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5 Ways Nintendo Should Regret Letting Rare Go (& 5 They Shouldn’t)

There’s been an endless amount of growth in the video game industry and it’s remarkable to look at how far the medium comes in each gaming generation. There are some major players in the industry that have been around for decades and are practically synonymous with the medium of entertainment, and Nintendo is certainly a company that qualifies. Nintendo continues to be a pivotal first-party game developer that attempts to do something unique with its consoles.

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Nintendo often proves that they’re their own best friend, but one of their best relationships with a third-party developer was Rare. Rare’s acquisition by Microsoft is a gaming event that’s still debated by audiences and its fallout has definitely affected Nintendo for both better and for worse.

10 Should Regret: They Developed Some Very Popular Nintendo Mascots

Video games are a business at the end of the day and while it’s important to have enjoyable and successful video games, there can be even more of an impact when these games cultivate lovable gaming mascots. Rare’s tenure with tenure led to the development of some great platforming characters that remain in demand to this day. The cast of Banjo-Kazooie or Joanna Dark made cultural impacts, but Rare was also instrumental in fleshing out the extended cast of Kong characters that are now just built into the Donkey Kong Country franchise.

9 Shouldn’t Regret: Their Greatest Hits Were In The Past

Games Jet Force Gemini Ant Attack

The gaming industry continues to evolve and it’s fascinating to see that some developers just aren’t as relevant when it comes to modern gaming mechanics. Rare hasn’t completely disappeared, but they’ve become much less of a dominating developer than during their prime with Nintendo. There are still plenty of brilliant minds at Rare and it’s a loss to not have them producing content for Nintendo consoles, but it also seems like Rare’s time to truly thrive was in the past and that their current priorities have shifted.

8 Should Regret: Some Of Nintendo’s Best SNES And N64 Games Came From Rare

Strong relationships between first- and third-party developers can lead to some incredible contributions to the gaming industry, but Rare’s impact on Nintendo before they were acquired by Microsoft cannot be underestimated. Some of the best games on both the Super Nintendo and the Nintendo 64 are Rare titles and also games that continue to make lists of accolades.

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In many cases, they even surpass Nintendo’s efforts in the platforming department. It’s unfortunate that this partnership couldn’t have fueled the Gamecube and Wii and given these consoles just as iconic Rare games, too.

7 Shouldn’t Regret: 3D Platformers Are Less Popular Now

Rare made serious contributions to many different genres of gaming and Goldeneye 007 is still heralded as a breakthrough for first-person shooter and multiplayer games. However, many of Rare’s best efforts with Nintendo were platformers, whether they were of the 2D persuasion like with the SNES’ Donkey Kong Country series, or the many 3D platformers that helped define the Nintendo 64. Gaming has moved in a direction where platformers are no longer the norm and they’re a bit more of a niche interest. Rare has certainly felt less relevant as a result of this shift.

6 Should Regret: Current Technology Allows Their Innovation To Grow Even More

Games Banjo-Tooie Stop N Swop Feature

Rare’s games with Nintendo weren’t just entertaining, but they were also typically filled with hidden content that encouraged dedicated gamers to search every corner of their games for secrets. Rare even had some ambitious plans that couldn’t properly come to fruition, like the “Stop ‘N’ Swop” cartridge swapping system that’s teased in the Nintendo 64’s Banjo-Tooie. Rare was ahead of the curve in this department and they could do so much more with Nintendo’s current technology and the unconventional gameplay aspects that they usually pride themselves upon.

5 Shouldn’t Regret: Microsoft Has Allowed Rare To Cooperate With Nintendo In Some Cases

Nintendo losing Rare means that not only do other developers benefit from their content but that they’re prohibited from continuing their previously successful series. Rare could be quite stubborn in this sense, but there have been several instances of civility where they throw Nintendo a bone and allow for concessions to be made.

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Most recently, the addition of Banjo and Kazooie as characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has gone a long way and it’s nice that Nintendo can still occasionally do fresh things with these characters.

4 Should Regret: There Could Be Modern Gen Banjo-Kazooie And Diddy Kong Racing Games

Game Banjo-Kazooie Platforming

Rare’s departure from Nintendo has led to a lot of new properties being developed for Microsoft and there’s been minimal use of the existing intellectual properties that Rare developed while under Nintendo. There were technically follow-ups to Banjo-Tooie and Perfect Dark, but hardly on a regular basis. Rare remaining with Nintendo would have meant that there’d definitely be a lot more Banjo-Kazooie, Diddy Kong Racing, and even Jet Force Gemini games happening. These are franchises that would thrive best while still with Nintendo rather than under someone else.

3 Shouldn’t Regret: They’ve Failed To Develop As Revolutionary New IPs

Rare continues to create new games, but they’ve slowed down over the years and some of their most notable staff have broken off to form new development studios. Some of Rare’s more recent intellectual properties include Kinect Sports Rivals, Sea of Thieves, the action-adventure title Everwild, and a new Battletoads game that’s on the way. None of these carry the same weight or franchise potential as something like Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, or even Blast Corps. Nintendo really hasn’t had to suffer much from Rare as a competitor as a result.

2 Should Regret: Wii Motion Controls Could Have Been Better

Wii sports

Nintendo has made some major strides with outside of the box gaming that has emphasized gameplay over graphical power in many of their later consoles. Nintendo leaned into its motion control obsession with its Wii console, which was far after Rare’s exit. However, Rare did major work on Microsoft’s Kinect Sports and became quite adept in the motion control field. If this energy had been combined with Nintendo’s resources and Wii technology then it could have been more precise or developed at a faster rate. There’s more synergy here than Rare developing the competition on the Xbox 360.

1 Shouldn’t Regret: Nintendo’s Filled The Void With Other Valuable Third-Party Developers

Bayonetta from Bayonetta

There’s no denying that some of Nintendo’s most celebrated games were developed by Rare, but it’s not as if they haven’t built valuable relationships with other third-party developers over the years. Nintendo of course benefits from existing relationships with Sega, Konami, and Capcom, but there have been more recent developers like PlatinumGames and Grasshopper Manufacture that have become essential partners and made exclusive titles for Nintendo. Accordingly, the loss of Rare is less apparent with all of this fresh blood helping them establish new roots.

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