Microsoft have today confirmed that they have acquired UK based Rare, and that the developers will work on a number of new titles which will be exclusive to Xbox, including a sequel to Perfect Dark.

Joanna DarkChris Stamper, chairman and technical director of Rare, said, "Our mission at Rare has always been to make the industry’s best games for the widest possible audience. Teaming with Microsoft gives us the best opportunity to accomplish this goal. Microsoft’s dedication and commitment to game creators, research and development, and to gaming innovation made them the obvious partner to take Rare into the future."

The deal, which sees Microsoft paying $375 million for the developer, will mean that Rare will develop a number of titles exclusively for Xbox, with the first Rare Xbox title Kameo due for release in the Spring of 2003, with a sequel to Perfect Dark due later in 2003, and at least five games over the next two years including titles from genres such as racing, shooters and platformers.

"This partnership significantly broadens our already outstanding portfolio of games that will be available for Xbox. And it also broadens our reach internationally, as gamers around the world have demonstrated their fanaticism for what Rare consistently produces," said Robbie Bach, Chief Xbox Officer at Microsoft.

"As a gamer, you could hardly wait until Rare’s next title was announced. You didn’t know what genre it would be, but it didn’t matter because you knew you were going to love it." added Ed Fries, vice president of Xbox Game Content at Microsoft.