Reflects Strategic Move To Expand And Redirect Game Development
LONDON, United Kingdom (Sept. 20, 2002) -- As part of a strategic
redirection of its game development investments, Nintendo announces it
has sold its 49 percent ownership position in U.K.-based developer Rare,
"Nintendo had the ability to continue its exclusive relationship with
Rare, but in looking at the companys recent track record, it became
clear its value to the future of Nintendo would be limited," says Peter
MacDougall, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Nintendo of
America. "In other words, we passed on this opportunity for very good
In fiscal year 2001, Rare accounted for only 9.5 percent of total
Nintendo software sales worldwide. In fiscal year 2002, that number
declined to 1.5 percent. Nintendo will retain exclusive rights for all
original properties and franchises featured in games developed by Rare,
including Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong and Star Fox.
According to MacDougall, game development is, by nature, dynamic.
Relationships continually change to meet the needs of both manufacturers
and publishers. "The disposition of this investment leaves us in a
position to become even more aggressive in expanding our development
capacity, both internally and externally. Aside from several
partnerships already announced over the past year, we are currently in
similar talks with several other prospective partners around the world."
In the past year, Nintendo has added emphasis on games which offer
true innovation to video game players, and especially those with appeal
to older players. Key current and upcoming Nintendo GameCube titles
include Eternal Darkness: Sanitys Requiem, Animal Crossing, Metroid
Prime, The Legend of Zelda and Capcoms upcoming Resident Evil series
exclusively for Nintendo GameCube.
"Although we declined the opportunity to continue our exclusive
agreement with Rare, this announcement does not diminish our respect for
their work or the past contributions they have made to Nintendo," adds