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Rare 'will be an important part of our future', says Xbox boss

UK studio "thinking about the next game"

Xbox head Phil Spencer has backed Kinect Sports Rivals studio Rare, telling CVG that the developer "should, can and will" be an important part of Xbox's future.

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Earlier this year, it was revealed that Rare was evaluating its future projects after Microsoft's decision to start shipping a new Kinect-less Xbox One package at a reduced price.

It was later confirmed that Rare had suffered a number of high profile redundancies following Microsoft's decision to change the "development process" at the UK studio.

Speaking to CVG at Gamescom, Xbox boss Spencer confirmed the UK studio is already working on a new project.

"I'm a Rare fan from the N64 days - that's kind of where my relationship with them was built. The range of genres that Rare exceeded at on N64 was crazy; you go from GoldenEye, to Conker and Banjo, Diddy Kong Racing... they were all over the place and they nailed a wide variety of genres.

"So I don't see them as a 'certain genre' studio: their strength has always been in their diversity," he said.

"When they came to Xbox we did Grabbed by the Ghoullies and the Conker remake. They didn't have tremendous success but I think they were fun games. Then they started building out the Avatars - that was really their work - and then frankly Kinect, which they were innovating with before we'd even decided we were going to do something like that. They actually build this kind of wand thing on their own before the Wii came out."

The Xbox head conceded that from the outside it could seem like Rare - which has now worked on three Kinect games in a row - had been "pushed" into spaces by the platform holder, but insisted the UK studio was actually chasing innovation.

"Right now with Rare we're at a point where I don't want the Rare brand to mean Kinect Sports. The Rare brand can be more valuable to them, to us and to gamers than that.

"I think it's about them thinking about the next game that's going to be the next 'Rare game' and really stand for what they are. I know they've got some great ideas. I've not been up to Twycross for maybe six months, but I'm planning on getting up there this fall and seeing bits for the new game. But I know they're hard at work and Phil Harrison has been up talking to them.

"So they've got some new ideas, they're excited about them and I think Rare should, can and will be an important part of our game future."

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