Confirms Rare Sale
September 23, 2002
has finally confirmed what we've long suspected: they've sold their
shares in Rare, who has in turn been purchased by Microsoft.
Basically, Nintendo will retain the rights to all of it's franchises
and properties, which includes Donkey Kong, Starfox, and Diddy
Kong. Rare will get to keep (and assumedly bring to Xbox) the
Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, and other franchises (Jet Force Gemini,
Conker, Blast Corps, etc.) that weren't originally owned by Nintendo.
Nintendo's official press release on the situation:
As part of a strategic redirection of its
game development investments, Nintendo announces it has sold its 49
percent ownership position in U.K.-based developer Rare, Ltd.
"Nintendo had the ability to continue
its exclusive relationship with Rare, but in looking at the company's
recent track record, it became clear that its value to the future of
Nintendo would be limited," says Peter MacDougall, executive vice
president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of America. "In other
words, we passed on this opportunity for very good business
In fiscal year 2001, Rare accounted for
only 9.5 percent of total Nintendo software sales worldwide. In fiscal
year 2002, that number declined to 1.5 percent.
Nintendo will retain exclusive rights for
all original properties and franchises featured in games developed by
Rare, including Donkey Kong(R), Diddy Kong(R) and Star Fox(R).
According to MacDougall, game development
is, by nature, dynamic. Relationships continually change to meet the
needs of both manufacturers and publishers. "The disposition of
this investment leaves us in a position to become even more aggressive
in expanding our development capacity, both internally and externally.
Aside from several partnerships already announced over the past year,
we are currently in similar talks with several other prospective
partners around the world."
In the past year, Nintendo has added
emphasis on games which offer true innovation to video game players,
and especially those with appeal to older players. Key current and
upcoming NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM) titles include Eternal Darkness:
Sanity's Requiem(TM), Animal Crossing(TM), Metroid(R) Prime, The
Legend of Zelda(R) and Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil series
exclusively for NINTENDO GAMECUBE.
"Although we declined the opportunity
to continue our exclusive agreement with Rare, this announcement does
not diminish our respect for their work or the past contributions they
have made to Nintendo," adds MacDougall.
As the worldwide leader and innovator in
the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co. Ltd., of
Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its
popular home video game systems. The systems include Game Boy(R),
Nintendo(R) 64, Game Boy Advance and NINTENDO GAMECUBE. Since the
release of its first home video game system in 1983, Nintendo has sold
more than 1.6 billion video games worldwide, creating enduring
industry icons such as Mario(TM) and Donkey Kong(R) and launching such
franchises as Zelda(TM) and Pokemon(R). As a wholly owned subsidiary,
Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as
headquarters for Nintendo's operations in the Western Hemisphere.
For more information about NINTENDO
GAMECUBE or any other Nintendo product visit the company's Web sites,
www.nintendo.com or www.nintendogamecube.com.