Rare is a United Kingdom company founded by Tim and Chris Stamper. Rare is the author of many videogames for Arcade, Nintendo consoles and lately for the Xbox.
It was founded as Ashby Computers and Graphics Ltd (ACG), originally. They later changed their name to Ultimate Play the Game and they developed games for 8-bit consoles, such as Commodore 64. Rare became second party developer for Nintendo. On 2002 it was acquired by Microsoft, and in 2003 it changed its Rareware logo for a Rare logo in white.
It is the company behind most famous games for Nintendo and other platforms: Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct, Banjo Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, Blast Corps, 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.
It is a company known for using the latest graphic technology on its games. Donkey Kong Country is a highly acclaimed example of this. On a time where 32-bit consoles were leading the market, they made this game with pre-rendered 3D graphics. Althought for a 16-bit console, it could compete against 32-bit consoles. It was a huge success which made Nintendo go up in the console competition world.
They did it again with Donkey Kong Country 64 and Banjo Kazooie, which used 3D technology far more advanced than Super Mario 64, for example. Rareware's Killer Instinct added several features to the fighting game genre such as autodouble combos, combo linkers and ultra combos. It was a new set of characteristics who were later copied by some fighting games, like Mortal Kombat, although not in the same style.
They are currently working for Microsoft and Banjo Kazooie 3 is expected for Xbox 360.
Taken from Wikia.com