Rumor and speculation abounds in regards to the next Xbox, but outside of what we know from Microsoft’s leaked 2010 document in regards to the future of the brand, little is known for sure. It’s hard to tell what its future plans are by tracking Microsoft Game Studios developers even. New studio Black Tusk is reportedly working on the company’s next big franchise, but that game is for the Xbox 360. One of its studios is clearly working on the next Xbox, though: Rare Ltd. The Kinect Sports and Banjo Kazooie developer continues to staff up for projects headed to the next Microsoft console, whether it’s called Durango or Xbox 720.
Rare is hiring for three positions. First and foremost is the gameplay engineer position. “In this role, you will be a crucial part of a passionate team of gameplay engineers, working with designers and producers to create stunning, groundbreaking game entity reactions & input interpretations,” reads the job description, “During prototyping you will occasionally be working with extremely early prototype hardware co-developed with teams located off-site.”
The prototype hardware in question is likely not just the next Xbox but the Kinect 2 that’s rumored to go along with it. This is reinforced by the job listing for a principal network services engineer whose primary job will be to “push the boundaries of the Kinect hardware with our exciting new project.” Rounding out the list is a principal physics engineer who requires experiences managing physics-based online gameplay.
This is just the latest round of hiring at the UK-based studio this year. Back in May, Rare started hiring for multiple next-gen projects. These latest job listings suggest projects closer to the family-oriented Kinect games it’s made over the past three years, but the other jobs Rare was looking to fill were for a game closer to what it made during its years with Nintendo.
To wit: The software engineer Rare was hiring in May was “joining at a time when the studio is looking to move into new areas and develop new IPs for future platforms. You will have a successful history of releasing exceptional AAA games and these will ideally be in the Action/Adventure or FPS genre but this is not essential.”
It’s been seven years since Rare made an FPS and nearly five since it made an action/adventure game. Exciting times for the studio’s old fans.