Nyamyam studio co-founder Phil Tossell has seen the peak of Rare's golden age as well as its devolution into just another cog in the Microsoft machine. He joined Rare to work on Diddy Kong Racing, became lead programmer on Star Fox Adventures, moved onto Kameo: Elements of Power, then left the company after serving as the gameplay director on Kinect Sports.
Today, he and two other former Rare staffers, Jennifer Schneidereit and Ryo Agarie, are hard at work on Tengami, a pop-up book adventure scheduled for Wii U, PC, Mac, and iPad. While speaking to Nintendo Enthusiast about this new venture, Tossell recounted how the Rare atmosphere started to change following the acquisition by Microsoft.
"Rare was also a close knit family and so it was something of a shock to suddenly become part of such a huge organisation as Microsoft," Tossell recalled. "There was a severe culture clash which perhaps didn't become apparent at first as Microsoft mostly allowed us to continue as we had always done. However as time passed and there were staff changes at MGS, together with Tim and Chris (Stamper) leaving, the culture changed and it began to feel more Microsoft and less Rare. While Rare continues to put out high quality games, for me it lost some of the spark that had made the company special."... read more