There is probably no set of gaming fans that is more long suffering or hard done by than fans of the classic British developer, Rare. Rare used to rule the world back in the 1990s, with a Naughty Dog-sequel string of prestige and commercial hits—except they did it across multiple genres and game types, multiple times in a single year.
Unfortunately, Rare’s star has long since fallen from their glory days. Once Microsoft purchased the studio, things unfortunately went south for well over a decade, with the studio only beginning to show signs of its old brilliance with Sea of Thieves. Continued support for Sea of Thieves elevated that game into being worthy of the old Rare—and also immediately led to fans wondering if this meant Rare would be more confident in taking on some of its classic IP, like Banjo Kazooie. An unexpected (but delightful) Super Smash Bros. collaboration surely did not help matters on that front.
And yet, Rare’s new game is not Banjo, or Conker, or Perfect Dark, or Blast Corps. It’s not even a new Sea of Thieves. It is, instead, another new IP, a seemingly meditative and contemplative one that apparently takes some cues from Breath of the Wild, named, er, Everwild.
So, why do that? Why, when they are finally back in the limelight, put out another new IP, rather than giving fans some of their beloved favourites? In an interview with Eurogamer, studio head Craig Duncan explained why the developer prefers to work on new franchises, rather than sticking with their established brands.
“If that was our logic we’d have been making Jetpac for the last 35 years. The great thing about making games is putting a set of passionate people together making something they truly love and believe in,” he said. “That’s the goal of making anything. That’s why Sea of Thieves is the game it is. That’s why Everwild will be the game it will be, because we have a team of people who are truly passionate about the thing they’re creating. Then my job as the studio head is to create an environment where they can go do that, and they can do their best work, and we can create something amazing. It’s not about me picking the game I want made, or I want people to go do. It’s about the team building the thing that is in their burning desire and heart to go make the most amazing experience.”
And you know what? That’s totally fair. Rare got to make amazing games like Banjo and Perfect Dark because they were allowed to continually invest in new IP, rather than make sequels to existing hits endlessly. I would rather the studio not lose sight of that culture.
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