Rare

From West Elmira Computers Museum
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rare logo.png
Rare
Type Subsidiary of Xbox Game Studios
Founded 1982 (Ashby Computers and Graphics)
1983 (Ultimate Play the Game)
1985 (Rare Limited)
1987 (Zippo Games)
1990 (Rare Manchester)
Headquarters Twycross, England, U.K.
Key people Tim Stamper, founder (Rare)
Chris Stamper, founder (Rare)
Ste Pickford, founder (Rare Manchester)
John Pickford, founder (Rare Manchester)
Industry Video games
Products Arcade games
Employees undisclosed
Website http://www.rare.co.uk/

Rare Limited is a video game developer that is based in Twycross, England, U.K.

Chris and Tim Stamper's early arcade work

In 1979, Chris Stamper was hired by Associated Leisure to work on their arcade games, and he invited his brother Tim Stamper to join him.

In 1980, Norman Parker, the associate director of Associated Leisure, left to form his own company, Zilec Games. He brought the Stamper brothers with him to work at the new company.

Ashby Computers and Graphics

After working for Zilec for two years, the Stamper brothers founded Ashby Computers and Graphics Limited in 1982. They continued making arcade games for Zilec, which were then licensed to large arcade companies.

Ultimate Play the Game

When they released their first computer game in 1983, Ashby Computers and Graphics Limited had begun trading under the name Ultimate Play the Game.

In 1985, the Stamper brothers began to believe that developing for the ZX Spectrum would not be beneficial for the company's growth, as it was only popular in the United Kingdom. Around this time, they imported a Family Computer (Famicom) from Japan, and felt that it would be better to develop for this system as it was more capable than the ZX Spectrum, had a worldwide market, and its games had no load times.

Nintendo had claimed that it was impossible to reverse-engineer the Famicom. However, the Ultimate Play the Game team was able to do so, and after investigating reverse-engineered code for Famicom games, they were able to learn how to program for it.

Rare

In 1985, the Stamper brothers established Rare and sold the rights to Ultimate Play the Game to U.S. Gold.

The Stamper brothers traveled to Japan to show their technical demos to the Nintendo executive, Minoru Arakawa, in Kyoto. Impressed with the tech demos, Nintendo gave Rare an unlimited budget to make games for the Famicom console, which was known in most territories outside of Asia as the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Zippo Games

In 1987, Ste Pickford and John Pickford founded Zippo Games. After developing games for the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum, they responded to an open call from Rare which was seeking programmers to help them develop Nintendo Entertainment System games. Zippo Games then began to solely produce games for Rare for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Rare acquires the rights to Ultimate Play the Game

In 1988, Rare purchased the rights to the Ultimate Play the Game trademark and intellectual properties back from U.S. Gold.

Rare Manchester

In 1990, Rare purchased Zippo Games and renamed it Rare Manchester.

In 1992, shortly before the release of Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros - Visions of Power, Rare's Manchester office was closed

Acquisition of Rare by Microsoft

On September 24, 2002, Microsoft purchased Rare for $375 million USD.

In January 2007, the Stamper brothers left Rare to pursue other opportunities.

Games by Chris and Tim Stamper at Zilec

Title System Release Notes
Vortex Arcade 1980 Developed for Zilec Games.
Phantoms II Arcade 1981 Developed for Zilec Electronics.
The Pit Arcade 1982 Converted to Galaxian hardware for Zilec Electronics, developed by AW Electronics.

Games by Ashby Computers and Graphics

Title System Release Notes
Blue Print Arcade 1982 Licensed to Bally/Midway.
Dingo Arcade 1983 Licensed to Jaleco.
Grasspin Arcade 1983 Licensed to Jaleco.
Saturn Arcade 1983 Licensed to Jaleco.

Games by Ultimate Play the Game owned by WEC Museum

Title System Release Notes
Jetpac ZX Spectrum 1983 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Lunar Jetman ZX Spectrum 1983 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Atic Atac ZX Spectrum 1983 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Sabre Wulf ZX Spectrum 1984 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Underwurlde ZX Spectrum 1984 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Knight Lore ZX Spectrum 1984 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Gunfright ZX Spectrum 1985 The ZX Spectrum version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.

Games by Zippo Games

Title System Release Notes
Cosmic Pirate Amiga, Atari ST, C64, ZX Spectrum 1988 The WEC Museum owns the Atari ST floppy and box.
Voodoo Nightmare Amiga, Atari ST 1988 The WEC Museum owns the Amiga floppy and box.
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II NES 1989 Developed for Rare.
The WEC Museum owns the NES cartridge.
Sesame Street A B C NES 1989 Developed for Rare.
The WEC Museum owns the NES cartridge.
Re-released in 1990 with Sesame Street 1 2 3 on the same cartridge.
Sesame Street 1 2 3 NES 1989 Developed for Rare.
The WEC Museum owns the NES cartridge.
Re-released in 1990 with Sesame Street A B C on the same cartridge.

Games by Rare Manchester

Title System Release Notes
Cabal NES 1990 Conversion of the 1988 arcade game by Taito.
Solar Jetman NES 1990 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros - Visions of Power NES 1992 The WEC Museum owns the NES cartridge.

Games by Rare owned by the WEC Museum

Title System Release Notes
Slalom NES 1987 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Wizards & Warriors NES 1987 The WEC Museum owns the NES cartridge.
R.C. Pro-Am NES 1987 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Cobra Triangle NES 1989 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Snake Rattle 'n' Roll NES 1990 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Digger T. Rock NES 1990 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Battletoads NES 1991 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
R.C. Pro-Am II NES 1992 The NES version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Battletoads Arcade 1994 The arcade version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Donkey Kong Country SNES 1994 The SNES version is on SNES Classic Edition, owned by WEC Museum.
The Super Famicom version is on Super Famicom Mini, owned by WEC Museum.
Killer Instinct Arcade 1994 Co-developed with Midway.
Included in Killer Instinct for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Donkey Kong Country 2 SNES 1995 The WEC Museum owns the SNES version for the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console
Killer Instinct 2 Arcade 1995 Co-developed with Midway.
Included in Killer Instinct for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Donkey Kong Country 3 SNES 1996 The WEC Museum owns the SNES version on the Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console.
Killer Instinct Gold Nintendo 64 1996 The Nintendo 64 port of the 1995 arcade game is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Blast Corps Nintendo 64 1997 The Nintendo 64 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Donkey Kong 64 Nintendo 64 1999 The WEC Museum owns the "jungle green" Donkey Kong 64 Nintendo 64 set.
Jet Force Gemini Nintendo 64 1999 The Nintendo 64 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Conker's Bad Fur Day Nintendo 64 2001 The Nintendo 64 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Grabbed by the Ghoulies Xbox 2003 The Xbox version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Kameo Xbox 360 2005 The Xbox 360 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Perfect Dark Zero Xbox 360 2005 The Xbox 360 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Viva Piñata Xbox 360 2006 The Xbox 360 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Jetpac Refuelled Xbox 360 2007 The Xbox 360 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise Xbox 360 2008 The Xbox 360 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts Xbox 360 2008 The Xbox 360 version is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Banjo-Kazooie Xbox 360 2008 The Xbox 360 remaster of the 1998 Nintendo 64 game is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Banjo-Tooie Xbox 360 2009 Xbox 360 remaster of the 2000 Nintendo 64 game is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Perfect Dark Xbox 360 2010 Xbox 360 remaster of the 2000 Nintendo 64 game is on Rare Replay for Xbox One, owned by WEC Museum.
Kinect Sports Xbox 360 2010 Included in Kinect Sports Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360, owned by WEC Museum.
Kinect Sports: Season Two Xbox 360 2011 Co-developed with BigPark.
Included in Kinect Sports Ultimate Collection for Xbox 360, owned by WEC Museum.
Killer Instinct Xbox One 2013 Co-developed with Double Helix Games and Iron Galaxy.
WEC museum owns the Xbox One version.
Rare Replay Xbox One 2015 A compilation of 30 video games by Rare, and its predecessor Ultimate Play The Game.
WEC museum owns the Xbox One version.
Battletoads Windows
Xbox One
2020 Co-developed with Dlala Studios.
The WEC Museum owns the Windows and Xbox One versions.