In a move that many didn’t see coming, Microsoft-owned Rare, according to our sources, will start outsourcing work from its in-house artists to contractors. The move is a very important decision for the long-time developer and one that is quite calculated, according to those whispering about it.
The move will see nineteen artists become contractors going forward, which narrowly dodges the European Union employment law and thereby avoids the dreaded fulltime consultation process. Only 23 employees or so will remain in the Rare art department as the company makes its move to avoid paying downtime for employees; and this also means that it will be much easier to lower its workforce numbers as needed, since it is not difficult to eliminate contractors.
While the move to using contractors isn’t unique, many are wondering if this is the start of Rare doing even more outsourcing, as a number of developers are moving in this direction or have at least experimented with it. Right now, no one seems to want to talk about what the future will look like for those who will be consultants in the future; but seeing that a contractor needs two years of continuous employment in order to gain the same rights as a full-time employee, you can see where this is headed.