A new interview with Shane Kim, corporate vice president at Microsoft Game Studios has raised the prospect of Microsoft-owned British developer Rare producing more games for the Nintendo DS, including possible iterations of both the Viva Pinata
Since the acquisition by Microsoft in 2002 developer Rare has had five games published for Xbox formats: Grabbed by the Ghoulies
, Conker: Live & Reloaded
, Kameo: Elements of Power
, Perfect Dark Zero
and Viva Pinata
At the same time, it has published an equal number of titles for the Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS: Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty’s Revenge
, Sabre Wulf
, It’s Mr Pants
and this month’s Diddy Kong Racing DS
. Puzzle game It’s Mr Pants
and Sabre Wulf
were both also converted to mobile phone formats.
However, co-operation with previous partners Nintendo has not been entirely unrestricted, with the Nintendo DS version of Diddy Kong Racing
failing to include prominent Rare-created characters Banjo and Conker. There has also been no indication of any deal that would see earlier Rare developed titles appearing on the Wii Virtual Console.
Speaking to consumer website 1up.com
, Kim indicated that “a Kameo
or a Viva Pinata
on a DS makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways from a franchise perspective”. Despite critical acclaim, the release of Viva Pinata
on the Xbox 360 last Christmas was not a major success, with many commentators observing that the family friendly franchise would be better suited to Nintendo formats.
According to Kim, though, the franchise will continue, saying: "Whether that is in the form of a sequel, a product line extension or through merchandising, whatever the case may be, that's something that we're going to stick with." He also refused to class the game as a failure, with Philip Spencer, head of studio development for Microsoft Game Studios adding, “[Viva Pinata
] is the beginning of an IP that will be a pillar for Microsoft Game Studios for a long time”.
However, despite openly considering further support of the Nintendo DS, Kim ruled out the chance of any Rare properties appearing on the PSP, "Whether you're talking about mobile or the DS - you probably won't see it on the PSP."