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Layoffs at Rare in the wake of  Kinect Sports Rivals  launch
Layoffs at Rare in the wake of Kinect Sports Rivals launch
May 19, 2014 | By Alex Wawro

May 19, 2014 | By Alex Wawro
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Newsbrief: Eurogamer reports that there have been layoffs at Rare, the British studio which most recently released Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One.

The report does not specify how many employees may have lost their jobs or what inspired the cuts. However, a Microsoft representative did provide Eurogamer with the following statement:

"At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences. As part of Rare's commitment to this goal, we have made a decision to change our development process and methodology at Rare to best support our future projects, this has led to us reviewing the skills and the makeup of our development teams in our business. Rare continues to invest in our people and future projects."

Gamasutra has reached out to representatives of Rare for confirmation and further comment on what this means for the future of the studio.


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Comments


Ron Dippold
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This happened after the original Kinect Sports was released too. Rumor was 19 people though MS said it was less (probably due to contractors vs employees).

At the time Kinect Sports was considered a success (3M sold), which doesn't seem to be the case this time.

http://www.edge-online.com/news/rare-makes-staff-cutbacks/ (2011 article).

Jeferson Soler
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@ Ron Dippold - Thanks for the article! As for the success of the original Kinect Sports game, the install base for Xbox 360 was very high at that point and the system was attracting all kinds of players, including the ones that the videogame industry refers to as casual gamers. As a result, the audience for Kinect Sports was there when it was released for Xbox 360. However, Xbox One is very expensive and it is possible that much of the audience that was willing to buy the new Kinect Sports game wasn't there as they didn't want to buy Xbox One at the moment. If the new Kinect Sports game was available for Xbox 360, then things might have been different.

Merc Hoffner
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So if Rare is a Kinect company, and Kinect is no longer the plan, I guess this is it? The final curtain?

If Microsoft planned to make Kinect attractive as an add-on they'd need great 1st-party games to showcase it (since it seems difficult to fathom 3rd parties contributing significantly at this point). Dumping staff as a first move in a post-bundle era doesn't sound like serious commitment from Microsoft is on the cards. Rare might be dead. Kinect might be dead.

Quinn Hovey
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Rare has been dead since September 24, 2002

Jeferson Soler
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@ Quinn Hovey - That seems to be the popular consensus among a lot of people on the Internet. At least, to a lot of people, it seems like that Rare was its best when it was with Nintendo.


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