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."