Phil Spencer: ‘Rare is an important part of Xbox’s future’

The head of Xbox has backed Kinect Sports Rivals studio Rare, deeming them an important part of Xbox’s future.

Speaking to CVG, Phil Spencer revealed that the UK studio is working on a new project. He said: “I’m a Rare fan from the N64 days – that’s kind of where my relationship with them was built.

“The range of genres that Rare exceeded at on N64 was crazy; you go from GoldenEye, to Conker and Banjo, Diddy Kong Racing… they were all over the place and they nailed a wide variety of genres. So I don’t see them as a ‘certain genre’ studio: their strength has always been in their diversity.”

Spencer continued: “When they came to Xbox we did Grabbed by the Ghoullies and the Conker remake. They didn’t have tremendous success but I think they were fun games. Then they started building out the Avatars – that was really their work – and then frankly Kinect, which they were innovating with before we’d even decided we were going to do something like that. They actually build this kind of wand thing on their own before the Wii came out.”

Rare’s last three video game outings on the Xbox have all been Kinect-only titles. When asked about this, Spencer responded: “Right now with Rare, we’re at a point where I don’t want the Rare brand to mean Kinect Sports. The Rare brand can be more valuable to them, to us and to gamers than that.

“I think it’s about them thinking about the next game that’s going to be the next ‘Rare game’ and really stand for what they are. I know they’ve got some great ideas. I’ve not been up to Twycross for maybe six months, but I’m planning on getting up there this fall and seeing bits for the new game. But I know they’re hard at work and Phil Harrison has been up talking to them.”

He added: “So they’ve got some new ideas, they’re excited about them and I think Rare should, can and will be an important part of our game future.”

Kinect Sports Rivals received 65% in the Console Monster review, being described as “a well-developed title that can be great fun, especially in multiplayer”.

David Wriglesworth

David Wriglesworth is a Northern lad with a passion for gaming, who graduated from the University of Lincoln with a BA (Hons) Journalism degree. If you can drag him away from the consoles, you can probably find him Tweeting or watching Coronation Street.

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