Rare Suffers Layoffs Following Kinect Sports Rivals Disappointment
Eurogamer is reporting that Microsoft-owned developer, Rare, has suffered an unknown number of layoffs.
Citing several sources, the report indicates that around 16 employees, mostly designers and project managers, have been laid off. Rare’s most recent project, Kinect Sports Rivals, was reported to have involved approximately 150 staffers.
The layoffs are in response to the poor sales performance of Kinect Sports Rivals, Microsoft explained in statement released to Eurogamer.
At Xbox, our goal is to constantly create new fun, social and interactive entertainment experiences. 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 addition to Kinect Sports Rivals’ poor sales, this move may also be a response to the announcement of a new $399 Kinect-less Xbox One. The decreased prominence of the Kinect is bad news for Kinect-focused developers, but Rare may have more in the pipeline than just motion-sensitive games. In March, studio head Craig Duncan spoke to Eurogamer about the studio’s future plans, stating, "Our goal as a studio is to always make great quality games. What you're saying is, will Rare always make Kinect games? What I'm saying is, we will come up with great game ideas and we'll look at the platform that makes the most sense for those game ideas to be on."
There's no word on what's next for Rare, but in the wake of Microsoft's recent announcements, Phil Spencer did offer the both companies were looking into what was next for the Viva Pinata and Kinect Sports developer.