Rare acknowledges their struggle to find the right audience on Xbox
Posted August 27, 2009 by Jallen (41)
It’s been obvious since the 2002 buyout, but both Rare and Microsoft have been resorting to the ‘broadening audience’ standard comment as an euphemism to avoid facing reality over the years: Rare doesn’t spawn the same interest among gamers as they did during their Nintendo era. That is something that has been happening ever since they abruptly cut all connections with most of their fanbase halfway through the last generation. They lost their audience, already established GameCube owners, and jumped into the Xbox pool entirely on their own.
After that, Microsoft trivialized Rare’s immediate lack of fan support by asserting that the British developer’s actual goal within Microsoft Game Studios was to bring the Xbox closer to a new type of audience. Yet that audience never took the bait. They simply kept playing their Wii games. Rare delivered some great games like Kameo and Viva Piñata, but the vast majority Xbox users and Microsoft itself seemed to be more interested in titles such as Halo and Gears of War.
So it comes as no surprise that Rare design director George Andreas saw a new chance to get back to that lost audience when Microsoft announced Project Natal. “I do feel in many ways that for me this is really the first time that Microsoft and Rare are on a very similar path,” he told VideoGamer. “We’ve obviously been tasked to create experiences that nobody else can create, which explains things like your Kameos and your Piñatas and your Banjos. But obviously the hardware is aimed at a different demographic, and so we’ve always battled against that.”
“Whereas now with Natal,” adds Andreas, “it looks like the roads are on the same path. It’s a union of the two philosophies of the different companies, I guess. Natal is supposed to reach out to a broader audience and a broader consumer, and Rare’s products are always aiming in that direction as well. So from that perspective the future looks incredibly bright for us really. It’s definitely something everyone’s enthused about and energised about.”
Now let’s hope that this means a clever, creative and quality response to all those dull games that, rather unfortunately, flood Wii’s catalogue right now.
Thanks for rating this! Now tell the world how you feel via Twitter.
How does this post make you feel?