Moving from the world of Nintendo to under the Microsoft umbrella caused plenty of problems for games that were in development at the time over at Rare. We've already heard about the sad fate of Donkey Kong Racing, and now some regretful comments about Kameo: Elements of Power have surfaced at CVG courtesy of Rare creative director George Andreas. As you may recall, Kameo began life as a GameCube title, then shifted to become a Xbox adventure before being called up to the majors as a launch title for the Xbox 360. You may also recall it as the game that starred an elf. Or was she a fairy? It depends on which audience one wants to target.
He admits that after moving a title about a fairy away from the kiddy Nintendo audience towards the shooter-loving Xbox crowd, there was only one thing to do: Lie and say Kameo was an elf. "I was on that project from start to finish, so it's quite painful to talk about it in some ways," he said, in a feature celebrating Rare's 25th anniversary (respect, by the way).
He added: "We changed direction slightly because of the new audience we were trying to aim at. We called Kameo an elf, but really she was a fairy. We tried to disguise that a few times, but it didn't really work out. It was a game with a fairy for an audience that likes shooting and killing things. "In hindsight, it probably would have been best to scrap everything and start again. And then we jumped on 360 as a launch title. We weren't far off finishing [when that happened]."
Another game gutted by a demographic shift. It's tragic when a promising project is impacted by the marketing department, and ultimately I believe that this is just another sign that Rare lost its identity during the Xbox transition and never quite found it again. Game Informer sums it up best, I think:
Kameo wasn't a favorite around the GI offices when the 360 launched, but some gamers consider it a return to form for Rare. Then the company made Xbox Live Avatars, effectively spending any new credibility capital it had acquired.