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Peter Molyneux Wants To Help Rare Get Its Mojo Back

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Posted June 15, 2009 - By r_pad



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Peter Molyneux Wants To Help Rare Get Its Mojo Back

Update 3:08PM PST

When he's not busy pushing his virtual indentured servant pet boy, Milo, Peter Molyneux is worried about enhancing the reputation of developers in Microsoft's stable. In his new role as creative director of Microsoft Games Studios Europe, Molyneux wants to help Rare get its mojo back. In a recent interview with Gamesindustry.biz he said:

"Actually one of the things I really want to do is help Rare have more of an identity and make sure the people at Rare are seen more within the industry."

That's a wonderful goal, considering that Rare's current identity can be summed up in one word repeated twice: poo. Once upon a time, Rare was one of the prestigious developers in the business, thriving under a hugely successful relationship with Nintendo. From games like Donkey Kong Country to Banjo-Kazooie to GoldenEye 007 to Perfect Dark to Conker's Bad Fur Day, Rare absolutely rocked the SNES, GBC, GBA, and Nintendo 64 systems. Many people felt that the company's talent was getting sucked by other companies or starting their own ventures (Free Radical), which led to a less critically-acclaimed run on the GameCube.

Enter Microsoft, which purchased Rare in 2002 for $375 million. Rare's first offering for Microsoft: Grabbed by the Ghoulies. At the time I treated the game like Rocky V -- I refused to believe that it actually existed. The company's mediocre follow-up efforts -- a rehash of Conker, Perfect Dark: Zero, and Kameo: Elements of Power -- made Microsoft's purchase look foolish and caused some people to think that Rare lost its magic touch. While it has had great success with the Viva Pinata seres, the company is no longer viewed as the hit maker it was in the past.

Molyneux's challenge is pretty huge. These days, most people view Rare as either a joke or a cautionary tale. While I'm sure there are still some enormously talented people with the company, it might be too much for even Sir Peter Molyneux to restore Rare's reputation. Then again, if Rare has thousands of virtual indentured servants pet boys aiding the cause, anything is possible.

Update: I was just discussing this story with X-Play's Adam Sessler, who said, "I hope they're not expecting us to replay Grabbed by the Ghoulies with Project Natal." Luckily, I just finished sipping my Coke Zero as he said that. A few seconds earlier and Adam would have been covered with fake-cola goodness.

I want to know what you think America (and other countries). Will Molyneux be able to help Rare in a substantive way? Or has the company's reputation been irreparably damaged? Will Microsoft ever be able to justify the $375 million it spent on Rare?

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Peter Molyneux Wants To Help Rare Get Its Mojo Back
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