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In addition to defense applications, rare earth elements provide key performance attributes for a variety of industrial and consumer products, such as batteries, magnets, refining catalysts, aircraft engines, electric vehicles, smartphones, digital cameras, computers, flat-screen TVs, lighting and medical scanning equipment. The ElementUS project would be located within the 54-mile jurisdiction of the Port of South Louisiana, the largest port by tonnage in the Western Hemisphere.


With the unlimited budget, Rare could work a large variety of different games.[1] The first project Rare worked on was Slalom, a downhill skiing game.[8] The company then worked with various gaming publishers that included Tradewest, Acclaim Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Sega, Mindscape, and Gametek[3] to produce over 60 games for the NES and several additional Game Boy conversions.[1][8] They helped in creating new and original intellectual properties, including R.C. Pro-Am, a racing game with vehicular combat elements,[8] and Snake Rattle 'n' Roll, an action platform game with Tim Stamper developing the game's graphics.[9] Rare also developed Battletoads, a beat'em up inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.[1] The game became known for its extreme difficulty, and upon seeing success, publisher Tradewest published multiple ports for the game, and tasked Rare to develop sequels. Tradewest also gave their own Double Dragon licence to Rare, allowing them to develop a crossover game between the two franchises. Rare released three Battletoads games in 1993, including Battletoads / Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team, Battletoads in Ragnarok's World and Battletoads in Battlemaniacs. The last Battletoads game from that era was released for the arcade in 1994.[10] Several Battletoads games were also ported to some Sega's systems like the Mega Drive/Genesis.[11]

Rare, using the SGI systems, created a boxing game demo and presented it to Nintendo.[13] As the SNES at that time could not render all of the SGI graphics at once, Rare used the SGI graphics to produce 3D models and graphics, before pre-rendering these graphics onto the cartridge of the SNES system,[13] a process known as "Advanced Computer Modelling".[5] Their progress with the 3D graphics on the SGI systems impressed Nintendo, and in 1994, Nintendo bought a 25% stake in the company that gradually increased to 49%, making Rare a second-party developer for Nintendo.[1] Rare maintained autonomous operations, green-lighting and designing projects without significant involvement from Nintendo.[14]

Rare then developed Blast Corps for the Nintendo 64. The game sold one million copies, which was considered disappointing by Rare.[18] At that time, Rare was split into several teams, working on different projects. A large-scaled platformer was set to be released afterwards but was delayed. As a result, Rare changed their schedule and released their smaller projects first. The first project was GoldenEye 007, a game based on the James Bond film GoldenEye. The project was led by Martin Hollis and development was conducted by an inexperienced team.[19] Inspired by Sega's Virtua Cop, Goldeneye 007 had originally been an on-rail shooter before the team decided to expand the gameplay and turn it into a free-roaming first-person shooter. New elements, such as stealth, headshot mechanics and reloading, were introduced. A split-screen multiplayer was added to the game by the end of its development. GoldenEye 007 was the first console first-person shooter developed by Rare and it was released two years after the release of the film. The game received critical praise and received numerous awards. Goldeneye 007 remained one of the best-selling games for two years, and sold more than eight million units worldwide.[1]

Upon the completion of Banjo-Kazooie's development, Hollis immediately began another project.[23] Originally set to be a tie-in for Tomorrow Never Dies, Rare was significantly outbid by another publisher, forcing Rare to develop a new concept with new characters.[24] With a major emphasis on lighting, the game was named Perfect Dark. Hollis left Rare for Nintendo 14 months after the start of Perfect Dark's development. Around the same time, numerous employees left the company and formed new studios. With major project leads departing, a new team took over its development and diminished the role of lighting in the game, making it a more straightforward first-person shooter.[1][25] The game's troubled development did not affect the progress of Rare's other teams. When Perfect Dark was still in development, Rare released two other games, Jet Force Gemini and Donkey Kong 64. In 1999, Nintendo signed an agreement with Disney, and assigned Rare to develop several racing and adventure games featuring Mickey Mouse. The project later became Mickey's Speedway USA and Mickey Racing Adventure.[5] Perfect Dark eventually resurfaced and it was released in 2000 to critical acclaim. The game sold approximately 2 million copies.[26]

In 2003, Rare released their first Microsoft game, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, a humorous action-adventure game set in a haunted mansion full of supernatural creatures. Originally intended as a free-roaming game, it was significantly streamlined in design and concept to attract a larger, more casual audience. The game received mixed reviews from critics, and was considered Rare's worst and least-popular game.[43] At E3 2004, Microsoft's Ken Lobb said that Rare had obtained Nintendo DS development kits and was working on two games for the Nintendo DS. Shortly afterwards, Microsoft issued a statement that the company and its studios had no plans for Nintendo DS development. However, in July 2005, Rare posted job openings for Nintendo DS development on its website and said that it was creating "key" DS games.[44] Only two were ever released, with the first one being Diddy Kong Racing DS, a remake of the Nintendo 64 title Diddy Kong Racing which was released in February 2007,[45] and the second being Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise, a life simulation game, released on September 2008.[46] Both games support the Nintendo DS Rumble Pak.

Rare unveiled work on Xbox Live avatars, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise (the next game in the Viva Piñata series), and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts in 2008. Made by the core team that developed the first Banjo-Kazooie,[51] Nuts & Bolts received significant criticism from players due to its focus on vehicle construction rather than traditional platforming.[52] Though generally receiving positive reviews, the company's games for Microsoft sold poorly and Microsoft decided to restructure the studio at the end of the decade.[53] In March 2010, Rare opened a new facility at Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, Birmingham.[54] Later that year, Microsoft confirmed that Scott Henson, a developer who had worked on the hardware and software designs of the Xbox 360 console and Kinect for Xbox 360, replaced Mark Betteridge as studio manager and announced a focus on Xbox Live avatars.[55] Rare also shifted their focus to Kinect.[56][57] According to Henson, "Kinect will be the main focus for Rare going forwards as it's a very rich canvas. This is just the beginning of an experience that will touch millions of people".[58] Rare's first Kinect project, Kinect Sports, was released in November 2010. Originally titled Sports Star, a more-complex sports simulation game, the game was streamlined into what Microsoft executive Don Mattrick hoped would be the Kinect equivalent of Wii Sports. According to a former Rare employee, the team was worried about the game during its development because of Kinect's limitations.[57] Its reviews were average,[59] but it was a commercial success, selling three million units by May 2011.[60] Rare and BigPark, another Microsoft studio, collaborated on the development of a sequel, Kinect Sports: Season Two.[57]

Though normally secretive, Rare allowed several exclusive tours of its studio by fan sites Rarenet in 1999,[89] and Rare-Extreme in 2004[90] and again in 2009.[91] In 2010, Rare declined an offer by fansite MundoRare to film a documentary about their studios at MundoRare's expense. The film, to celebrate Rare's 25th anniversary, would have been distributed on the internet and Xbox Live. Rare refused permission to shoot the film, saying that it was not "on message". MundoRare was shut down, and stated that the site could not support the company's new corporate direction.[84][92][93] Rare's secrecy was criticised by Hardcore Gamer's Alex Carlson, as they thought that it made them "disconnected", and prompted them to develop games that "their fans don't want".[38] When Duncan took over as the studio's head, he intended to change the culture of the studio. Rare's office was completely remodeled so as to facilitate idea sharing between team members. The studio also adopted a more open attitude to its community, with the studio inviting fans to take part in the development project of their latest game Sea of Thieves.[88]

Former Free Radical and Rare staff also formed Crash Labs, a studio specialising in developing iOS games.[100] Chris Seavor, director of Conker's Bad Fur Day, founded the Gory Detail studio along with Rare employee, Shawn Pile and released Parashoot Stan for mobile devices,[101] as well as The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup on Steam.[102][103] Starfire Studios were founded by four former Rare employees and released Fusion Genesis, an Xbox Live Arcade game published by Microsoft Game Studios.[104] Another group of former Rare employees formed a mobile-game studio, Flippin Pixels.[105] Former Rare employee Lee Schuneman headed Lift London, a Microsoft studio.[106] Phil Tossell and Jennifer Schneidereit founded Nyamyam and released Tengami.[107] Playtonic Games was founded by several former Rare employees; their first project is Yooka-Laylee, a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie.[108] Chris and Tim Stamper joined FortuneFish, a mobile game company founded by Tim Stamper's son, Joe Stamper.[7] Their first game is That Bouncy Thing! The Rubbishiest Game Ever for Android.[109] 041b061a72


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