Here is some sad news for fans of one of the Xbox 360‘s best and most criminally underplayed games, Viva Piñata. Rare has officially confirmed that the game will see no downloadable content whatsoever. Following the announcement of a DS version of Viva Piñata, many fans had hoped that this news would presage the release of new piñatas, items, and features (specifically the ability for players to visit each other’s gardens), but apparently it wasn’t to be. A Rare developer cruelly crushed our dreams in response to a fan’s request, saying, “We aren’t doing any downloadable content for Viva Piñata because we are much too busy doing something else.”
Take special note of the italics. Do they imply the development of a proper 360 sequel? Only the ninjas that have been dispatched to Rare’s headquarters can know for sure.
Read More | Rare
GoldenEye 007 is one of those titles that most gamers have fond recollections of. Released in 1997, it was the first console FPS that really got it - that is, up until that point, everyone looked at FPSs as something that only worked on PCs. But with a solid combination of single player and multiplayer mayhem, it captured the hearts of N64 owners to the tune of eight million copies sold. It seems only natural that a classic of this caliber would eventually makes its way onto the Virtual Console.
But there’s one problem – when developer Rare was sold to Microsoft, the rights to the title became, as Rare put it, “… caught up in a convoluted web of rights the likes of which would make the Weaver from Perdido Street Station jealous. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, just that a lot of people with a lot of different perspectives are involved.”
1up is reporting that at the end of 2006, Chris and Tim Stamper have left Rare Ltd. The two founded the company in 1982 and have put their marks on many gamer favorites. Unfortunately, the studio seemed to have lost its touch recently, as detailed in a recent retrospective from Next Generation magazine. Since the company’s acquisition by Microsoft in 2002, Rare has released a few titles for the Xbox and the Xbox 360; while some were critically received, none have really reached the certified hit status that their titles one held. While Microsoft issued a statement to 1up saying that this departure had nothing to do with the poor sales of Viva Pinata, it does seem like the company needed a change in direction. Still, the departure of Chris and Tim Stamper marks a significant transformation for the company and it will be interesting to see what comes next for both Rare and the Stampers.
Read More | 1up
GamesIndustry.biz recently interviewed Viva Piñata developer Rare, and in some published excerpts, the company claims that it is still on the fence in regards to downloadable content. Viva Piñata’s collection-based gameplay would seem to make the game ideal for future downloads, but Rare is balancing developing add-ons versus creation of a whole new game. Part of Rare’s hesitance seems to be tied to the relative lack of success that they have had with previous downloadable releases. Realistically, though, the additional content that Rare has offered has been pretty marginal. The company’s Kameo Power Pack really only offered new game modes, and nothing particularly compelling. Other game companies have been trumpeting the virtues of downloadable content; Activision and Ubisoft have been happy with the success of their expansions for Call of Duty and Ghost Recon, and Electronic Arts has been going crazy for paid content, so it is odd to see a company with such close ties to Microsoft not buying into the business model.
Read More | GamesIndustry.biz
Next Generation reviews the history of software game publisher Rare, from its beginnings creating games for the Sinclair Spectrum in 1982 to its position as one of Microsoft’s lead developers for the Xbox 360. Next year, Rare will have been in the industry for 25 years. In many ways, Rare’s fortunes kind of mirror the changes in game development over the years. Initially, Rare focused on releasing massive amounts of titles to market; from 1987 through 1991, Rare released 44 titles. Eventually, Rare’s partnership with Nintendo caused some of the Japanese company’s development processes to be adopted by Rare, focusing on fewer higher quality releases. Still, it has been a while since Rare has produced an unqualified hit like they had in their hey-day. Their next release will be Viva Piñata, hitting November 1. Rare and Microsoft hope that this game will sell well and turn around Rare’s fortunes.
Read More | Next Generation
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