Microsoft’s Shane Kim has told news site Kotaku that longstanding UK developer Rare is “intimately involved with Project Natal in a number of different dimensions.”
The news comes after prolonged silence from the UK developer, which was acquired by Microsoft in September 2002 for a record $375 million at the time when Rare was at the height of its prominence.
In February it was discovered that the developer was undergoing a company ‘review’ that could lead to job losses. Those job losses were never confirmed or announced by Rare, though a company reorganisation was confirmed.
Microsoft stated at the time that one of the developer’s new objectives was to “expand the Xbox 360 customer base by delivering experiences that allow our customers to interact with our content in new and innovative ways".
It is now clear this objective was for project Natal, Microsoft’s recently-announced, controller-free, motion-sensing device.
Shane Kim told Kotaku that Rare is now “doing an awful lot of work, even outside the traditional game space”, adding that the developer is no longer just focusing on game development. Rare had previously been involved in the creation of Microsoft’s NXE avatars.
During the company’s restructure, Microsoft said Rare was to “continue delivering AAA gaming experiences that excite both our current and future customers". As yet the developer has not announced any new projects of that nature, though it had recently announced that the original Perfect Dark would be coming to XBLA.