Since launching in November 2013, the Xbox One has somewhat struggled to keep up with the PS4 in terms of sales. While most of the console’s sales troubles can be chalked up to its too expensive launch pricing (something helped by the holidays deals and aggressively priced Xbox One bundles) many also point to the console’s lack of exclusives.
More exclusive Xbox titles are something that gamers have been asking for for a while. Titles like the recently released Halo: The Master Chief Collection and new Insomniac IP Sunset Overdrive are good offerings, but with many months to go until next year’s holiday gaming bonanza, Xbox fans will need much more to tide them over.
That’s perhaps one of the reasons that Xbox has tapped Rare, one of the most dependable developers of Xbox exclusives, to make another. Few details are known of their secretive project but now, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has once again teased the British dev’s new game.
Got to play the new @RareLtd game today. Rare building a uniquely Rare game, as it should be. Great visit to the studio.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) November 11, 2014
As coy as the Xbox boss is playing, we can look at his previous statement for clues. Back in August of this year he explained that:
“Right now with Rare we’re at a point where I don’t want the Rare brand to mean Kinect Sports. The Rare brand can be more valuable to them, to us and to gamers than that.”
With a Kinect Sports Rivals sequel ruled out, there’s still another “uniquely Rare” franchise that we can point to – Battletoads.
Released all the way back in 1991, Battletoads was a beat ’em up and platforming title on NES, Amiga, Game Boy, Game Gear and Sega Mega Drive. With it being a good few years since someone wiped off the dust and fired up those consoles – and Microsoft recently trademarking the name – that puts Battleroads right in line to become Rare’s next game.
Furthermore, Microsoft and Rare also have form for using the Battletoads name. Such an iconic title from Rare’s history, the Battletoads Challenge Pack was released as DLC for Kinect Sports Rivals. In fact, the only thing against Rare’s next game being Battletoads are more comments from Phil Spencer.
Two weeks ago he stated that he thinks “new stories, new characters give us a new canvas to try new things.” It’s debatable whether or not a new Battletoads game would count as a ‘new canvas’, based on its age. But judging by his comments, whatever it is that Rare is working on, we can definitely expect it to be unlike what we’re used to.