction. In my opinion, the M$ buyout was one of the worst things that happened to them and to us! I think the gaming community missed out on some future great titles (KI3 anyone?) because of this.

You're still downplaying it. The MS buyout was one of the worst things to happen in gaming history. Thank God we have Retro now, which from my understanding has many former Rare employees. Having said that I do still wish Nintendo still owned the rights to Banjo-Kazooie and Rare's other IP's. Maybe one day Nintendo will at least buy the rights to Banjo-Kazooie. Come to think of it Nintendo would probably get MAJOR brownie points with the "hardcore" gamers they want to win back if they bought back Rare. Sadly though, this is probably just a pipe dream. At the very least maybe Microsoft will finally realize they're sitting on a wealth of IP's. Or maybe they'll just continue to have the make crappy Kinect games with no heart or soul whatsoever. Probably the latter.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 14:29

The thing about Rare nowadays is not because they're with Microsoft, but because Microsoft is extremely stupid to not put those IPs to good use. You got the people who made Banjo Kazooie, Conker, Goldeneye, Killer Instinct, DK country, all those games. But the people at Rare were PISSED off and left, because they weren't stupid enough to have their abilities wasted on games that take the same amount of skill Capcom has with their games. Now Microsoft can't make proper entrys to those IPs, because key people left the studio..... Dark days man, dark days...
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 14:29

Nintendo did what they thought was best for them at the time. Rare was taking too long on SFA, and when they finally released it, it didn't do very well. I really hate that they felt they had to cut Rare loose, but what's done is done.. Rare as we knew them are dead and gone, and in their place is the Kinect machine, Microsoft Studios Twycross...
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 14:49

I've heard so many conflicting statements about who made the first bailout move [Rare, Nintendo] that I don't really know what to believe anymore.

All I know is that Nintendo owned 49% of them, so I've always figured that Rare were feeling creatively constricted [always a worry when a bigger company swallows you whole - just ask Enix].

... What cruel fate that MS allowed them even less freedom after a few rocky starts.

I don't 'hate' the Kinect Sports series in any way shape or form [I've never played it, so it'd have no basis even so - and 'hate' is such an overused word in gaming as it is] - but I really doubt the remaining team [as a concise whole] would like to do it forevermore.
So, It'd be interesting to hear if they are making any traditional works for the X-Box 720 [or 8] launch.

Though, back to the rocky starts, I guess Nintendo is favourable of the same practice when dealing with IPs, so it may've ended the same way [had X IPS not sold to expectations] *shrugs*.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 14:52

I'm replaying Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie (on the 360) right now and MAN, I could NOT agree more. M$ buying Rare was a tragedy for the whole industry.

Makes me wonder what Rare could have done on the Gamecube. Maybe the golden age of 3D platformers would have continued...
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 15:37

Even if Rare's original team was there and belonged to nintendo, I don't know if they would still make awesome games like in SNES/64 era. I think that when nintendo sold Rare to Microsoft at the time, I think they did it because Rare was not the same, it was not profitable and viable to maintain Rare since they wasn't making nintendo profit. But of course I can be wrong...
No Avatar
Anonymous
16 Sep 2012 16:37

God, if only we had the IP's still. I really miss Rare though too. Nintendo should buy them back lol. Or atleast get the former people to get on at Retro and get their shovel straightened out. But I really want a KI3!!!
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 19:23

retro was always better.
No Avatar
Anonymous
16 Sep 2012 21:42

Yeeeeeah...no
No Avatar
Anonymous
16 Sep 2012 22:07

CorusFace wrote:retro was always better.

Couldn't agree more. Between the amazing Prime series, and DKC Returns. Retro has put out better games than pretty much anything Rare ever developed. Don't get me wrong, Rare made some great games back in the day. But not Metroid Prime great.
User avatar
16 Sep 2012 23:26

Rare's problems began long before Microsoft acquired them--there's a reason Nintendo let them go ya know. Also, forget about them returning to glory days, since most of the people behind those gems are long gone. It's mostly just the name and history.
User avatar
17 Sep 2012 00:07

God, if only the people in charge of Rare's success came back together, got some young fresh talent, and made games together (whether as a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd party game). I would definitely throw my money at that!

It'd be like if the 1992 USA Men's Basketball team (aka the Dream Team) combined with the best of the 1996 team and the 2012 team...
No Avatar
17 Sep 2012 01:16

yeah but at the same time how could you say no to 350 millions dollars , or something they got for selling . A very few of these western developers made some huge fortune for selling nothing most of the time . I would sell at the first opportunity that's what i'm saying

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