Former Rare: We wanted to make KI3 and more. MS rejected it all

#1 Posted by Metal_Mills (2980 posts) -

Are there any Rare games you would like to see as HD remakes on Xbox Live Arcade?

Probably the same game every Rare fan wants to see and that’s KI3 (Killer Instinct 3). We all wanted to make KI3, but Microsoft were more interested on broadening their demographic, than making another fighting game. So it never got made, I doubt it ever will.
 
---

There [were] numerous projects that were put forward that I believe would have been huge hits, but MS rejected them one after the other. I remember seeing a couple of prototypes that Chris Seavor had designed and was working on, that looked amazing, but alas they got shelved. It seemed that MS didn’t want to take the risk in Rare doing anything outside the younger demographic, they quickly forgot the companies heritage. We started to lose a lot of great talent then, people were losing job satisfaction, so they just left.

Obviously Kinect Sports has come along now, and has done really well.  So my hope is that MS will start regaining their faith in Rare and let them get their feet back into the wider mainstream market and put Rare’s name back on top.


That's really sad to hear they wanted to make new and amazing games like classic Rare and MS just shut them down and forced them into Kinect Sports. Fucking arseholes. 
 
http://www.notenoughshaders.com/2012/08/21/donnchadh-murphy-chats-about-rare/The interview is here, talks about Rare, next-gen, it's an interesting read.
#2 Posted by JasonR86 (9587 posts) -

Based on the Rare that we had seen currently I doubt that these games would have been amazing. But, regardless, they are owned by Microsoft and they get to dictate what is made by their developers and what is not. MS had a certain goal in mine (expand their demographic) and Rare had a role to play in it. That's that as far as I'm concerned.

#3 Posted by Maajin (1052 posts) -

What a bummer.

It is truly sad that we'll never see another Conker game, not one with Chris Seavor at least, now that he's left the company.

#4 Posted by Metal_Mills (2980 posts) -
@JasonR86 said:

Based on the Rare that we had seen currently I doubt that these games would have been amazing. But, regardless, they are owned by Microsoft and they get to dictate what is made by their developers and what is not. MS had a certain goal in mine (expand their demographic) and Rare had a role to play in it. That's that as far as I'm concerned.

MS forced them into making games like that. And the talent started leaving at that point. Just because MS bought them doesn't mean it's good what they did. They have destroyed some of the best developers who still had tons of talent and potential because of their "certain goals".
#5 Posted by Phatmac (5720 posts) -

While Viva Pinata and Banjo Nuts & Bolts were great games they still made duds like Kameo and Perfect Dark. They aren't the same Rare that they used to be. It was a combination of Rare losing what made them special and Microsoft repeatedly giving Rare chances to shine. Unfortunately their games with Microsoft weren't as big of hits as what they had initially delivered with Nintendo. It is quite sad, but luckily they're still in business for now.

#6 Posted by CheapPoison (716 posts) -

Pretty horrible..

But we all kinda knew that Rare had gone to a dark place. As soon as they got attached to microsoft nothing really came out of them anymore. Well there was, i mean it was never as prolific or cool as what they did for n64 and nintendo hand helds. I'd even go as far as to say that rare is one of the reasons n64 is held in such high regard.

#7 Posted by xtafxfoulfellow (80 posts) -

Jet Force Gemini

#8 Posted by Patman99 (1558 posts) -

@CheapPoison said:

Pretty horrible..

But we all kinda knew that Rare had gone to a dark place. As soon as they got attached to microsoft nothing really came out of them anymore. Well there was, i mean it was never as prolific or cool as what they did for n64 and nintendo hand helds. I'd even go as far as to say that rare is one of the reasons n64 is held in such high regard.

I agree. I would say Rare made the best games for the N64 along with some damn good games for the NES and SNES. Back in the day Rare was one of the companies I actually knew and would always hunt down games with their logo. Unfortunately now they are a shadow of their former self.

#9 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

Stuff like this is heartbreaking.

#10 Posted by Lunar_Aura (2779 posts) -

Gee, Microsoft being Microsoft. Stick your pinky out and call it a shocker.

#11 Posted by JasonR86 (9587 posts) -

@Metal_Mills said:

@JasonR86 said:

Based on the Rare that we had seen currently I doubt that these games would have been amazing. But, regardless, they are owned by Microsoft and they get to dictate what is made by their developers and what is not. MS had a certain goal in mine (expand their demographic) and Rare had a role to play in it. That's that as far as I'm concerned.

MS forced them into making games like that. And the talent started leaving at that point. Just because MS bought them doesn't mean it's good what they did. They have destroyed some of the best developers who still had tons of talent and potential because of their "certain goals".

MS didn't force them to make Perfect Dark Zero. Even then they weren't the same Rare from the N64 and SNES.

#12 Edited by mikeeegeee (1549 posts) -

Jesus christ, this line-up really highlights how prolific they were. Killer Instinct 64, Blast Corps, GoldenEye, Diddy Kong Racing, Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini, and Perfect Dark in five years. What the fuck, suddenly I remember that I was a huge Rare fanboy for good reason.

1994

Company bought by Nintendo.

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

And then in '03, Microsoft took over and there is an appreciable nose dive...

#13 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Been hearing really shitty things about MS lately

#14 Posted by Brodehouse (9521 posts) -

"We really wanted to make Killer Instinct 3 but Microsoft didn't want to throw money into a fire! And then all our talent left and proceeded to do... Nothing."

You guys act like you haven't played a Rare game since 2002. If I had a studio that made Conker Reloaded and Perfect Dark Zero on one hand, and then Viva Piñata and Nuts and Bolts on the other, yeah I wouldn't let them near 'serious' projects either. Especially not for a fighting game that people only like in terms of nostalgia.

#15 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

I find it hard to blame Microsoft in this case. Nuts & Bolts and Viva Pinata were amazing games, easily on par with anything they've made in the past and Kameo was pretty good, especially considering it was a launch title. If they were made back in the 64 days, they'd all be considered classics right now.

The fact they had absolutely abysmal sales was the fault of the fans, who flat out refused to accept that Rare could still make games. After several attempts, why would MS want them to continue producing more flops? Putting them somewhere they can actually make money makes a bit more sense. Still sucks, but I blame the fans more than Microsoft.

#16 Edited by DharmaBum (1038 posts) -

Such a shame that there will never be a follow-up to Kameo, I thought the universe and transformation conceit had plenty of potential to be expanded upon. PDZ wasn't bad either in hindsight to me (for a launch title of course); I remember the campaign was godawful, but the multiplayer actually had some interesting round-based modes inspired by Counter-Strike. The more I think about Nuts & Bolts, the more I'm willing to accept the different direction they took, considering it did end up being the most unique gem in the 360 catalogue. Still, it's difficult to forgive Microsoft for what they've done to that studio as of late.

#17 Edited by yoshisaur (2611 posts) -

How is it that Microsoft are "arseholes" for making financially sound decisions? I'm not going to say I'm not upset that KI3 (or even BK3) wasn't made instead, but it's extremely easy to see why that decision was made. After Kameo and Viva Pinata (which were both absolutely fantastic - some of my favourites) flopping in the mainstream - it's no wonder why Microsoft cut them off.

#18 Posted by WilliamHenry (1200 posts) -

@ck1nd said:

How is it that Microsoft are "arseholes" for making financially sound decisions? I'm not going to say I'm not upset that KI3 (or even BK3) wasn't made instead, but it's extremely easy to see why that decision was made. After Kameo and Viva Pinata (which were both absolutely fantastic - some of my favourites) flopping in the mainstream - it's no wonder why Microsoft cut them off.

Totally agree. Its a bummer that they didn't get to make the stuff they wanted to do, but at the same time, its a business. Its not like Microsoft didn't have good reasons to reject the game pitches that they did.

#19 Edited by connerthekewlkid (1799 posts) -

@WilliamHenry said:

@ck1nd said:

How is it that Microsoft are "arseholes" for making financially sound decisions? I'm not going to say I'm not upset that KI3 (or even BK3) wasn't made instead, but it's extremely easy to see why that decision was made. After Kameo and Viva Pinata (which were both absolutely fantastic - some of my favourites) flopping in the mainstream - it's no wonder why Microsoft cut them off.

Totally agree. Its a bummer that they didn't get to make the stuff they wanted to do, but at the same time, its a business. Its not like Microsoft didn't have good reasons to reject the game pitches that they did.

doesnt pretty much every former development studio scapegoat there publisher as to why things went wrong?

Online
#20 Posted by AlisterCat (5470 posts) -

I spoke to some former rare employees recently and the consensus was that when Microsoft put them on Kinect Sports that's the only thing they wanted out of rare. Working at rare for 15 years and your reward is motion based sports sequels. Yay.

#21 Posted by Ben_H (3296 posts) -

They should have never bought Rare from Nintendo. MS never did anything good with the company after they bought it. Just think of how many good games we would have had Nintendo not sold Rare and continued to let them do their thing. Now Rare is just relegated to Kinect shovelware and dashboard garbage. They deserve better than that. They made some of the strongest SNES and N64 games. Viva Pinata and Nuts and Bolts were no slouches either.

#22 Edited by yoshisaur (2611 posts) -

@connerthekewlkid said:

@WilliamHenry said:

@ck1nd said:

How is it that Microsoft are "arseholes" for making financially sound decisions? I'm not going to say I'm not upset that KI3 (or even BK3) wasn't made instead, but it's extremely easy to see why that decision was made. After Kameo and Viva Pinata (which were both absolutely fantastic - some of my favourites) flopping in the mainstream - it's no wonder why Microsoft cut them off.

Totally agree. Its a bummer that they didn't get to make the stuff they wanted to do, but at the same time, its a business. Its not like Microsoft didn't have good reasons to reject the game pitches that they did.

doesnt pretty much every former development studio scapegoat there publisher as to why things went wrong?

It's not "scapegoating" if the problem actually laid within a new IP. There is a reason publishers/developers stick to what's working (like FPS, Call of Duty, iOS games). As much as the internet cries out for something new, the developers are constantly shoved backwards when they apply that belief. If anything, Microsoft supported Rare a lot to allow both Kameo and Viva Pinata to see the light of the sun. While both games were awesome - they had no history and a very niche market. Microsoft didn't shove Rare into making Kinect Sports just for the hell of it- they did it because they knew the talent at Rare was the perfect fit to make a family oriented "fitness" game for their new gaming platform.

Not to mention, I think it would have been silly for Microsoft to allow Rare the chance at Killer Instinct 3 before Mortal Kombat was revived. The fighting genre was dead until that revival - but I can see a resurgence in the future.

#23 Edited by ProfessorEss (7254 posts) -
@WinterSnowblind said:

I find it hard to blame Microsoft in this case. Nuts & Bolts and Viva Pinata were amazing games, easily on par with anything they've made in the past and Kameo was pretty good, especially considering it was a launch title. If they were made back in the 64 days, they'd all be considered classics right now.

The fact they had absolutely abysmal sales was the fault of the fans, who flat out refused to accept that Rare could still make games. After several attempts, why would MS want them to continue producing more flops? Putting them somewhere they can actually make money makes a bit more sense. Still sucks, but I blame the fans more than Microsoft.

Amen brother. Between Kameo, Viva Pinata and BK: Nuts & Bolts I think Rare has once again made some of the best games of the generation. 
 
Personally I would axe 1,00,000 Killer Instincts just to get one more Viva Pinata.
#24 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1799 posts) -

@AlisterCat: also because kameo viva pinata and nuts and bolts didnt sell. so theres that

Online
#25 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1799 posts) -

@Ben_H: but they made kameo viva pinata and nuts and bolts which were all pretty good

and your getting upset about a fighting game thats only good in nostalgia

Online
#26 Posted by CooVee (136 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

I find it hard to blame Microsoft in this case. Nuts & Bolts and Viva Pinata were amazing games, easily on par with anything they've made in the past and Kameo was pretty good, especially considering it was a launch title. If they were made back in the 64 days, they'd all be considered classics right now.

The fact they had absolutely abysmal sales was the fault of the fans, who flat out refused to accept that Rare could still make games. After several attempts, why would MS want them to continue producing more flops? Putting them somewhere they can actually make money makes a bit more sense. Still sucks, but I blame the fans more than Microsoft.

Indeed. Even if Rare wasn't setting the world on far like back on the N64, the only god awful game they made since being bought by Microsoft was Grabbed by the Ghoulies. Xbox fans had no interest in Rare even if the games were good.

#27 Posted by Brodehouse (9521 posts) -
@ck1nd ? Street Fighter 4 'revived' the fighting genre. Or at least the mainstream interest in it. Even then, it's already on the way out again, back to being a tiny niche. Killer Instinct was never even half as popular as Mortal Kombat, and making a modern Killer Instinct will never, ever turn a profit. Or even be good, who is that thinks that Rare, who haven't made a fighting game in over a decade (and KI was never top tier to begin with) were going to deliver an experience on par with Capcom, Arc Systemworks, Netherrealm or even Namco or Tecmo?

If I was Microsoft and the studio I purchased because they made huge mascot brands for Nintendo was repeatedly failing at the things they were supposed to be great at, the stuff I put money on the table for... Yeah, I wouldnt give them carte blanche to waste my money on their vanity fighting game either.
#28 Posted by Ben_H (3296 posts) -
@connerthekewlkid said:

@Ben_H: but they made kameo viva pinata and nuts and bolts which were all pretty good

and your getting upset about a fighting game thats only good in nostalgia

Yeah if you read my post I said that at the end (other than Kameo. Never played that.). Rare made good games under Microsoft. I just think they would have had a much better chance under Nintendo. We might have actually got to see proper Banjo-Kazooie 3 or better Donkey Kong stuff (though I do think Donkey Kong Country Returns is a totally serviceable game. It just doesn't have that Rare charm). I just wanted more amazing Rare adventure/platformer games. Sadly we'll never see that. All the masterminds behind their old games are gone, Kirkhope's gone so the music wouldn't be nearly as good. It's such a shame.
 
I didn't say anything about Killer Instinct. I don't care about Killer Instinct. 
#29 Posted by wjb (1626 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

"We really wanted to make Killer Instinct 3 but Microsoft didn't want to throw money into a fire! And then all our talent left and proceeded to do... Nothing." You guys act like you haven't played a Rare game since 2002. If I had a studio that made Conker Reloaded and Perfect Dark Zero on one hand, and then Viva Piñata and Nuts and Bolts on the other, yeah I wouldn't let them near 'serious' projects either. Especially not for a fighting game that people only like in terms of nostalgia.

I'd rather have Nuts and Bolts and Viva Pinata over another Killer Instinct game. Kind of a hard sell when the only fan-base is 30-somethings who thought Killer Instinct Gold was a "classic."

#30 Posted by yoshisaur (2611 posts) -

@Brodehouse: I didn't know SF4 was the game that revived the genre, but I'm not into that genre so I apologize for my misinformation.

You are also spot on about Microsoft's expectations with Rare not solidifying.

#31 Posted by ProfessorK (813 posts) -

Dam, I loved KI in a non ironic way. It was just fun for me and most of my friends, sucks to hear about this.

#32 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

If anything, Microsoft gave Rare too many chances, considering everything that wasn't Kameo or PDZ (both launch titles) sold poorly. Two Viva Pinata games? Letting them still make GBA and DS games for Nintendo? Nah. This is the market's fault, which is a pity considering that I still consider Nuts and Bolts to be one of the best games of this console generation.

Really, the lesson we can take from all of this is that we have to go back in time and make sure Nintendo doesn't sell them to Microsoft in 2003. I imagine the Gamecube would've been a much better system had there been Rare games that weren't Star Fox Adventures on it.

#33 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1504 posts) -

@WilliamHenry said:

@ck1nd said:

How is it that Microsoft are "arseholes" for making financially sound decisions? I'm not going to say I'm not upset that KI3 (or even BK3) wasn't made instead, but it's extremely easy to see why that decision was made. After Kameo and Viva Pinata (which were both absolutely fantastic - some of my favourites) flopping in the mainstream - it's no wonder why Microsoft cut them off.

Totally agree. Its a bummer that they didn't get to make the stuff they wanted to do, but at the same time, its a business. Its not like Microsoft didn't have good reasons to reject the game pitches that they did.

The problem is that it's not really clear they what they have Rare working on now actually is financially sound. Kinect Sports sold well, but I'm pretty sure it would have sold well if another studio was put on it and Rare was doing what Rare does best. I haven't followed Rare that much since their Nintendo days, but it seems like they were a casualty of the "OH GOD THE WII IS SELLING A LOT" hysteria. I don't think Microsoft ever really understood what it was that made Rare so great.

#34 Edited by Metal_Mills (2980 posts) -
@ck1nd said:

How is it that Microsoft are "arseholes" for making financially sound decisions? I'm not going to say I'm not upset that KI3 (or even BK3) wasn't made instead, but it's extremely easy to see why that decision was made. After Kameo and Viva Pinata (which were both absolutely fantastic - some of my favourites) flopping in the mainstream - it's no wonder why Microsoft cut them off.

Buying a company known for amazing games, rejecting all their ideas, gutting the talent, forcing them into kinect sports games and eventually avatar item creation. That is bullshit. Maybe they shouldn't have rejected all their ideas? Viva Pinata and those sound like MS told them to make it.
#35 Posted by yoshisaur (2611 posts) -

@Metal_Mills: I think we've established that it sucks, but it's far from bullshit. Also, you're only giving me your assumption that "MS told them to make it" when Viva Pinata is exactly up Rare's alley. I would agree with you that Perfect Dark was a forced product, but Kameo and VP are far from Rare's form of design.

I'm not going to say Microsoft is immune to making bad decisions, but this sounds more like circumstance, timing, and a lack of the studio's understanding of what they wanted to do.

#36 Posted by thebipsnbeeps (545 posts) -

Rare's a great development team and is a shame that they didn't do what they want, but I honestly would rather see something that strives more on something new. Even if that means lesser production values--like, seriously, I don't get why they don't try to develop downloadable games that aren't old '64 games sometimes.

#37 Posted by OneManX (1676 posts) -

Although they have been relegated to Kinect stuff, I would expect on the next system, Rare is gonna get a bone and a chance to make a real game.

#38 Posted by AndrewB (7453 posts) -

Oh god. Killer Instinct? My bias against fighting games is of course coloring this opinion, but that has to be the worst of the games from the Rare catalog that could be revived. I still want to see a Nuts and Bolts 2 on top of a new regular-ole Banjo game.

#39 Posted by CheapPoison (716 posts) -

Aren't we all just more interested into seeing the old rare talent starting up a new studio then actually rare becoming a thing again.

Also like it has been mentioned, Rare games seem to work especially well on a nintendo system, it's not excactly the thing that sells millions of coppies now whivh at this point are shooters and some high profile rpgs?

#40 Posted by phrali (646 posts) -

killer instinct sucked

#41 Edited by xyzygy (9870 posts) -

I don't see why a Killer Instinct 3 is still out of the question though. It's not like Rare is doing terrbly financial wise, they made Kinect Sports which sold shit tons and have been hiring people left right and center. They released two games, KS1 and KS2, and the franchise sales are around 6.5 million. Very impressive.

I still think MS may pull an ace with them later on. MS undoubtedly knows the huge potential they have with a more traditional Banjo Kazooie or KI3.

Personally, my favorite Rare game is Nuts and Bolts and I'd love to see a sequel to that.

@AlisterCat said:

I spoke to some former rare employees recently and the consensus was that when Microsoft put them on Kinect Sports that's the only thing they wanted out of rare. Working at rare for 15 years and your reward is motion based sports sequels. Yay.

Motion based sports sequels which sell over 6 million copies, mind you

#42 Posted by sarge1445 (676 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

While Viva Pinata and Banjo Nuts & Bolts were great games they still made duds like Kameo and Perfect Dark. They aren't the same Rare that they used to be. It was a combination of Rare losing what made them special and Microsoft repeatedly giving Rare chances to shine. Unfortunately their games with Microsoft weren't as big of hits as what they had initially delivered with Nintendo. It is quite sad, but luckily they're still in business for now.

SHUT YOUR MOUTH HEATHEN KAMEO WAS FANTASTIC

#43 Posted by AlisterCat (5470 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

@AlisterCat said:

I spoke to some former rare employees recently and the consensus was that when Microsoft put them on Kinect Sports that's the only thing they wanted out of rare. Working at rare for 15 years and your reward is motion based sports sequels. Yay.

Motion based sports sequels which sell over 6 million copies, mind you

Yeah but I don't think they cared about that. One had worked on Donkey Kong 64 as their first game for Rare. Viva Pinata, Banjo Kazooie and their other works were some of the most creative around. Don't think they liked it.

#44 Posted by xyzygy (9870 posts) -

@AlisterCat said:

@xyzygy said:

@AlisterCat said:

I spoke to some former rare employees recently and the consensus was that when Microsoft put them on Kinect Sports that's the only thing they wanted out of rare. Working at rare for 15 years and your reward is motion based sports sequels. Yay.

Motion based sports sequels which sell over 6 million copies, mind you

Yeah but I don't think they cared about that. One had worked on Donkey Kong 64 as their first game for Rare. Viva Pinata, Banjo Kazooie and their other works were some of the most creative around. Don't think they liked it.

You don't think they like money?

#45 Posted by mrpandaman (864 posts) -

@xyzygy:

Apparently a lot of talent left though due to their job being unsatisfying. So it's hard to gauge that they can develop the type of games Rare has made in the past.

Even though the game may sell quite a lot they may not necessarily be happy with being stuck doing motion games. Sure they may be making MS a lot of money, but more and more you're seeing developers wanting to do their own thing. Having a successful game like Kinect Sports is kind of like a double-edged sword, sure it's done well financially, but hey it sold a lot, now make more of the same. Essentially they could be stuck making more and more kinect games they may not want to be making not being able to branch out. Which is really unfortunate since Rare is one of those studios with a pretty great heritage. It's not like they are unproven in developing games.

#46 Edited by AlisterCat (5470 posts) -

@xyzygy: They left their jobs because it was creatively suffocating. At least that's the impression I got from talking with them. They get paid to do their job. I'm sure everyone likes money from their job, but it's not like they left because there wasn't enough money.

Edit: For the record, they were very professional. They did not want to talk shit about Rare or Microsoft. Probably couldn't.

#47 Posted by mabber36 (128 posts) -

remember, never get greedy and let your company get bought out if you make a successful video game company

#48 Posted by Phatmac (5720 posts) -

@sarge1445 said:

@Phatmac said:

While Viva Pinata and Banjo Nuts & Bolts were great games they still made duds like Kameo and Perfect Dark. They aren't the same Rare that they used to be. It was a combination of Rare losing what made them special and Microsoft repeatedly giving Rare chances to shine. Unfortunately their games with Microsoft weren't as big of hits as what they had initially delivered with Nintendo. It is quite sad, but luckily they're still in business for now.

SHUT YOUR MOUTH HEATHEN KAMEO WAS FANTASTIC

Fine. It's alright!

#49 Posted by supermonkey122 (809 posts) -

Conker.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.