Rare Ltd.

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Rare Ltd.
Rare current logo
Founded 1985­
First Mario game Donkey Kong Country­
Latest Mario game Diddy Kong Racing DS­
Current president Craig Duncan

Rare Ltd. (trade-named Rareware during Nintendo tenure) is a British video game developer based in Twycross, Leicestershire. It was founded in 1985 by Chris and Tim Stamper, as the successor company to Ultimate Play the Game. Rare formerly worked exclusively for Nintendo before being bought out by Microsoft. As a prominent second-party developer for Nintendo, Rare created the successful Nintendo Entertainment System games Wizards & Warriors, Battletoads, and R.C. Pro-Am; revived the Donkey Kong property with its critically acclaimed Donkey Kong Country series; and created many other well-known titles such as GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark, and Conker's Bad Fur Day.

In 2002, following the release of Star Fox Adventures on the Nintendo GameCube (Rare's only game on the system), Microsoft paid $375 million for a 100% acquisition of Rare. The company then began to produce games for Microsoft Studios' Xbox video game console. This change of focus resulted in the cancelation of several games featuring the Donkey Kong brand: Diddy Kong Pilot, Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers, and unofficially, Donkey Kong Racing. Under the terms of the merger, Nintendo retained the rights to all the Donkey Kong characters, while Rare maintained the rights to its own intellectual properties such as Banjo-Kazooie and Conker.

Rare, however, has continued to develop games for Nintendo's handheld systems, since Microsoft has not entered the handheld console market. Such games included enhanced remakes of the three SNES Donkey Kong Country games for the Game Boy Advance and Diddy Kong Racing DS, as well as redeveloping their canceled Diddy Kong Pilot and Donkey Kong Coconut Crackers games into Banjo-Pilot and It's Mr. Pants, respectively.

Appearances in the Donkey Kong franchise[edit]

Mario-related games developed[edit]

Title Year Released Console
Donkey Kong Country 1994 SNES
Donkey Kong Land 1995 Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 1995 SNES
Donkey Kong Land 2 1996 Game Boy
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! 1996 SNES
Donkey Kong Land III 1997 Game Boy
Diddy Kong Racing 1997 Nintendo 64
Donkey Kong 64 1999 Nintendo 64
Donkey Kong Country 2000 Game Boy Color
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

Notable employees[edit]





  • Even though Rare has cut ties with Nintendo, their company name, written as "Rare Limited", appears in the Sound Test of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the original composers of several Donkey Kong songs, although the information clarifies that Nintendo fully owns the copyright to the compositions.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, they are also credited as the composers for various Banjo-Kazooie music tracks, all of which they currently own as part of Microsoft.
  • In the Wii U re-release of Donkey Kong 64, the game Jetpac is left intact despite still being owned by Rare.