Around 20 employees laid off
It seems Rare’s latest, Kinect: Sports Rivals, wasn’t able to meet expectations. CVG has learned from sources that “just under” 20 staffers were laid off, including long-time programmer Chris Sutherland (Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie) and designer Gavin Price (Viva Pinata).
For its part, Microsoft did confirm layoffs (albeit only generally) and structural changes within the studio. “At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences,” reads a statement. “As part of Rare’s commitment to this goal, we have made a decision to change our development process and methodology at Rare to best support our future projects, this has led to us reviewing the skills and the makeup of our development teams in our business. Rare continues to invest in our people and future projects.”
While it sounds like change was needed — back to what made Rare so great in its prime, hopefully — I have to wonder where the studio is headed without folks like Sutherland and Price.