It’s still not official, but it may as well be at this point. Nintendo has confirmed the end of their exclusivity contract with Rare making Star Fox Adventures the last Nintendo-exclusive title to come from the UK developer. According to the folks over at gameindustry.biz now it’s just down to squabbling between MS and the big N over rights to various key franchises Rare has developed over the years. Namely titles like Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Jet Force Gemini and Conker’s Bad Fur Day among others.
More evidence that this is all but a done deal comes from the folks over at RareNet.com with an article that’s full of quotes direct from Rare employees themselves over the rumored buyout.
There’s a lot of resentment and even a sense of betrayal among some. A lot of work, development tools and hardware are useless now to Rare. Certainly the material loss is no longer a concern, but losing the last three years of development work is frustrating a lot of people there. Remember, Rare was the first outside develop to get dev kits for the Gamecube; they’d been gearing up for this console for a long time.
There is more to the story, however. There is a sense of hope—and even excitement—present among some of the developers. They see the Xbox as a challenge to master, one we hope they master as skillfully as they did Nintendo consoles.
Again, if MS can land Rare as well as some of their more popular franchises it could really pay off for them in the long run.