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Discussion Are We On The Rare x Nintendo Redemption Arc?

Rareware

Koopa
E3 2019. Nintendo and Rare fans across the world were shocked with excitement when Banjo & Kazooie was announced as future fighters coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Rare themselves even designed the new look for the characters! They released on September 4th, 2019.

Two years later on December 11th, 2021, the N64 Banjo-Kazooie classic was announced for NSO and released on January 20th, 2022. Also in 2022, the game that no one thought would ever see a re-release due to licensing issues (amongst other things) was announced simultaneously for Switch and Xbox: Goldeneye 007, with the Xbox receiving a somewhat remastered version of the game for Game Pass (and a free addition to owners of Rare Replay) and Switch the original version with exclusive online play. It released on January 17th, 2023.

Fast forward a bit to November 22nd, 2023, where Rare’s acclaimed third person sci-fi adventure Jet Force Gemini was announced for NSO for a December release. It released on December 7th, 2023.

Now here we are in February 2024, and rumors strongly persist that Sea of Thieves will be launching later this year on Nintendo and PlayStation hardware. Could it even be a launch title for Switch 2?! In addition to that, it’s highly plausible we’ll see additional Rare games making their way to NSO alongside the aforementioned Goldeneye, Banjo-Kazooie, and Jet Force Gemini. Maybe DK64, Diddy Kong Racing, Perfect Dark, and Banjo-Tooie just to name a few? And of course their top-selling SNES games are already there as well, those being the Donkey Kong Country trilogy

For those who were huge fans of the incredibly strong partnership between Rare and Nintendo in the 90s and early 2000s, it does feel like there’s a “redemption arc” of sorts happening that is bringing the former partners together again in a way that hasn’t been seen since they stopped developing for Nintendo hardware in the late 2000s with Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise.

Where things go from here only the future can tell, but with Xbox planning to release more of its software to other platforms (like the aforementioned Sea of Thieves), perhaps even Rare’s Everwild and the rumored new Banjo game in dev could see their way to Switch 2 as well? Either way, it has been great seeing more and more Rare releases hitting Nintendo hardware once again and the future looks bright for many more to come!
 
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The true redemption arc will be a surprise sale of RARE back to Nintendo.

if you would indulge My fanfic:
As part of the deal, Microsoft retains access to RARE's current , past games so nothing changes for Xbox owners with RARE games in their library, with future games with a timed exclusive on Nintendo platforms before going over to Xbox. Nintendo gets it for a good price.
 
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We're never going to get the 90s Rare back, even with Nintendo support it's just too different a company now.

But this is probably as close as we can realistically get. Getting both current and past Rare games on Nintendo hardware, with Banjo in Smash.
 
The true redemption arc will be a surprise sale of RARE back to Nintendo.

if you would indulge My fanfic:
As part of the deal, Microsoft retains access to RARE's current , past games so nothing changes for Xbox owners with RARE games in their library, with future games with a timed exclusive on Nintendo platforms before going over to Xbox. Nintendo gets it for a good price.
But Rare isn't anything like the company from the 90s? Nintendo might as well buy Playtonic if they want the talent from the good ol' days. Buying current Rare wouldn't do them any good imo.
 
The true redemption arc will be a surprise sale of RARE back to Nintendo.

if you would indulge My fanfic:
As part of the deal, Microsoft retains access to RARE's current , past games so nothing changes for Xbox owners with RARE games in their library, with future games with a timed exclusive on Nintendo platforms before going over to Xbox. Nintendo gets it for a good price.

Honestly… if Nintendo wouldn’t acquire them back then during their height, they sure wouldn’t do it now with them releasing only a single in-house game every 7 years 😔
 
Rare in 2024 isn’t the same Rare from 25 years ago, the key creatives and any game design philosophy aren’t the same. It’s just the IP and company name.
 
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We're only on the redemption arc if we get another Banjo on a Nintendo platform. And I strongly believe the next Banjo will not be developed by Rare.
 
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Rare is probably one of the clearest examples of how you should stop thinking and caring about following company names and brands, to keep track of the real people behind the games you make and where they go over time.
 
Game developers are a real Ship of Theseus; the name is the same, but the personnel - and the things they've decided to work toward as a company - are entirely different, and have been for a while now.
 
It's been over twenty years since Rare and Nintendo parted ways. Outside of mining for nostalgia, I wouldn't expect too much from them.
 
This is about Rare games being released more and more on Nintendo hardware, regardless of whether it’s a new game or stuff from their past. Not the endless debate of whether or not Rare is the same or not. But like most other companies that are not Nintendo, it has a lot of new people from the company growing and they have retained a lot of people who have been with the company from 10 to even 30+ years…

Well anyway, that’s going way off subject and was hoping that this thread could just be about their games on Switch and others coming. Can we talk about that?
 
I just want to know what the heck an Everwild is, OP.

Don’t we all! Feels like this summer’s Xbox Showcase could be the time to finally get a good reveal of it for a 2025 release. This year makes a solid 5 years since its announcement, so the timing is right. And hey, maybe we’ll be getting it on Switch 2 as well!

EDIT: It will also have been five years since Perfect Dark was announced! So could be a great year for Rare IP in the limelight.
 
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"Love the band, not the brand"

I share this sentiment, while understanding why people want Rare back under Nintendo to begin with.

To get Banjo and Conker, and other Rare IP back in-house with Nintendo. Thing is, Nintendo is not guaranteed to do anything with those IP and in those cases Nintendo could just buy the rights to the IP outright if they wanted to.

What could be happening now would be the next best thing. Future releases of Rare IPs going on the Nintendo Switch moving forward, Microsoft allowing older Rare games on Nintendo's services and Banjo-Kazooie back in the next Smash Bros where they belong.
 
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More to what the OP would like to focus on: my favourite Rare period is actually their Xbox 360 stuff! I would love to see Viva Piñata on the Switch in particular.
 
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90s Rare is completely different company, so I'm not seeing much of an arc to be had

They're the Sea of Thieves company now, that's it
 
This is about Rare games being released more and more on Nintendo hardware, regardless of whether it’s a new game or stuff from their past. Not the endless debate of whether or not Rare is the same or not. But like most other companies that are not Nintendo, it has a lot of new people from the company growing and they have retained a lot of people who have been with the company from 10 to even 30+ years…

Well anyway, that’s going way off subject and was hoping that this thread could just be about their games on Switch and others coming. Can we talk about that?
Well the thing is people will be happy if games like SoT or maybe one day Everwild come to Switch, but in no small part because it's a Rare game than for the game itself. If they're post-Nintendo IPs how much people will actually embrace them varies. So whether that counts as a redemption is questionable, since it's Rare, but it's not really the Rare people envision when they want Rare to "come back" to Nintendo.

So if getting the old Rare games and new, unrelated IPs counts as a redemption, then yes, that's possible. And it'd be great to see those old games continue to come to NSO. But if people are expecting them to start dropping new Banjo and Conker games on Switch 2, you may be waiting a while. I'm not even sure if they'd bother bringing something like the 2013 Killer Instinct over.

Though even just getting the handful of old games on NSO has exceeded what I was expecting a few years ago. So overall yes, I do think we've moved in a very positive direction when it comes to Rare content.
 
The Rare you talk about and love is dead and buried since the Stamper brothers left.

Yes, people who love Nintendo are nostalgic. Yes, Sea Of Thieves is also a good game. It does not change anything, we must accept to mourn about it. Not doing it would be a little bit pathetic, and I’m talking as a huge fan.
 
But Rare isn't anything like the company from the 90s? Nintendo might as well buy Playtonic if they want the talent from the good ol' days. Buying current Rare wouldn't do them any good imo.
The ips. People you can hire.

I don't get the "rare isn't like what is was" arguments

If any devs know anything about that it is Nintendo. It's why they don't like acquisitions since talent is portable. But the rare ips stated on Nintendo coming home are what this redemption arc is about, to me at least
 
The ips. People you can hire.

I don't get the "rare isn't like what is was" arguments

If any devs know anything about that it is Nintendo. It's why they don't like acquisitions since talent is portable. But the rare ips stated on Nintendo coming home are what this redemption arc is about, to me at least

Yes. That is exactly what this is about.
 
This is about Rare games being released more and more on Nintendo hardware, regardless of whether it’s a new game or stuff from their past. Not the endless debate of whether or not Rare is the same or not. But like most other companies that are not Nintendo, it has a lot of new people from the company growing and they have retained a lot of people who have been with the company from 10 to even 30+ years…

Well anyway, that’s going way off subject and was hoping that this thread could just be about their games on Switch and others coming. Can we talk about that?
To be fair, the thread title is phrased as a question to which the answer some people might give is ‘no’, for the reason given that Rare today isn’t the Rare the same nostalgia fuelling the thread is for.

But yeah, I’m interested to see what becomes of Perfect Dark. I think there’s a gap in the market for a spy arcadey sci-fi shooter, which is why people loved it in the first place.
 
To be fair, the thread title is phrased as a question to which the answer some people might give is ‘no’, for the reason given.

But yeah, I’m interested to see what becomes of Perfect Dark. I think there’s a gap in the market for a spy arcadey sci-fi shooter, which is why people loved it in the first place.
I thought I heard the studio tapped to make the new PD was having trouble?
 
Oh right? I haven’t really followed it, it’s been so long
Yeah, it's not exactly been smooth sailing, based on old reports.

 
It’s important to rmeber that Nintendo was the one who let them go.

And they were never part of Nintendo , they may be associated closely and Nintendo owned a lot of them but ultimately they were another partner studio Nintendo ended their relationship with, the most notable of which but one fo many, Nintendo doesn’t care for studios, so I really doubt there will be a comeback because I don’t think Nintendo are emotionally invested in owning an ip as much some of their fans are.
 
Yeah, it's not exactly been smooth sailing, based on old reports.


Perfect Dark

is the first project by The Initiative, a Microsoft studio founded in 2018 and headed by Darrell Gallagher.[2] Gallagher, who had previously worked on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, chose to work on a Perfect Darkreboot after Microsoft presented him with a few opportunities.[3] Plans for the game had already been discussed before Gallagher joined The Initiative,[4] with Xbox head Phil Spencer stating that the game is seen as an opportunity for protagonist Joanna Dark to diversify the Xbox family.[3]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Dark_(upcoming_video_game)#cite_note-Modern_opportunities-3
In September 2021, The Initiative announced they would be partnering with Crystal Dynamics on the game's development.[9]Daniel Neuburger, who had previously directed several Tomb Raider games at Crystal Dynamics, was the game director,[10] until he left The Initiative in February 2022.[11] In the previous 12 months, a substantial number of developers had also left the company, citing a lack of creative autonomy and slow development progress as the reason for their departures.[12] In May 2022, after Embracer Group announced that they had entered an agreement with Square Enix to acquire Crystal Dynamics, The Initiative confirmed that they would still continue to co-develop the game with the studio.[13] In November 2022, Xbox Studios boss Matt Booty revealed that, after the departure of several senior staff members at The Initiative, the Perfect Dark team has been slowly rebuilding while dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and starting up a new studio.[14]

By June 2023, Perfect Dark was still in pre-production and roughly two to three years away from release. It was also revealed that Certain Affinity was involved in its development before The Initiative announced that they would co-develop the game with Crystal Dynamics. Due to multiple factors, including poor management and creative differences between both studios, progress on the game stalled. In 2022, after The Initiative partnered with Crystal Dynamics, development restarted under Unreal Engine 5 and was a bit more productive. There are plans for the game to follow an episodic format, but it could still change before release.[15]

Yeah this sounds like it is in development hell. A long way from even 2024 Rare too.
 
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To be fair, the thread title is phrased as a question to which the answer some people might give is ‘no’, for the reason given that Rare today isn’t the Rare the same nostalgia fuelling the thread is for.

But yeah, I’m interested to see what becomes of Perfect Dark. I think there’s a gap in the market for a spy arcadey sci-fi shooter, which is why people loved it in the first place.

You’re right, it was phrased as a question. But I guess maybe I didn’t correctly convey in the OP what the idea of the thread was about, idk… I thought it was pretty straightforward 🤷🏼

There’s a lot of irony in the new Perfect Dark allegedly taking an episodic approach… as that’s exactly what Chris Seavor’s PD sequel, Perfect Dark Core, was going to be on Xbox 360!
 
The degree to which people left Rare in a sort of mass exodus has always been greatly overstated. A lot of key people have scattered over time, but that's to be expected over the course of 20 years or so when their output has also greatly reduced, meaning those people have nothing to do.

They lost most of the FPS team before the buyout even happened, which is probably why Perfect Dark Zero didn't go so well.

Playtonic most notably have Steve Mayles and Chris Sutherland, who programmed and did character designs respectively for many of Rare's old platformers, but they very notably do not have the people who designed or wrote those games. They're still at Rare.

Chris Seavor, the voice and main figurehead behind Conker, left to do his own thing ages ago. But Robin Beanland, composer of Conker and Killer Instinct, is still at Rare. It's a mix. I think they would still be a better bet than any of their offshoots, assuming whatever you wanted from them actually gets released. Can't wait for the Sea of Thieves equivalent to the "10 years since Tropical Freeze and Retro's last game in general" thread. Modern game development is hell.
 
You’re right, it was phrased as a question. But I guess maybe I didn’t correctly convey in the OP what the idea of the thread was about, idk…

There’s a lot of irony in the new Perfect Dark allegedly taking an episodic approach… as that’s exactly what Chris Seavor’s PD sequel, Perfect Dark Core, was going to be on Xbox 360!
Hah, yeah, true. Episodic games were a trend for a while, Telltale built a business model around it before they imploded too. Although… I still think it could really work for what’s essentially a sci-fi thriller. Not everything needs to be an open world rpg or an action game. And with Deus Ex cancelled/in limbo after Embracer’s colossal level of mismanagement, it will be a shame if development of Perfect Dark doesn’t manage to stick the landing, I like that kind of ‘sci fi infiltration’ stuff.
 
The degree to which people left Rare in a sort of mass exodus has always been greatly overstated. A lot of key people have scattered over time, but that's to be expected over the course of 20 years or so when their output has also greatly reduced, meaning those people have nothing to do.

They lost most of the FPS team before the buyout even happened, which is probably why Perfect Dark Zero didn't go so well.

Playtonic most notably have Steve Mayles and Chris Sutherland, who programmed and did character designs respectively for many of Rare's old platformers, but they very notably do not have the people who designed or wrote those games. They're still at Rare.

Chris Seavor, the voice and main figurehead behind Conker, left to do his own thing ages ago. But Robin Beanland, composer of Conker and Killer Instinct, is still at Rare. It's a mix. I think they would still be a better bet than any of their offshoots, assuming whatever you wanted from them actually gets released. Can't wait for the Sea of Thieves equivalent to the "10 years since Tropical Freeze and Retro's last game in general" thread. Modern game development is hell.

It has 100% been overstated! It was only a handful of people that left in the middle of Perfect Dark’s development, and that didn’t really have much of an impact on the game (highest rated FPS game still to-date!). PDZ was just unfortunately not a good game (multiplayer aside), but don’t think it had much to do with people having left. A lot of the PD team worked on PDZ like Duncan Botwood, Chris Tilston, etc. I think the porting from GameCube, to Xbox, to Xbox 360 (with the added pressure of being a launch title) severely impacted its development, sadly. Kameo, too, which was drastically scaled back and I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t part of the reason.

And as you said, a lot of the other people who left of their own accord or were laid off (like Chris Seavor), happened periodically over the years that followed. Most notably from 2008 onwards when Rare really didn’t have a choice but to pivot in a new direction or get shut down entirely due to their games just not selling well. Had Kinect Sports not been the massive success it was, Rare wouldn’t be here today.

But there is still a lot of people at Rare now who have been there for a long, long time. Paul M. and Gregg Mayles since the 1980s; Huw Ward and Robin Beanland since the early 90s; Louise Ridgeway, Chris Allcock, James Thomas… and that’s just to name a few off the top of my head.

It’s great that Sea of Thieves has been successful and yeah, it’s disappointing that there hasn’t been much new in-house since then, but it’s not like they’re not doing anything else at all. We had Rare Replay a few years prior to that, Goldeneye re-release was done in-house in collaboration with Code Mystics, Rare assisted with the development of Battletoads, Banjo & Kazooie’s new designs in Smash was made by Rare… and frankly, I’d be shocked if Rare isn’t also assisting with the new Banjo game or even potentially developing it themselves!
 
Hah, yeah, true. Episodic games were a trend for a while, Telltale built a business model around it before they imploded too. Although… I still think it could really work for what’s essentially a sci-fi thriller. Not everything needs to be an open world rpg or an action game. And with Deus Ex cancelled/in limbo after Embracer’s colossal level of mismanagement, it will be a shame if development of Perfect Dark doesn’t manage to stick the landing, I like that kind of ‘sci fi infiltration’ stuff.

That‘s what makes Perfect Dark and Goldeneye so special. They’re not these big, massive open world games. Multiple missions that are short in length, and made a bit longer and harder depending on the difficulty you opt for. And you never have to go in guns blazing! It’s mostly your choice in how you want to proceed with those missions. There’s still a void all these years later that hasn’t been filled and PD coming back has the potential to fill it if they do it right.
 
The degree to which people left Rare in a sort of mass exodus has always been greatly overstated. A lot of key people have scattered over time, but that's to be expected over the course of 20 years or so when their output has also greatly reduced, meaning those people have nothing to do.

They lost most of the FPS team before the buyout even happened, which is probably why Perfect Dark Zero didn't go so well.

Playtonic most notably have Steve Mayles and Chris Sutherland, who programmed and did character designs respectively for many of Rare's old platformers, but they very notably do not have the people who designed or wrote those games. They're still at Rare.

Chris Seavor, the voice and main figurehead behind Conker, left to do his own thing ages ago. But Robin Beanland, composer of Conker and Killer Instinct, is still at Rare. It's a mix. I think they would still be a better bet than any of their offshoots, assuming whatever you wanted from them actually gets released. Can't wait for the Sea of Thieves equivalent to the "10 years since Tropical Freeze and Retro's last game in general" thread. Modern game development is hell.
Steve’s brother, Gregg (father of Banjo-Kazooie), is still at Rare.

People sometimes forget that Sea of Thieves is a Gregg Mayles game!

I think what makes this whole thing exciting is knowing that if a new Banjo game is indeed seriously happening (which, Nate had mentioned a while back it was greenlit), then I feel there’s no way in heck it’ll skip Nintendo, as that’s where the core audience will be.

I’d love to see their own Rare Replay with all games they did alongside Nintendo during their tenure with them (like substitute out some of those OG Xbox/360 games for Donkey Kong games, Diddy Kong Racing, Starfox Adventures and more) ((or they could just keep adding to NSO, alternatively))

However if I could be greedy I do think Kameo or Viva Piñata would look and feel nice at home on Nintendo hardware!
 
I doubt Nintendo would be that eager to work with Rare given their track record for the past 2 decades. Then again, they still work with Arzest sometimes, so who knows?
 
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Sort of confused by the implication in this thread that Sea of Thieves is some sort of disaster for Rare; didn't it review pretty well/has been a pretty successful game for them? I still play it on and off and the community for it seems pretty active, and stuff like the PotC/Monkey Island crossovers were a lot of fun. Tbph besides Perfect Dark Zero, arguably the Bad Fur Day remake and the Kinect Sports era (and again, not a bad game, just not what anyone wanted) at least from a quality perspective Rare-post Nintendo wasn't some huge disaster, they just didn't really have a 'hit' until SoT. Viva Pinata's great and I don't care what anyone says, Grabbed by the Ghoulies/Nuts & Bolts are great games that got unfairly shat on at the time for not being a new (traditional) Banjo game.
 
To directly address the OP, I think we can see the "Redemption" from two different points of view:

- Nintendo "getting back" the N64 Rare games. Whether this is in the form of remasters or just on NSO, I think it is important that those games can be easily played on modern Nintendo platforms. They are part of Nintendo's history. EAD was slightly involved in some of them (GoldenEye, Perfect Dark), others had Nintendo's blessing (Banjo, Blast Cops), and others were more Rare's (Jet Force Gemini, Conker). Ultimately, those distinctions are a technicality -- they are Nintendo games as nowadays Astral Chain or BoxBoy are Nintendo games.

- Nintendo getting new games by Rare. While this would be cool, I don't think it is essential. It's exactly on the same page as "Nintendo getting new games by [good developer here]". Some of the people who worked at Rare in the 90s are gone, and while others stayed, I don't think Rare developed a strong company culture where the new blood is trained by the old guards (unlike Nintendo -- see how Zelda's torched was passed from Miyamoto to Tezuka, then to Aonuma, then to Fujibayashi). Modern Rare is the 90s Rare, it doesn't really have ties to Nintendo, and they don't need Nintendo (and Nintendo does not need them).
 
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This is about Rare games being released more and more on Nintendo hardware, regardless of whether it’s a new game or stuff from their past. Not the endless debate of whether or not Rare is the same or not. But like most other companies that are not Nintendo, it has a lot of new people from the company growing and they have retained a lot of people who have been with the company from 10 to even 30+ years…
Well it honesty does feel a bit like a contradiction to talk about how this is a "redemption arc of sorts" for the company's strong partnership with Nintendo that existed in the 90's / 2000's while not wanting people to mention that the thing being redeemed, i.e. Rare, isn't really the same as they were in the 90's or early 2000's. Even if some of the same people are there, it doesn't really have the same company culture.

That being said, I don't know why Rare games wouldn't come to Switch, but it's fairly straightforward topic - they either do or they don't, which is probably why the redemption arc premise is being much more discussed and talked about.
 
Well it honesty does feel a bit like a contradiction to talk about how this is a "redemption arc of sorts" for the company's strong partnership with Nintendo that existed in the 90's / 2000's while not wanting people to mention that the thing being redeemed, i.e. Rare, isn't really the same as they were in the 90's or early 2000's. Even if some of the same people are there, it doesn't really have the same company culture.

That being said, I don't know why Rare games wouldn't come to Switch, but it's fairly straightforward topic - they either do or they don't, which is probably why the redemption arc premise is being much more discussed and talked about.

I don’t mean it as Rare themselves here being redeemed. I know they’re not quite the same because they’re not putting out the same IP nor anywhere near as many games as before (but who is, really?). I said “redemption of arc of sorts” because we’ve been seeing Rare get more and more involved with Nintendo hardware over the past few years and it continues to expand. So in a way, it’s like they’re coming back together again.

I’m thinking maybe ‘Redemption Arc’ was a bad way for me to frame the thread 😅
 
I'd like to have either Viva Pinata Trouble in Paradise or a new game of the series coming to Switch/Switch 2. That game series inspired me to be a gardener irl, when I was 14/15 years old.

But Banjo-Kazooie remake or new entry would be cool too, but I didn't grew with those series.
 
I'd like to have either Viva Pinata Trouble in Paradise or a new game of the series coming to Switch/Switch 2. That game series inspired me to be a gardener irl, when I was 14/15 years old.

But Banjo-Kazooie remake or new entry would be cool too, but I didn't grew with those series.

Viva Piñata would be so awesome on Switch with the added benefit of using the touch screen. It’s one of the reasons the DS version is so good.
 
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I definitely see DK64 and DKR being announced to be coming to NSO at the next Direct. The timing just feels right regardless of what happens with Xbox. Both added to Rare Reply aswell as a port of RR coming to Switch later this year. Everyone wins.

I wonder how many actual developers are still at Rare compared to their N64 days in the mid to late nineties.
 
I don't know about "we", but personally I sure am.

And yeah, I know the folks who made the games of my childhood are mostly not there anymore.
 
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I definitely see DK64 and DKR being announced to be coming to NSO at the next Direct. The timing just feels right regardless of what happens with Xbox. Both added to Rare Reply aswell as a port of RR coming to Switch later this year. Everyone wins.

I wonder how many actual developers are still at Rare compared to their N64 days in the mid to late nineties.

DK64 and/or DKR definitely do seem like a great candidates for the next N64 games to be added!

Rare Replay couldn’t simply be ported as is. The 360 games would probably have to be removed, but they could replace those with additional N64, SNES, and NES games.
 
There's potential. I would be shocked if we did t get dk64 and Diddy Kong racing.

I just wish Nintendo got a Rare Replay of their own with updated resolutions and customizable controls. As it stands, GoldenEye 007 is God awful with the default controls on NS0+. It's atrocious that we would be forced to change the system control settings to play that game or buy an N64 controller. I bought NS0+ for DKR, and I can't see myself resubscribing another year.
 
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It has 100% been overstated! It was only a handful of people that left in the middle of Perfect Dark’s development, and that didn’t really have much of an impact on the game (highest rated FPS game still to-date!). PDZ was just unfortunately not a good game (multiplayer aside), but don’t think it had much to do with people having left. A lot of the PD team worked on PDZ like Duncan Botwood, Chris Tilston, etc. I think the porting from GameCube, to Xbox, to Xbox 360 (with the added pressure of being a launch title) severely impacted its development, sadly. Kameo, too, which was drastically scaled back and I wouldn’t be surprised if that wasn’t part of the reason.

And as you said, a lot of the other people who left of their own accord or were laid off (like Chris Seavor), happened periodically over the years that followed. Most notably from 2008 onwards when Rare really didn’t have a choice but to pivot in a new direction or get shut down entirely due to their games just not selling well. Had Kinect Sports not been the massive success it was, Rare wouldn’t be here today.

But there is still a lot of people at Rare now who have been there for a long, long time. Paul M. and Gregg Mayles since the 1980s; Huw Ward and Robin Beanland since the early 90s; Louise Ridgeway, Chris Allcock, James Thomas… and that’s just to name a few off the top of my head.

It’s great that Sea of Thieves has been successful and yeah, it’s disappointing that there hasn’t been much new in-house since then, but it’s not like they’re not doing anything else at all. We had Rare Replay a few years prior to that, Goldeneye re-release was done in-house in collaboration with Code Mystics, Rare assisted with the development of Battletoads, Banjo & Kazooie’s new designs in Smash was made by Rare… and frankly, I’d be shocked if Rare isn’t also assisting with the new Banjo game or even potentially developing it themselves!

Great post, completely agree with you here and always felt the same about it. I always thought selling Rare was a mistake but Nintendo fanboys made every possible and imaginable excuse in order to downplay Rare and damage control the sellout.

Sure, there were layoffs, the GoldenEye/Perfect Dark team, later Free Radical, being the most notorious loss, but most of the Rare talent was still there, only a handful actually left and this was overstated for the reason I said already. Imagine if Nintendo decided to get rid of Retro Studios after the initial Metroid Prime build controversy, make sure Nintendo fanboys would call it a smart move, the same way they do for Rare.

For the same reason Nintendo managed to maneuver the Retro Studios situation, they could do the same with Rare, as well. What Nintendo could still had, if they decided to keep Rare:
  • A western-themed platformer (Banjo-Kazooie)
  • A western-themed third-person shooter (Jet Force Gemini)
  • An alternative to Mario Kart (Diddy Kong Racing)
  • A traditional western first-person shooter (Perfect Dark)*
  • A western-themed action-adverture (Kameo)**
  • A mature themed platformer (Conker's Bad Fur Day)
* despite Rare loosing the original GoldenEye/Perfect Dark team, they still had a first-person team who made the Perfect Dark Zero for Xbox 360
** Kameo was originally a GameCube title

Rare's departure left a hole into Nintendo's appealing for a more western-themed audience and tastes they never managed to fully recover into their first and second-party offerings ever since.

I don't think Rare returning for Nintendo now won't make much of a difference this day and age, but back in 2002 was a very important studio for the western market, although I would love a new Banjo and Conker, even a Perfect Dark, exclusively for Nintendo systems again.
 
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