Phil Tossell, a former programmer at Rare who worked on notable titles such as Donkey Kong Country and Star Fox Adventures, has openly talked about his experiences after being taken over by Microsoft. Tossell says that the company were initially determined to create titles that gamers had always expected from the company, however Microsoft told them to make the games they had always made for an audience that basically didn’t want those types of games.
“We were being asked to make the games we’d always made for an audience that didn’t want those sort of games. The reason we did Black Widow, Crackdown and aged up Kameo was because we were trying to bridge that gap but Microsoft wouldn’t let us.”
Conker’s Bad Fur Day director, Chris Seavor, has revealed that Microsoft mistakenly thought they owned the Donkey Kong franchise when they purchased Rare back in 2002. The information came about when Seavor was asked where the Xbox One’s equivalent of PlayStation 4 exclusive Knack was. Seavor then told the tale about Microsoft and Donkey Kong. Here’s what he had to say.
The current generation of ‘enablers’ won’t even know they own the IP… Here’s a true story.. When Rare was first bought by MS a group of execs came on a tour.. One of them noticed the Donkey Kong. ..Posters everywhere and said.. ‘Hey that’s great.. We own Donkey Kong right??’ ………/massivesigh
Phil Tossell, a former Rare developer who’s now working on Wii U and iPad game Tengami, has revealed that the team really enjoyed working closely with Nintendo, as most of the team composed of Nintendo fans. Tossell says that there was a severe culture clash between Rare and its current employer, Microsoft. He said that as time past the culture at the acclaimed studio changed and it felt more like Microsoft and less like Rare.
“I think most of the people who worked at Rare at the time were Nintendo fans and we loved working closely with Nintendo. Rare was also a close knit family and so it was something of a shock to suddenly become part of such a huge organisation as Microsoft. There was a severe culture clash which perhaps didn’t become apparent at first as Microsoft mostly allowed us to continue as we had always done.”
“However as time passed and there were staff changes at MGS, together with Tim and Chris (Stamper) leaving, the culture changed and it began to feel more Microsoft and less Rare. While Rare continues to put out high quality games, for me it lost some of the spark that had made the company special.”
“I think at the moment the company is going through something of a rebirth as there are lots of new people and most of the old staff have left, so I’m excited to see what they do next. Whatever Rare does it will always hold a special place for me.”
We heard rumours earlier this week that suggested that Microsoft had begun sending representatives to the Wii U Best Buy events in an effort to sway gamers to get an Xbox One. Now footage has surfaced of the company doing this exact thing at an undisclosed Best Buy store in North America. Seems as though he wasn’t expecting the response he got.
Apparently, there are multiple reports of Microsoft employees advertising their products at Wii U events taking place in select Best Buy stores this week. One report says a Microsoft employee tried to convince people who were waiting in line to demo a Wii U game to pre-order the Xbox One. According to another report, someone wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the Microsoft logo lingered around the Wii U event and talked to people around a demo station. The next Wii U event at Best Buy this week takes place on Saturday, June 15th.
It appears as though consumers in the U.K. weren’t pleased with Microsoft’s Xbox One press conference on Tuesday. Before the company revealed its next-generation console, the Wii U console’s sales rank was at #390 on Amazon UK. Shortly after the Xbox One conference, the Wii U console’s sales rank apparently jumped by a whopping 875 percent, elevating its rank to #40 on the online retailer.
Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer has told Polygon that the company is preparing to reveal a historic Rare franchise for the newly unveiled Xbox One at this year’s E3 event in June. Spencer wouldn’t give any hints regarding which franchise he is referring to, but Rare clearly have a legendary back catalogue of games. Which Rare IP would you like to see revitalised for the Xbox One?
“Fans of Rare and Rare IP I think will be pleased with what we’re going to show at E3. We had a limited amount of time today and a lot of story to tell. But Rare remains an incredibly important part of our development capability. That historic IP that they’ve built I think can play a real important role on Xbox One.”
Nintendo and Sony have both seen their stock prices rise following today’s Xbox One announcement from Microsoft. Nintendo saw a rise of around 2.2 percent, while Sony saw a rise of 9.3 percent. We should remember that Nintendo’s shares also rose when Sony hosted the PlayStation 4 presentation in February. On February 22nd Sony’s U.S shares were down 2.7 percent to $14.08 by midday, with Nintendo’s shares up 2 percent to $11.79
Former Grand Theft Auto producer at Rockstar, Jeremy Pope, has told Games Industry that he can’t see there being three consoles in the next, next generation. Pope says it will be extremely challenging for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, and says that it is hard to fathom that we are going to have these three big players in the console market in the future. Pope wouldn’t be drawn into who he thought might leave the home console market, but he did say that several companies have stopped developing console games because it’s become so expensive and time-consuming. Here’s what Pope had to say.
“It’s going to be very challenging for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see by the next generation some consolidation of some sort — it seems hard to fathom that we’re going to have these three big players again and again with the way everything is shaking out.”
The NPD group has released hardware and software sales figures for the month of February in the United States. Microsoft once again sold the most hardware with the Xbox 360 selling an impressive 302,000 units. Nintendo wouldn’t disclose their figures, but information given to Venture Beat states that the Wii U sold an estimated 55,000 units in January. The console saw a 40 percent increase in February which would put it in the 80,000 range. Nintendo sold 445,000 Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Wii and Wii U consoles combined. Nintendo has yet to issue a press release detailing their figures. Here’s the top ten best-selling software in the United States during the month of February.
1. Dead Space 3 (360, PS3, PC) Electronic Arts
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, Wii U PC) Activision Blizzard
3. Crysis 3 (360, PS3, PC) Electronic Arts
4. NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) Take-Two Interactive
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3, 360) Konami
6. Aliens: Colonial Marines 2013 (360, PS3, PC) Sega
7. Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, PS3, Wii U) Ubisoft
8. Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC) Ubisoft
9. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3, PSV) Sony
10. Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U) Electronic Arts