Rare's most recent Xbox 360 title, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts might not have been a huge commercial success, but the British developer still believes the game was a success.
"I guess we consider it to be a success in that it met the expectation of the people that were creating it, in terms of the final product," Rare design director George Andreas told VideoGamer.com. "In terms of execution, I can honestly say I don't think you could have executed that particular concept much better."
Andreas also feels that no other game can match the creative freedom Banjo offers gamers.
"Where is there a game in the industry today where you can build virtually anything, I mean literally anything, with a tool set that is as robust and as fun to use as that?" he added.
"We constantly get videos, and they're on YouTube as well, of people's creations. We look at them on a regular basis and we go, Jesus, how the hell did they make that? Where did they get the inspiration to create something like that? I think that has been a huge success. The game was always set out to allow the user to create their own experience and to create their own vehicles. From that perspective I think it's definitely a success."
Andreas admits, however, that commercially the game did not live up to expectations, but this is the risk Rare must take in order to innovate.
"From a commercial point of view, you could argue that it perhaps hasn't been as hugely successful as perhaps we would have liked. But again, Rare as a company, we have to be trying to do things that are seen as different and innovative and creative because if we don't, who else will?" he said. "Other companies tend to mirror themselves. If we're not careful the industry will end up just becoming a mirror of itself.
"I'm so happy and so glad to be at a company like Rare where we can challenge that conventional thinking. We can try out new things. To be a first party developer with Microsoft, part of our challenge is to create new experiences. That's part of our remit as a first party developer. That's great for creative people. What a fantastic place to be - to be given the free run of the place and told to go and create something completely different and unique."
Speaking specifically about Banjo and Viva Piñata, Andreas added: "[They are] highly creative products that I don't think you would have got from many other studios. Internally we're very proud of those products and look forward to the future products."
For more from George Andreas, including how he used a position at Edge magazine to catapult himself into game design, head over to part one of our exclusive interview.