In response to increasing public talk about Rare producing games for other platforms, Nintendo has issued a statement confirming that it is ending its exclusive relationship with Rare. However, Star Fox Adventures, produced by Rare and Nintendo, will remain exclusive to the GameCube and is still set to ship on September 23.
The Nintendo statement explained the reasoning behind the change in the company's relationship with Rare: "Although we're proud of our joint efforts with Rare over the years and have enjoyed our relationship with them, in fiscal year 2001, Rare accounted for only 9.5 percent of total Nintendo software revenue worldwide. In fiscal year 2002, that number declined to 1.5 percent. Therefore, in evaluating our investments in developers, as well as the financial benefits to Nintendo over the years, we've decided it's in Nintendo's best interests to focus on diversifying our portfolio of developers and projects."
Nintendo further confirmed that in addition to the Star Fox exclusivity, "Nintendo's other great franchise characters such as Donkey Kong also will remain exclusive to Nintendo." No mention was made of the rights to Perfect Dark, the franchise started by Rare.