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Conker creator talks working with Nintendo and Microsoft

From an exclusive interview with the Nintendo Force

The latest issue of NF Magazine is one of my favorites. We managed to squeeze interviews with Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight), Lorne Lanning (Oddworld), Crazy Viking Studios (Shinobi,Volgarr the Viking), Yuji Naka (Sonic, Prope), Bertil Horberg (Bionic Commando, Gunman Clive), Ryan Vandendyke (Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, Citizens of Earth), and Chris Seavor (Conker’s Bad Fur Day, The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup). You can score a print copy of the periodical right now for $7 if you subscribe to Year 2 of the magazine. It’s a steal!

All of the interviews were enlightening, but Chris’s was potentially the most revealing. There are few people in the industry today who can say that they created a M-rated N64 game that would later find a sequel on the original Xbox. That’s a pretty special place to hold in the industry. How did it happen that Conker made its way to Nintendo’s “kid-friendly” console? According to Chris “… I’m not even sure they [Nintendo] knew what they really had with Conker. Tim [Stamper] and Chris [Stamper] did and they said ‘Yes, we want to make this’. And such was the trust between Rare and Nintendo that they were fine with that… Trust. A lovely concept, sadly lacking today with some publishers.”

If Nintendo was so trusting, then how was it for Rare to transition from Nintendo to Microsoft?

Sadly, it doesn’t sound like it went very well. “…a promise from Microsoft that they wouldn’t touch the way Rare was run (I guess because they didn’t understand it), soon started to give was to little prods and pokes here and there… ‘Production Managers’ started to appear, asking all sorts of banal questions (not you Alison, we liked you). More and more strange people were appearing in the corridor, like a parade of eggs with eyes, wanting to see the game…You’d strike up a friendship, develop a rapport and then ‘Poof’ that person was gone and replaced by someone you didn’t know. Then Tim and Chris left, there were more changes, then even more changes, then I didn’t care anymore. And that’s that I suppose.”

Parade of eggs. Pretty amazing. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of our interview with Chris. We talked about his work on the first two Killer Instinct games, how he’d like Conker to play in Smash Bros., his new game Rusty Pup, and a lot more. Check out the full issue for the rest, and tune in next week when we interview Chris live on Sup Holmes. We’re going to ask him to sing the Mighty Poo song. It should be a hoot.

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