Unable to Kinect: as Rare faces layoffs and uncertainty, Microsoft pledges support
As we are all well aware of by now, Microsoft has a Kinect-less Xbox One option that runs for $399. This change has created an uproar in the gaming community, especially with Xbox One fans, who see the Kinect as a vital component of the next-gen entertainment console.
UK-based developer Rare, responsible for titles like Kinect Sports and Kinect Sports Rivals, has suffered layoffs after the Kinect Sports Rivals game failed to take off on the Xbox One. Microsoft’s recent idea to sell the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor doesn’t really help either, seeing as how these interactive games require the Kinect.
Sixteen people were reportedly laid off, consisting of some software staff, but mostly design and project managers. The Xbox One exclusive Kinect Sports Rivals had 150 people on the project. Microsoft never explained why the layoffs took place, but sales performance of Kinect Sports Rivals may have played a huge part in the decision. The game was supposed to go live with the Xbox One in November of last year, but ended up being delayed until April. When the game finally made its debut, it wasn’t all that popular.
While Rare’s future faces uncertainty in the eyes of many, Microsoft has pledged its support for the developer. In fact, Microsoft reveals that Rare is currently working on a few projects.
“I’m very happy to go on record to alleviate any of those concerns you might have. We are very fortunate in having Rare and Lionhead in the UK as crown jewels of Microsoft Studios. Rare is working on a couple of things at the moment.. which we will announce at the right time. But I’m really excited by the things they’re doing and I believe you will be as well when you hear about them,” Microsoft Studios Europe boss Phil Harrison told Eurogamer in an interview.
Kinect Sports Rivals is a sports game that features bowling, racing, soccer, target shooting, tennis, and more. Best of all, Kinect Sports Rivals utilizes Kinect to scan your face and create a digital representation of you, to compete in these mini-games. Kinect Sports Rivals is the first Xbox One title to take full advantage of the Kinect sensor and Xbox Live, along with being beautifully rendered in 1080p HD.Further reading: Kinect, Microsoft, Rare