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A Rare Opportunity: On Piņatas, Microsoft and More
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A Rare Opportunity: On Piņatas, Microsoft and More

by  [Interview]

October 12, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

One thing, though -- Perfect Dark Zero was a bit of an odd game as well. It wasn't quite up to the standards of the previous ones.

JC: I didn't say that. I didn't say anything like that. You said that!

Yeah, that's true. I said that. Do you have any idea why that might have been the case?

JC: Unofficially, on a personal level, I think what you saw was the game that needed to be out absolutely for that launch deadline. I think that's what you saw. But I've never worked on that team, and I don't know what the official company line is on that part. Personally when I'm asked, that's how I feel about it. I mean, it's done very well. They've sold...

JT: They've done over one and a half million sales.

JC: So it's done great business for us. And obviously that team's doing something else now. That and Kameo, they were both -- that deadline was absolute, and I don't know how well you know Rare, but we don't tend to do deadlines. (laughs)

Yeah, I'm aware of that! How long did Conker's Bad Fur Day take?

JT: That was about four and a half, five years, I think it was?

That went through a lot of incarnations.

JC: The first time round, yeah, and then the remake, what was that?

JT: It was two or three years.


JT: I think it started off as something different, though, and we started developing again.

JC: I think Microsoft registered an amount of interest for an Xbox remake, and then when the team came to do it, obviously they didn't want to just remake it, so they put all the multiplayer stuff in, which was a learning experience, because nobody had done that at Rare before. And that whole online and getting the machines to talk to each other and all that -- well, James is an expert -- but I think it was a bit of a shock to the system, wasn't it? (laughs)

A little surprise for everyone. Can we expect your next game to come out in 2013 or so?

JT: Hopefully our next game will be out...

JC: We'll be able to talk about something next year, we hope.

JT: Hopefully you'll see something from us before next Christmas.

I guess you guys are the team that's going to have to deal with deadlines?

JT: Yeah, we're getting better. We're getting better. I think since we've joined Microsoft the entire working structure has changed. Obviously there's been some growing pains in that respect. Being absorbed by such a large company, with its working practices, is going to take time to settle. I think it's got better.

Especially when you've existed in one way for so long.

JC: Yeah, but we've got a pretty young team. Most of the guys have only done one game, and we've only really worked together, so it's less of a burden for us to change over. I think we've coped with it really well. It's very, truly positive for the future.

There's a company culture sort of thing that has to be dealt with.

JC: Yeah. It's like now -- we never spoke to the press for ages about anything.

JT: Could've been court martialed for this in the past.

JC: But it's something that we have to do now. It's part of our job. So we're trying to grow and get better and modernize.

JT: Well no, I think we've had a community manager start in the last few months, and hopefully these things like this are going to get more frequent. We're going to get more contact not just with the press, but with the community as a whole. Mr. Pants has done a good job with the website, and I think it's expanding in the near future.

I think that's probably good enough, unless there's anything you want to mention.

JT: No?

JC: No. (laughs)

JT: I think we should plug the DS version of Piñata again.

Okay, let's do it! The DS is pretty much the only console I play, by the way. Pretty much. I hope you do a good job, because I want to play it.

JC: It's going to be brilliant!

JT: We were actually trying to get a copy to come out to play on the plane on the way over, but unfortunately they wouldn't allow us to do that. It does seem it's as addictive as the first game. I've got a collectaholic problem with my gaming.

That's the problem I have as well. I wish sometimes that people wouldn't do that to me. In Nintendo games for instance -- Super Mario Sunshine is like, "Here is your goal, but look at all those coins over there! Don't you want those coins? Don't you want to do extremely hard and somewhat mind-numbing things to get those?" I'm like, "Okay, I have to get those. I can't ignore those."

JC: I had to stop playing the Yoshi game for the DS -- Yoshi's Island 2. I had to stop playing that because you have to get so many flowers, so many red coins, so many normal coins...

It's too much! It's like, why rely on that to extend gameplay? It's kind of a crutch.

JT: We suffered from this during the N64 era. I'm sure people can point to certain platformers that we did and say, "I think they're trying to pad this out with collectathons." I think the entire industry had a backlash against that for a while, so I don't think we're the only ones.

It's different when you're collecting something that changes things. When you're collecting something that's new and it's different, or if it's a character that has different abilities or can do different things -- that's one thing that's not so bad, because then you're like, "Oh, I'm really getting something."

JT: It adds something to the game, yeah.

You're getting somewhere. But still, the whole obsessive-compulsive gaming thing is really just running wild. I bought Pokémon for the first time for the DS recently, and it's rough. I have to turn off part of my brain, because I know if I do all these weird things I can get the most amazing whatever anywhere, but I have to be like, "No, it's okay to just have these ones I have."

JT: I'm beginning to find that out from the plane ride over. I had to turn it off, because I was backtracking and backtracking just to find Pokémon X because I needed it.

It's rough. So don't do that to me, if you can possibly help it.

JT: Noted!

JC: Hopefully you'll see some new things from us. Already I think you're going to start seeing some -- you're not going to know what Rare does. It's going to be exciting to find out what we're doing next. I'm hoping that's what you're going to get in the future from us.

Excellent. Well, you've surprised me a lot of times. I don't think anyone expects to really know in advance what you're going to be doing.

JC: No, and it's certainly in the spirit of that's going to carry on I think as well, as far as I'm aware.

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

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