Activision Would Have Owned RARE

By Jorge Ba-oh 28.10.2010 8

Activision Would Have Owned RARE on Nintendo gaming news, videos and discussion

When Nintendo and British studio RARE parted ways, before working for Microsoft, the developer was almost bought by Activision.

Whilst all three parties have been arguing over the rights to Goldeneye 007, the trio have deeper links than one may have imagined. For more than a decade RARE had worked solely on Nintendo consoles, producing arguably some of the most imaginative and innovative projects, from Donkey Kong to Banjo Kazooie and everything in-between.

A brief history lesson on Nintendo, RARE and Activision's "bidding war"...

Image for Activision Would Have Owned RARENintendo owned half of RARE and had the opportunity to nab the other, however ended up loosing the developer to the Xbox creators Microsoft. The fee was $375 million, and this was likely down to Activision's initial success in the bidding war.

Originally RARE were to go with Activision, as it would have given exactly what the studio were after: the freedom to work with multiple platforms as a third party developer.

According top previous vice president of game publishing at Microsoft Ed Fries, the deal fell through due to unknown reasons.

I don't know what it was, but relatively far along in the deal things got cold, and we made a counter offer ... The prices were getting so high, by this point, that it didn't look like Nintendo was willing to participate.

In a nutshell: Nintendo didn't buy the other half of RARE, Activision made a bid, was close to sealing the deal when things got cold and Microsoft snuck in for a meaty $375 million to secure exclusivity (bar some games for Nintendo handhelds).

Via The Escapist Magazine.

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Nintendo would win either way. I doubt Rare would have done much better under Activision's control, expect by releasing more games.

Interesting. I reckon Rare would be a lot better state right now if Activision had won.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744

Nintendo own the Donkey Kong franchise. Do they own the rights to the DK Snes games. When did nintendo give up 50% of the company. I thought if you owned a majority share another company couldnt claim ownership.

I dont think nintendo particularly won. THey could do with a few more studios making exclusive games for its consoles. At least until they can get third parties to fully commit to its home consoles.

Yes, meeto, they fully own the DK Country series.

At the time of Rare's selling to Microsoft, I was about 14 years old, and I remember talking to my mates about it and getting all upset haha. I actually thought at the time that Donkey Kong was lost too, and I had to do my research into finding out who owned DK. I was relieved Nintendo would keep DK, but so upset the likes of Xbox would be getting Banjo Kazooie games.

In reality though, what exactly have Rare done since joining MS? No true Banjo game, and the stuff they have churned out hasn't been anything on par with what they produced on the N64. Nintendo made the right decision getting rid of them at that time. I don't think they lost at all. They gained $375 million!

The only thing RARE have done that's interested me since they left Nintendo is a remake of Conkers Bad Fur Day. I already have the original though.

And thanks to Microsoft Nintendo had the money to fully finance the Wii.

SuperShyGuy62 (guest) 29.10.2010#7

I kind of wish RARE would make a valiant comeback, even with Microsofts support. Two reasons I would like to see this. 1) They were one of those gaming industries who I grew up as a child playing Donkey Kong Country and Banjo Kazooie. and 2) To shut up all the Nintendo fanboys and babies who constantly say "RARE sucks because they aren't with Nintendo." RARE would be in the same condition under Nintendo too. They are as big of a corparate pig as Microsoft is.

Squidboy said:
Interesting. I reckon Rare would be a lot better state right now if Activision had won.

Agreed. I now hate platform exclusivity, unless it's totally necessary. Like, something can simply only be done on one platform due to some technical thing, not bureaucracy. Rare would have been better off as a simple third party. Everyone would be able to play their awesome games, and Rare wouldn't have to answer to anyone or do anything other than what their fans want.

I got Nuts & Bolts last Xmas, and it was the first game in so long that actually give me that awesome Christmasy feeling. I'd have loved that to be multi-platform, along with the rereleases of BK, BT, and PD (plus inevitable future rereleases). All they've changed is platform-based gameplay for physics-based gameplay, and bear and bird powers for vehicles. Though physics-based, most of the jiggies still involve figuring out how to get to the seemingly-inaccessible prize via height and placement in each world. Give it an hour or two to grab you.

If you like BK on the N64, but never played Nuts & Bolts (or didn't play it for very long), do give it a chance! It's still pure Banjo-Kazooie, through and through. Same humour, same awesome music, but now with a sense of being an aged IP, with numerous bits of this and that that only those who'd played the first two would notice. Not just a couple little bits. Literally fucking loads.

I'm ranting. Back to point, I also think Rare would have been great as a simple third-party. It was great that they left Nintendo, but they shouldn't have fallen straight into the arms of another first-party. Though I personally shudder to think what Activision would have done with them. I almost rather MS owned them, they seem to have been given mostly free-reign to do whatever they want, 360 Sports being the only exception I can think of (though that is their most recent product, and a worrying sign).

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