Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer has revealed on Twitter that he loves the Super Smash Bros franchise, but says not to expect a similar game on Xbox One with Microsoft and Rare IP’s. Spencer then went onto praise Nintendo’s beloved franchises and says that’s one of the many reasons that Super Smash Bros is as renowned as it is.
Microsoft Studios executive Phil Spencer believes that the Mario Kart franchise is genre defining and probably shouldn’t be replicated. Spencer mentioned this on Twitter when he was asked by a fan whether Microsoft would consider a kart racer with Banjo Kazooie and Masterchief.
“Every time I hear someone say ‘like Mario Kart’ I cringe. It’s kind of like open world driving, like GTA. Some games define genres.”
Thanks, Amy C
Phil Spencer, the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Studios, has praised both Sony and Nintendo in a recent interview with the official Xbox magazine. Spencer says that Nintendo’s highly regarded first party titles are an amazing asset to the Kyoto based company. He went on to say that Nintendo plays on the heartstrings of gamers and that Microsoft has done this with some success on Killer Instinct.
“Nintendo, I think – and there’s some argument about this – that their first-party is such an amazing asset…Their first party studios and IP can lead what they do as a company and the platforms are almost in service to the IP – not in a bad way.”
“They have such iconic stories and this will seem somewhat random, but when we go back and do something like Killer Instinct, a little bit of the history of your franchise can actually be important part of people feeling connected. Obviously the history of Killer Instinct isn’t a history on Xbox, but it’s Rare’s history and I think the reaction when we announced it on-stage at E3 showed that playing to the people’s heart, I think Nintendo does that as well as anybody in terms of hitting the franchises and having huge success with them.”
“Sony – and I’m focused on first-party because of what I do – I really respect their focus on investing in new things and creative things, what they’ve done with David Cage and Quantic Dream around Beyond [Two Souls] and Heavy Rain; they stay committed to franchises even if they don’t sell 10 million units, they’ll stay committed to things.”
“I think that long-term commitment to franchises is important, where it’s easy to pull off the Band-Aid and move onto the next thing [if it doesn't sell]. I respect their ‘stick-to-it-iveness’. I’ll say, they’ve done a nice job with PS4 [...] When I think about their announcement, their clear focus on a customer, leading with the value proposition of what they’re trying to do, staying true to a vision, I think they’ve done a nice job in how they defined the PS4.”
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.”