No, not Rare – Microsoft is likely to never give them up after the massive investment that purchased the studio back in 2002. The developer of the new Killer Instinct title released on Microsoft’s Xbox One Double Helix has been acquired by Amazon and is a part of their push to “build innovative games for customers.”
The acquisition, unsurprisingly, does not affect Microsoft’s Killer Instinct property which remains theirs; the software giant has also announced that their internal KI team is unaffected and remains dedicated to supporting the game. Microsoft will be working with a new partner going forward to support the Xbox One launch title and any additional entries in the franchise. As a dedicated KI fan, this is the good news. While I was thoroughly pleased with the latest entry in the franchise and commended Double Helix for resurrecting it, I have faith that Microsoft will do well by the fans in curating this fan favorite franchise.
Amazon’s move to acquire a game developer is not terribly surprising given rumors that the online retailer is working on a game console of their own. At this point, it’s unclear if Double Helix will work on more major releases or “full” games or will be restructured to focus on casual games for Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets.