UK based developer Rare Studios is the creative brain behind popular Kinect based titles such as Kinect Sports, Kinect Sports: Season Two and Kinect Sports Rivals still remains an important part of Microsoft despite Microsoft’s decision to unbundle Kinect from Xbox One. Phil Spencer recently said that the studio is independent to chose their next project and they are “evaluating what they want to do next”. Today, Eurogamer reported that Rare has experienced layoffs following underwhelming sales of Kinect Sports Rivals and around 16 people have been let go.
Microsoft commented the following regarding layoffs,
“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,”
Phil Spencer commented the following on whether Microsoft is forcing the studio to particular genre of games,
“And I’ve also laughed when people have tried to use the word, what I “force” them to do – if you’re around any independent studio, or like Rare a studio that’s independent-minded, you’ll know that forcing a studio to do something is never a successful equation. So they’re free to look at all different kinds of opportunities, they always have been, and we’re having a great time trying to work out with them what their next game might be, but we have nothing to announce right now.”