According to reports surfacing over the weekend, UK-based Rare has suffered a fresh round of employee walkouts, described as being of great significance by some sources.
IGN suggests that “…a handful of employees have left due to politics or unhappiness with the directions of various games…” which seemingly confirms speculation that has peaked and troughed over the past few years that there is a general feeling of malcontent at the studio.
Since the massive buyout of Rare by Microsoft, reported here first, the acclaimed developer has unarguably failed to deliver anything like what was undoubtedly promised to its new owner. The critically ravaged Grabbed by the Ghoulies has been followed by a wall of silence regarding almost all key titles in progress aside from the massively multiplayer Conker: Live and Reloaded, a project exclusively revealed on the pages of SPOnG.
As regular readers will be aware, Microsoft’s purchase of Rare has also been linked to the departure of the popular Ed Fries from Microsoft Game Studios, a sad loss to the Xbox project. It is widely believed that Fries was the driving force behind the staggering £375 million acquisition – an acquisition that now seems destined to be the most costly mistake in recent entertainment history.
We have set our spies to work to gather the full skinny on what may, or may not, be happening at Rare and will bring you updates as soon as possible. Reports that a large number of ex-Rare staffers are already in the employ of Eidos, Codemasters and other UK developer/publishers could not be verified at time of press.