Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

May 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rare has suffered a number of high profile layoffs, which Microsoft is describing as part of a decision to change the "development process" at the UK studio. A little under 20 employees have been given pink slips, including veteran programmer Chris Sutherland and designer Gavin Price.

Sutherland, a twenty year veteran at Rare, has worked on such games as Battletoads, three Donkey Kong Country games, and the Banjo-Kazooie series. He also is the voice of Banjo-Kazooie.

Gavin Price, a 15-year veteran at Rare, has worked on Viva Piñata, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts and a number of cancelled projects.

Both worked on the Kinect Sports games for Microsoft.

In a statement provided to CVG, Microsoft has confirmed the staff cuts calling them part of a deeper "methodology" change at the studio.

"At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences, the company said in a statement. "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."

Source: CVG

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Re: Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

Most people fail to understand Rare is failed to produce a good game for years. Battle toads was how many years ago? If you haven't done much since then time to move on. I know the gaming news core is going to freak when EA liquidates Bioware

Re: Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

So since the Kinect has bombed it's time to gut the company that made games for it.

Re: Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

There certainly was a golden age for RARE where they turned out some amazing games that I still cherish.  It seems that after they were bought by Microsoft they lost a bit of their direction and have been losing their market and mind share ever since.  Sure hope the people being let go land on their feet.  

Off the top of my head here are a few of my favorite Rare games from my childhood.

NES era

  1. R.C. Pro-Am: if you owned a NES early on this was a must have
  2. Marble madness: I was obsessed... my fourth grade teacher was not....
  3. Cobra Triangle: I died too much, I think I was too young to get it...
  4. Ivan "Ironman" stewart's Super Off Road: spirtual successor to RC Pro-Am I bought a multitap for 4 player!
  5. Solar Jetman: I L-O-V-E-D this game so much... too much.....
  6. Battle Toads: Love/Hate ... more so hate on the hovercycle level


SNES era

  1. Donkey Kong Country1-3: Whoa it's 3D!?  It's not I was a stupid kid, but it was a solid game
  2. Killer Instinct: I didn't really play this until it was old news and I was in college, the Student Activity Center Bar had an old arcade machine.


N64 era

  1. Blast Corps: I needed something to play on my new N64
  2. GoldenEye 007: The first FPS to figure out how to use an analog stick and not suck, it wasn't perfect but compared to most everything else at the time it was a giant leap forward.
  3. Banjo-Kazooie: A fun 3D platformer and an original IP?  Yay!
  4. Perfect Dark: Fun game so long as you had the RAM Expansion for your N64

I have definitely played more of their games than that, but those were the memorable ones to me.  Thanks Rare for giving me so many great games when I was a kid and helping me figure out I wanted to be a programmer as child.

Re: Senior Staff at Rare Laid Off

R.C. Pro-Am was one of my first NES games along with LJN's Major League Baseball, Acclaim's Star Voyager,and of course, Super Mario Brothers/Duck Hunt -W

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