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Rare logo.png
Current logo as of 2015.
Founded: 1985
Founder: Tim Stamper
Chris Stamper
President: Craig Duncan
Predecessor: Ultimate Play the Game
Parent / owner: Xbox Game Studios
Divisions / subsidiaries: N/A

Rare, Ltd. (also known as Rareware and simply Rare) is a British independent video game company, currently based in Twycross, Leicestershire. Originally a Nintendo partner before being bought by Microsoft, Rare was responsible for developing the Donkey Kong Country series, as well as their own Banjo-Kazooie and Conker franchises, in addition to several others.


Rare was initially founded in 1985 as a subsidiary of Ashby Computers & Graphics Ltd, better known under their trade name Ultimate Play the Game. It's main purpose was to reverse-engineer the Famicom to develop games for the platform, as their parent company believed continuing development for the ZX Spectrum would not lead to further success. After Rare's success, Ashby sold the Ultimate branding to U.S. Gold in 1986 and showed several tech demos directly to Nintendo, who were impressed enough with their work to grant them an unlimited budget. Afterward, Ashby moved their studio from Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Twycross and re-branded themselves under the name of their subsidiary, Rare.

With the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Rare only created ports of some of their successful games at first while using their NES profits to purchase Silicon Graphics workstations, making them the most advanced developer in the region. Using this technology, Rare created an SGI demo for the SNES by pre-rendering the 3D models into 2D sprites, as the system was not capable of rendering full 3D graphics at the time. Impressed with the demo, Nintendo purchased a 25% share in Rare in 1994; Over time, this increased to 49%, making Rare a full second-party developer for Nintendo. During this time, Rare would create several games exclusively for Nintendo platforms, including being given the rights to develop titles in the Donkey Kong series.

In September 2002, Rare was entirely purchased by Microsoft for $375 million, making Rare a first-party developer for Microsoft's Xbox home console. However, for a time Rare would continue to develop for Nintendo's handheld consoles, as Microsoft was not competing in the handheld market.

Games published by Nintendo

Game Year Console
Slalom 1986/1987 Arcade, NES
R.C. Pro-Am 1986/1987 Arcade, NES
Anticipation 1988 NES
Cobra Triangle 1989 NES
Pin Bot 1990 NES
The Amazing Spider-Man 1990 Game Boy
Snake Rattle 'n' Roll 1990 NES
Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship 1990 NES
Super R.C. Pro-Am 1991 Game Boy
Battletoads in Battlemaniacs 1993 SNES
Battletoads in Ragnarok's World 1993 Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 1994 SNES
Donkey Kong Land 1995 Game Boy
Killer Instinct 1995 SNES, Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 1995 SNES
Ken Griffey, Jr.'s Winning Run 1996 SNES
Donkey Kong Land 2 1996 Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! 1996 SNES
Killer Instinct Gold 1996 Nintendo 64
Blast Corps 1997 Nintendo 64
GoldenEye 007 1997 Nintendo 64
Donkey Kong Land III 1997 Game Boy
Diddy Kong Racing 1997 Nintendo 64
Banjo-Kazooie 1998 Nintendo 64
Conker's Pocket Tales 1999 Game Boy Color
Jet Force Gemini 1999 Nintendo 64
Mickey's Racing Adventure 1999 Game Boy Color
Donkey Kong Country 2000 Game Boy Color
Mickey's Speedway USA 2000/2001 Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color
Banjo-Tooie 2000 Nintendo 64
Conker's Bad Fur Day 2001 Nintendo 64
Star Fox Adventures 2002 Nintendo GameCube
Donkey Kong Country 2003 Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 2 2004 Game Boy Advance
Donkey Kong Country 3 2005 Game Boy Advance
Diddy Kong Racing DS 2007 Nintendo DS

External links

Rare on other NIWA Wikis:
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Lylat Wiki
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Super Mario Wiki logo.png
Super Mario Wiki

Nintendo logo.png
1st & 2nd Party / Owned
Internal divisions
Owned / Affiliated Seattle Mariners* • The Pokémon Company • Warpstar Inc.
* – Former / Defunct
3rd Parties / Partners
8-4 • AlphaDream* • Ambrella* • Argonaut Games* • Arika • Artoon* • Arzest • AS Tokyo Studios • Bandai Namco • Capcom • Camelot • Cing* • Creatures Inc. • DeNA • DigiNin* • DigitalScape • Eighting • Flagship* • Fuse Games* • Game Freak • Ganbarion • Genius Sonority • Good-Feel • Grezzo • HAL Laboratory • Hatena • Hudson Soft* • indieszero • iNiS • Intelligent Systems • Jamsworks • Jupiter • Koei Tecmo • Kuju • Left Field Productions* • Level-5 • Mistwalker • Monster Games • Noise • Paon • PlatinumGames • Q-Games • Rare* • Red Entertainment • Sega (Atlus) • Sora Ltd. • skip • Softnica • Spike Chunsoft • Square Enix • St.GIGA* • Syn Sophia • TOSE • Treasure • Vanpool* • Vitei
* – Former / Defunct
Key employees
Managers, etc. Internal
  • NNSD: Yusuke Beppu
  • Monolith Soft: Hirohide Sugiura, Tetsuya Takahashi
  • 1-Up Studio: Gen Kadoi
  • ND Cube: Hidetoshi Endo
  • Retro: Michael Kelbaugh
  • NERD: Alexandre Delattre