Microsoft has purchased UK-based Rare, a leading video game developer. Under terms of the $375 million cash transaction, Rare will begin creating exclusive console games for Microsoft’s Xbox.
Rare co-founders Chris and Tim Stamper and their team of game developers and designers will continue to work out of Rare in Warwickshire, England. Rare was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the Stamper brothers and Joel Hochberg, now Rare president.
Rare grabbed the attention of the video game world in 1994 with its creation of ‘ Donkey Kong Country.’ Selling more than 8 million copies, ‘DKC’ went on to become the biggest- selling 16-bit title in history.
Rare became one of the premiere developers in the world, with sales averaging 1.4 million units per title and nearly 90 million games sold since the company was founded. Five of the top 20 all-time-best-selling Nintendo N64 titles were developed by Rare, including ‘GoldenEye 007,’ the second-best-selling game in North America, with world-wide sales topping 8 million.
Rare’s first creation for Xbox, ‘Kameo,’ is expected to reach store shelves next spring. Also under development is the highly anticipated sequel to ‘Perfect Dark.’ The company expects to develop at least five games over the next two years in a variety of genres.