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Nintendo Confirms Rare Sale
September
23, 2002

Nintendo 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.

Here's 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 reasons."

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. "

Written By: 2nd Opp

 



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