The British game studio, Rare, almost belonged to publisher Activision according to the co-creator of Xbox.
While Rare belongs to Microsoft since the early days of the Xbox, Microsoft almost lost the deal to publisher Activision. Microsoft's former vice president of game publishing, and Xbox co-founder, Ed Fries, said as much during an interview with IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey.
“In fact, Activision almost did…so we put in a bid, and then Activision outbid us, and it looked like we’re going to lose the deal”, Fries told McCaffrey.
“And then at the very last minute [Robbie Bach] increased our bid.. and we won”.
As said, Rare now belongs to Microsoft and has been responsible for titles such as Kameo, Conker: Live & Reloaded, Perfect Dark: Zero, and the recently released Rare Replay collection. The British studio is currently working on the cooperative pirate-adventure title, Sea of Thieves, for Xbox One and Windows 10.