Former Nintendo of America executive Ken Lobb worked back and forth with acclaimed developers Rare from 1994 to 2001. He also had a hand at developing some of the games for the company including the brilliant GoldenEye 64 and Killer Instinct. Speaking to Game Informer, Mr. Lobb discussed what it was like working between the two companies.
“Let’s just say, the ‘bigs,’ or the more experienced Rare developers were busy. They also weren’t super thrilled about making a game with a license. The license had come from Japan, from Mr. [Hiroshi] Yamauchi. He started the negotiations for it. Tim and Chris had agreed to take on the project. But the people making Donkey Kong, Banjo, Killer Instinct – they’re all busy. So, Martin Hollis and a little group of people began working on it.
They worked in barns at the time. Rare was called the Manor Farmhouse. It was this beautiful old farmhouse with a bunch of developers in it, and all these barns that were converted into development spaces. One was for Banjo, one was Killer Instinct, the smallest one had Martin Hollis, David Doak, and the whole team behind GoldenEye. I was visiting Rare a lot, once every 8 to 10 weeks to work on Killer Instinct 2. Actually, the end of Killer Instinct and into Killer Instinct 2, while they were making GoldenEye. I developed a friendship with Martin. That had a couple, shall we say, interesting impacts…”