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Old 17th February 2009, 11:28 AM
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Rare to restructure. Redundancies possible.

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It seems that not even companies under Microsoft's wing are safe from the dire situation we find the video games industry in. Rare's development team are under the microscope amidst a general restructuring of Microsoft owned game studios; a move which could lead to some redundancies at the Twycross developer. In a very familiar move, the company is trying newer ideas to speed up the development process. This means games that don't take years to make but have a higher chance of making money due to the quick and cheaper development cycle.

Mark Betteridge who is Rare's studio manager said, "As the entire industry struggles to address the increasing scale and cost of development, we too have felt a need to restructure our current approach so we can speed development and better manage the scale required to create high quality games,"

"With four projects recently underway, now is the right time to make this change. Throughout its history, Rare has demonstrated a willingness to embrace new approaches and commitment to delivering game-changing experiences to our customers."

"This announcement is no different and builds on that tradition as we work with MGS to make interactive entertainment as culturally relevant in people’s lives as books, movies and television are today," he added.

Rare isn't the first UK developer to feel the sting. Free Radical Design who were founded by former members of Rare were forced into taking a similar approach by developing quick and easy casual games. It was hoped it would help them out of the tough situation they found themselves in. It didn't.

One of the areas Rare intends to focus is adding to the Xbox Live experience. This could come in the form of Arcade titles similar to the much joked about Banjo-Kazooie Bash Buddies. With a quicker development cycle these games afford, this in turn means reduced manpower and Rare may be forced into the difficult situation of letting staff go.

"In order to achieve these goals, the company is reviewing the current composition of its development teams and there is the possibility that a small number of current positions could be lost as a result of these changes."
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