Feeds

Rare deal for Microsoft

Nintendo second-party becomes Xbox first-party

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

gi logo British developer Rare, the legendary studio founded by the Stamper brothers, is thought to have been bought by Microsoft in a deal worth between £250 million and £350 million – with an official announcement expected at X02 in Seville later this month.

The studio, which has traditionally been seen as one of Nintendo's leading second-party development houses – producing key titles for the N64 such as Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie and Jet Force Gemini – is currently working on Starfox Adventures for the GameCube, and the production of that title is thought to be unaffected by the deal.

The future of Rare’s other GameCube titles, however, is uncertain. Many of them may make the transition to the Xbox – with the forthcoming Perfect Dark 2 expected to be an Xbox exclusive title, for one. Work on the company’s Game Boy Advance titles is likely to continue unaffected, as Microsoft has already indicated a willingness to co-develop titles for that platform.

The strongest confirmation of the deal yet has come from sources within the company, who told us that employees were notified of the deal in the past fortnight. The Stamper family has made its intentions to leave the games industry clear for around two years, but a rumoured sale to Activision fell through when the number two publisher baulked at the asking price of the studio.

Nintendo is a major shareholder in Rare, owning approximately 49 per cent of the company; it’s thought that it will be selling its stake to Microsoft as part of the deal. Rare’s relationship with the Japanese platform holder has cooled significantly over the past few years, particularly due to the recent departure of long-time allies within Nintendo such as Howard Lincoln. Having persuaded vital Japanese giants such as Sega, Namco, Square and Capcom to develop for the Cube, Rare’s importance to Nintendo has diminished greatly, and the lure of Microsoft’s greenbacks seems to have been enough to convince them to part with their stake in the studio.

© gamesindustry.biz.

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.