Rare suffers layoffs following Kinect Sports Rivals launch

By Steve Watts, May 19, 2014 10:00am PDT

Microsoft first-party studio Rare has reportedly suffered layoffs, following the launch of Kinect Sports Rivals. Microsoft confirmed a "change to our development process and methodology at Rare," but did not disclose the reason for the layoffs or specific numbers.

Eurogamer reports that approximately 16 employees were let go. The Kinect Sports Rivals team, for comparison, was roughly 150-strong. Separate sources claim that the layoffs are the result of low sales performance from Rivals, which didn't appear in the top ten of April's NPD data, but did make the top ten before platforms were combined. The source claims Rare suffered a loss on the project.

"At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences," read a company 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."

In light of Kinect being decoupled from Xbox One, Xbox head Phil Spencer called Kinect Sports Rivals successful and reiterated its importance to Microsoft's line-up.

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