In January, Microsoft started "reviewing" a few things. Cut some jobs, that sort of stuff. That "review" now shines its light on Rare, where belts are to be tightened, and jobs might be lost.
In comments released to the British press today, the company stated a number of aims going forward that seemed a tad redundant, since they outlined a goal to do... exactly what Rare have been doing for the past 2-3 years. Expand the Xbox userbase, work on Xbox Live stuff, yada yada yada.
Of more interest are these comments from studio manager Mark Betteridge:
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.
Sound ominous? Could well be, as he continues:
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.
So job losses, probably, but it also sounds like a project or two may have been canned as well.