Rare, Ltd. is a United Kingdom-based video game development company. It was founded in 1982 by brothers Tim and Chris Stamper as Ashby Computers and Graphics Ltd. (ACG). Publishing as Ultimate Play the Game, they developed games for 8-bit platforms such as the ZX Spectrum, the Commodore 64 and the BBC Micro, before the name was sold to U.S. Gold in 1985. Rare then became in 1995 a second-party developer for the Nintendo gaming platforms. In 2002, Rare was acquired by Microsoft.
The company is notable for having created an unusually large number of original hit games, and for the company's price tag: Microsoft paid US$377 million for the company, a record for a video game developer.
On January 2, 2007, it was announced that Tim and Chris Stamper have left Rare to pursue "other opportunities". Neither Microsoft, Rare, nor the Stamper brothers have stated specifically what they intend to move onto post-Rare.
Rare is located in Twycross, Leicestershire, England and is the company behind many of the most famous games for Nintendo's various gaming systems: Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country (and its sequels), Killer Instinct, Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo-Tooie, Blast Corps, GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark, Pefect Dark Zero, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Diddy Kong Racing, Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini, Star Fox Adventures, Diddy Kong Racing DS and, most recently, Viva Piñata DS.