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Rare Gets New Birmingham Facility, Moves Toward Film-Like Staffing Model

Rare is opening Fazeley Studios in Birmingham next month, a new facility that will act initially as a production, test and usability site -- and ultimately, the company hopes, evolve into a usability lab.
Microsoft-owned Rare is opening a second facility next month, launching Fazeley Studios in Digbeth, Birmingham to act initially as a production, test and usability site -- and ultimately, the company hopes, evolve into a usability lab. The company is headquartered in Twycross, Leicester. Rare says it hopes the urban setting in Birmingham will be both more accessible and more attractive to new talent. It plans to employ about 90 people at the new facility. Overall, the storied developer says it's moving toward a "film production model" of games development. "The old way of making games just doesn’t work anymore," says studio head Mark Betteridge. The company pointed to "boom and bust staff cycles" as something it sees as a problem for the industry. "We need to be much more flexible in how we staff a team,and setting up new facility in Digbeth will help us to do this," adds Betteridge. Regional economic development agency Advantage West Midlands also lauded the facility's opening as an economic boon to the region. Jane Holmes, International Investment Manager at Advantage West Midlands, commented: "Rare’s move is fantastic news for the West Midlands, not least because it will bring 90 high technology jobs to the region, along with a major, globally successful company." "The West Midlands has a long-established video games industry, accounting for one quarter of the UK games workforce," she adds. "Rare’s arrival will further strengthen the region’s reputation around the world for excellence in computer games."

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