Rare was thinking Miis before Miis existed

While talking to Eurogamer, Rare’s art head Lee Musgrave said that the idea of Avatars was something that the studio had been kicking around before Nintendo unveiled their Mii channel.

It was an idea we had, even before Miis were part of the gaming scene, of putting these characters that you have an affinity with, not necessarily as part of the Xbox dash, but somewhere in the Xbox that you would play multiple games with, that you would have multiple experiences with that same character.

During this early stage of exploration, Musgrave said that Rare couldn’t quite pin down what they wanted Avatars to look like. Apparently, the team went through a few options including “little animals,” “quirky characters,” “Spore-like creatures,” and “ultra-real humans.” Obviously, they settled on a choice, but my guess is that the Mii Channel may have helped cement the direction.

I wonder if some of the executives at Rare toss and turn at night knowing that they could have had a slice of the Wii’s success? Avatars would have lacked a truly casual platform backing them up, but I imagine an earlier release would have garnered more attention that what it will now. What do you think?

If you’re looking for some Avatar love, you’ll have to wait until the Fall update rolls around for the Xbox 360 this November.

Brad BradNicholson