Rare suffers layoffs following Kinect Sports Rivals launch

Kinect Sports Rivals studio Rare has reportedly suffered layoffs in light of lower-than-expected sales of the game.


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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  • reply
    May 19, 2014 10:00 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Rare suffers layoffs following Kinect Sports Rivals launch.

    Kinect Sports Rivals studio Rare has reportedly suffered layoffs in light of lower-than-expected sales of the game.

    • reply
      May 19, 2014 10:37 AM

      Just want a XboxOne Viva Pinata, you can even do Kinect support where I can slap my Fudgehog, I'd be down for that.

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      May 19, 2014 10:50 AM


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        May 19, 2014 2:38 PM

        It baffles me even more that there was a Killer Instinct game as a launch title and Rare had to outsource it. Came out good but never the less, this was THE time for Rare to try and come out and shine and instead they are stuck in Kinect hell.

        It's time to euthanize this old dog.

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          May 19, 2014 2:42 PM

          How many people though do you think are still at rare that had anything to do with the company prior to the MS acquisition. I'm betting most if not all of the remaining people from that era probably moved on around 2006-2008 between Viva Piñata and the launch of Nuts and Bolts.

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      May 19, 2014 3:44 PM

      I wonder how many people of influence were still there. I was listening to a Bombcast from 2010 and even then they were saying that the people that made that game weren't there anymore.

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      May 19, 2014 5:49 PM

      If anyone can save the Kinect it's Double Fine.

      Time for a new Happy Action Theater.

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      May 19, 2014 6:01 PM

      Nothing will save Rare until they bring back Battletoads. If they have to return to Nintendo to do it, so much the better.

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        May 19, 2014 9:18 PM

        I try not to think of what could have been had Rare stuck with Nintendo. The great games they might have made. What a shame.

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      May 19, 2014 6:11 PM

      Kinect: Peripheral of the future. Now, not so much.

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