Develop reports that Microsoft's Rare development studio is currently undergoing a "review" as part of the company's overall plans to refocus Microsoft Game Studios.

A statement made by Microsoft highlights three new areas on which Rare will focus. These are:

1. Expand the Xbox 360 customer base by delivering experiences that allow our customers to interact with our content in new and innovative ways.

2. Better support efforts to extend the appeal of Xbox LIVE as a social entertainment network to drive greater adoption across the Xbox 360 customer base.

3. Continue delivering AAA gaming experiences that excite both our current and future customers.

According to Develop, the Microsoft statement also adds: "As we restructure to successfully execute against our shared strategy within this framework, we will be implementing a new approach to current projects in the pipeline that could serve as an industry-wide model for how to achieve a more efficient and scalable development process.

"In order to achieve these goals, the company is reviewing the current composition of its development teams and there is the possibility that a small number of current positions could be lost as a result of these changes."

Rare studio manager Mark Betteridge commented: "As the entire industry struggles to address the increasing scale and cost of development, we too have felt a need to restructure our current approach so we can speed development and better manage the scale required to create high quality games. With four projects recently underway, now is the right time to make this change."

Since joining Microsoft Game Studios, Rare has released Grabbed by the Ghoulies and Conker: Live and Reloaded for the original Xbox, plus a string of titles for the Xbox 360: Kameo, Perfect Dark: Zero, Viva Piñata, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts. The studio has also been responsible for a DS version of its popular Viva Piñata franchise, Diddy Kong Racing DS and Jetpack Refuelled for XBLA. It also worked on the Avatar system included as part of the New Xbox Experience update.