When I was younger, I noticed one company was responsible for many video games I loved. That company is Rare and I was able to attend their panel on Thursday morning of San Diego Comic Con.
At E3 Rare announced that they’d be releasing Rare Replay, a collection of 30 past Rare games exclusively for the Xbox One. Craig Duncan, Rare’s studio head, showed a video recapping this at the beginning of the Rare Chit Chat: Past and Future panel. Duncan also showed in-game footage of their upcoming Sea of Thieves, a pirate MMO. Fittingly, the panel included Captain Bones, a skeleton of a pirate who was very quiet about the new game. Announced as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive is a new Battletoads vinyl, colored green in honor of the amphibians. It will be available in the Xbox Lounge(and then on eBay for double the price).
During the question and answer segment, several fans asked about the classic games that are included in Rare Replay. One fan wanted to know which version of Conker’s Bad Fur Day would be included in the collection, the N64 original or the Conker: Live & Reloaded version released on Xbox in 2005. The panel confirmed it would be the original, even though animator and voice actress Louise O’Connor lamented that she fixed many mistakes in the 360 version. Another fan asked about a glitch in Battletoads that caused the 2nd player to not be able to play past level 11. Duncan revealed that the team considered leaving the glitch in because it is part of the Battletoads legend. Duncan then talked about how Rare Replay will feature cheat codes, a rewind feature and more so that players can experience the games they loved with added bonuses.
“I can’t answer without committing myself to something,” Gregg Mayles, a 26-year veteran of Rare, said about the long wished-for Banjo-Threeie game, the third in the Banjo-Kazooie series. “Keep your eyes peeled for references to other Rare games [in Sea of Thieves],” Mayles said to another fan.
“At the start, I was the only female on the team,” O’Connor said to a woman who just finished her first year at college studying animation. “[It’s] good to have diversity, and not just by gender.” O’Connor mentioned her favorite game she worked on Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
Art Director Ryan Stevenson was asked about the idea for Viva Pinata. “[I] wanted to make a garden where you could meet people and barter,” he said. He also remarked how that came came before the prominence of garden and farming games on cell phones.
Asked if they would ever consider releasing a game on the mobile market, Duncan said, “If we think the platform is right for the game, we’ll produce it.”