months and months of rumors, several different sources (print and
online) are now confirming that Rare will soon no longer be a 2nd
party developer for Nintendo. Rare was behind some of Nintendo's
most successful games during the N64 era including Donkey Kong 64,
Perfect Dark, Goldeneye, and Banjo-Kazooie.
However, lately have been slow with Rare and their software
contributions, which only amounted to 1.5% of Nintendo's revenues
this past fiscal year. This is one of the factors that lead to the
decision to let Rare go.
had an opportunity to purchase Rare outright about a year ago, as
they already owned 49% of Rare's shares and were offered to buy out
the rest. Nintendo declined. This is when Activision and Microsoft
became interested in Rare, but only Microsoft was able to afford the
asking price and pay Nintendo for their shares.
only thing left for the three companies to do now is divide up the
licenses. Properties like Donkey Kong will remain Nintendo's,
but Banjo-Kazooie and other properties created by Rare will
most likely head exclusively to Xbox. Now that Rare is set to become
a 2nd party developer for Microsoft, there is little
chance of future games being ported to the PS2 or GameCube. The
status of Rare's current GBA products is still up in the air, but
for what it's worth they are still listed on
the company's website. The status of Kameo: Elements of
Power is still also up in the air, but in all likelihood it will
at least be ported to Xbox. The official announcement will
likely be made on September 24th, the day after Rare's last (and
probably only) exclusive GameCube game, Starfox Adventures,
acquisition won't help Microsoft much in Japan, but it should
certainly bolster somewhat weak Xbox sales in Europe.