Rare Ltd. (formerly trade-named Rareware) 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, 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.
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
Mario-related games developed