Rare's studio leader Scott Henson has defended allegations of his new company falling into obscurity, saying that, although Rare have shifted focus somewhat, they've continued to innovate over the years and have delivered substantially upon the investment Microsoft made when they bought the studio from Nintendo for $375 million back at the turn of the millennium.
'We didn’t fall off the map,' said Henson, speaking to IndustryGamers. 'We might have changed and evolved. Our focus is different, but we haven’t fallen off the map. [...] Fallen off the map is interesting when you sell over three million units. I like that falling off the map. It’s great success in this industry.'
The units to which Henson refers are, obviously, copies of Kinect Sports, a title that Henson believes shows that the studio is still highly capable off delivering successful material.
'If you look at what Rare has done,' continued Henson, 'whether it was Killer Instinct in the arcade or Donkey Kong Country and pushing pre-rendered graphics, they always innovate as a studio. That has stayed the same.
'The studio created a new beloved franchise in Kinect Sports. There’s more than three million people that have this in their homes, playing and loving it. The difference is we started from scratch, instead of something people know, like Donkey Kong.
[...] We delivered as much to the platform as any other studio. With the success of Kinect Sports and what I believe will be a successful Season Two, I think Rare lived up to its potential.'
In fairness, Kinect Sports did shift a large number of copies and retains a score of 73 on Metacritic. Our own Mr. Lester called it 'an excellent launch title' upon release. Microsoft were incredibly eager to capitalise on the success and commissioned a sequel. So, in those respects, Rare have certainly delivered, however much nostalgia might fill us with a certain disappointment at the company's new focus today.
What do you think? Have Rare lived up to their potential? Sound off in the comments box below!