Ex Rare Developer Talks About Being Mismanaged By Microsoft


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.”


      1. Agreed, let’s hope amazing franchises like Banjo-Kazooie can resurface and become what we used to love it to be.

        1. Or far better yet, Rare reunited with Nintendo along all of Rare’s franchises to be given a long waited rebirth.

          If, when and once Rare returns to Nintendo, both companies will become an unstoppable force like before. If only Nintendo would buy them back…

          1. Tell that to Mr. DingDong who obviously is taking the path of the casual-shiznit
            Family cars??? Baaaahhhh….

    1. It woulnt be the same, all the old talent left long ago. Rare today is a hollow shell of it’s former self.

      1. And some of that old talent is currently back with Nintendo working on some projects so all of Rare isn’t lost. If the reunion would happen, those guys will return to the company while partnered with Nintendo again.

        It would still be like the old days if they play their cards right. But hey, the bright side to that is this: Conker’s Bad Fur Day will finally debut in VC. Do you have any idea how much I love that game? :3

    1. True dat. I can see why people went with 360 for 7th gen because of the price, but now? Xbone seems really crappy. I don’t know why anyone would want something that’s essentially a crap version of a ps4.

      1. Most people that isn’t grown up with PS and didn’t get retarded hands, have problem with the unergonomic PS controller. That’s a really valid reason to buy a xbone if you don’t want Nintendo

    2. Agreed, Microsoft clearly has no passion for video games. I just wish Nintendo will seek through this pit they have put themselves in. Nintendo has the passion for video games, but they need to fix a lot of things….

    3. They’re the biggest monopolistic bastards in the industry and the DRM debacle further proves how greedy and out of touch they’ve become.

      They don’t deserve Rare and Rare should’ve turned them down buying the company because look at what path they chose over what they use to be with Nintendo. :/

    4. A million times this. Microsoft has done little if anything to benefit the industry, arguably the only thing they’ve improved is the quality of internet and services. It’s pretty clear that they have no real interest in gaming, they’re just trying to make money off gamers.

  1. Rare was destroyed before Microsoft bought it, and it’s the only reason Nintendo sold it in the first place. Rare was unable to make their own projects with good results, as soon as Nintendo wasn’t looking, they were making stupid decisions, it was a horrible asset.

    Too bad that the great franchises that were created with Nintendo’s help ended up being casualties.

    1. Except nintendo never “owned” rare, they had a 49% stake in the company and refused to buy the rest out. (They were orginally buying in 2-5% at a time when rare needed $$ and rare didnt want to just sell anothe low % and be minority owners) They sold their 49% back to rare and then the whole thing was sold 100% to MS.

      1. From what I heard, Nintendo was forced to sell the remaining 49% when the Stamper brothers sold their 51% to MS. Nintendo had no choice but to sell considering MS had the majority of shares.

  2. Yep, Rare had long since stopped delivering quality when Microsoft got ’em. Nintendo knew this and couldn’t resist the troll burn.

    1. Conker’s Bad Fur Day was released in 2001 and Banjo Tooie end of 2000…. There were still making some of the best games right until they got brought out. Sept 2002 is when Microsoft brought them out only 6 months after Conker was released.

        1. Star fox adventures was never a star fox game to begin with. It was originally supposed to be called dinosaur planet i believe, but for some reason nintendo gave a pass to slap star fox characters in it and call it a day. Prob bc GameCube was struggling sales wise.

          1. It was also pretty much built for the N64 and then ported to the Gamecube in time to have it out so the system had some games.

            And from what I heard during the Gamecube days, they never expected much sales from the system.

    2. Hurm, bad wording. I was thinking more within the “true classic” streak that Rare maintained through the ’90s, which I’d say ends with GoldenEye or Banjo-Kazooie.

    1. Rare didn’t make donkey kong but this guy is an Ex Rare Developer he no longer works with them so I guess he helped with making Donkey Kong Country Returns :P

  3. Ok… So Microsoft said “Do what you always did, awesome games!” And they wanted to appeal to the Halo audience instead?

  4. Some of you keep thinking rare can go back to it’s glory days. That’s like a group of friends not willing to hang out anymore cause they got kids now.

    1. Maybe not, but if Nintendo ever acquired Rareware IPs!… Think of the wonderful games they could make while owning Banjo Kazooie, if not, buy Rareware back JUST so Banjo and Kazooie can be in Super Smash bros. The two belong. 💋

      1. All people essentially want are for those RARE classics to be continuously over milked, updated graphically, storywise & w/ a few more restructured worlds added (perhaps send his furry ass to space this time?) just like their homo fascination: Mario.

      2. Not sure Nintendo would want to make Conker games anymore considering the series isn’t exactly kid friendly. But I would like to see Banjo Kazooie return to Nintendo consoles, Nintendo can probably do a lot more with the series.

  5. Please bring crackdown 3 to wii u!
    Haha but seriously this Is real good for Nintendo liking to create relationships and chemistry with developers rather then buyouts and sellouts

  6. I am absolutely saddened that Rare, one of the best companies during the N64 Era, come to this. Is just not fair, weren’t they happy with Nintendo back then than today?

    1. It was mainly about the stakes. Nintendo didn’t wholly own Rare but Microsoft just decided to over take the company and Nintendo had no choice but to sell the rest of the stock in the end.

  7. I hate it when people say Star Fox Adventures was bad. Both Star Fox, 64, and Adventures was the most solid in the series. It may not be the best Rare game but it is a hell alot better than most games out there. Plus, David Wise’s music was da shit.

    1. Star Fox Adventures is the best Star Fox game IMO. I love how it is similar to Legend of Zelda.

      I am not the kind of person who believes something established can only remain good if they “stay loyal” to the “brand.” I love when companies take risks on their products and think outside the box.

      To me Fox is better out of the cockpit with weapon in hand instead of couped up
      in the cockpit of an Airwing. The story was definitely more engaging as well. KRYSTAL FOR SSB4!!! 💋

  8. To be fair and honest, we didn’t need this guy’s statement to know exactly what he just said.

    Acquiring Rareware was nothing more than taking away part of a competing company’s IPs despite not even having the intentions to expand on the them.

    If Microsoft was even a little
    bit concerned over the future success of Rare, then they woul not have picked them up, knowing there was no place for Rare games on their systems. 💋

    1. Killer Instinct 3 on Xbox One is getting great reviews. It is also under the direction of Ken Lobb who was responsible for the original Killer Instinct. The Killer Instinct team at Double Helix Games is composed of veteran fighting game designers that were involved in the production of the original Killer Instinct, Street Fighter II Turbo, Skull girls, Weaponlord and Soul Caliber.



  9. All this insider info makes me wonder how that gamestop employee could’ve said with a straight face “it’s not microsoft’s fault. don’t blame them.” It is their fault. It was their fault. They killed one of the best development companies in the whole industry.








  12. Everybody knows Microsoft treats their studios like shit, they don’t take video games seriously, it’s just money for them.

  13. Such a talented team of people, shame on you Nintendo for selling Rare and shame on you Microsoft for exploiting them for your own self desires! Because despite all those fancy first-person shooters, not one of them has yet to match the original Perfect Dark! I mean, okay, the storyline was crap but the gameplay was incredible. Weapon variety was sooo inventive and it had simulants! Ya know, people in the game industry really need to ditch this “realism” phase they’re going through and make games fun again. R.I.P. Rare.

    1. Again, our empire did not sell Rare, they were forced to sell it to the Xbots because they only owned 49% of the share while the Xbots bought had 51…

  14. Rare… if you’re complaining so much…. why didn’t you ask those important questions in the contract phase with Microsoft?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: