Killer Instinct 3 fights for Natal outing

New chat with Rare chief suggests Killer Instinct could make a return – but not with a traditional controller.

By Adam Doree, November 26, 2009

One of the coolest fighting game franchises of the nineties was Killer Instinct. The original 2D brawler offered bold, sexy character design and production values light years ahead of other fighters, at a time when only the crude, untextured polygons of the original Virtua Fighter represented the emerging “proper 3D” beat-’em-up.

Fans have been hoping for news of a Killer comeback ever since Rare became part of Microsoft in 2002 and co-founders Chris and Tim Stamper confirmed to us that “the two properties that go back to Nintendo are Donkey Kong and Star Fox – the rest of the IP actually comes back to Rare”.

Every time the suggestion of Killer Instinct has come up (in screenshots of Rare’s other titles for example, or whenever a Microsoft exec is asked about it), there’s a notable response.

We know that both Mark Betteridge (Rare studio head) and Ken Lobb (Microsoft Game Studios) are supporters of the IP, and it would also be a pretty useful platform-exclusive beat-’em-up for Xbox 360.

In recent years, fighting games had not been selling the way they used to (a subject we’ve discussed with both SEGA AM2 and Namco, if you want further reading). But all that may have changed with the success of Capcom’s 2D fighting game revival, Street Fighter IV, which we scored 10/10 and is set for further expansion.

Now, it seems that Killer Instinct may well be coming back – but not in the way you might expect.

Rares CG art for KI was stunning, and in-game looked great too

Rare's CG art for KI was stunning, and in-game looked great too

In the new issue of Games TM, an excellent Rare studio feature contains a box out on the Killer Instinct franchise, in which Mark Betteridge reaffirms that Killer Instinct is an IP “near and dear to us”.

The real eyebrow raiser comes as he goes on to say: “It’s about timing, and it’s about the opportunity creatively and gameplay-wise that it would offer. Street Fighter IV looked great and they’ve done a great job, and I’m a big fan of those products, but with KI we want to do something different rather than go back into that arena.”

And then the money shot: “I think it’s about doing something different than with a conventional controller.”

George Andreas, head of design at Rare, also says that the challenge will be about making KI for “the masses”, and the magazine itself goes on to conclude: “Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until Natal hits the market before they discover if that question is to remain unanswered.”

Killer Instinct 3? We hope so. For Natal? Hmmm…

In the meantime, how about KI and KI2 arcade perfect on XBLA?

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31 Responses to “Killer Instinct 3 fights for Natal outing”

  1. [...] Killer Instinct 3 e Natal? Killer Instinct 3 fights for Natal outing Video Games Daily [...]

  2. S. Bains says:

    KI3 on Natal – no controller – no thanks.

    Microsoft has its head screwed on the wrong way, they should go the route of 2.5D like Street Fighter IV did with a controller.

    Anything else is a waste of time and an IP

    • Wallace says:

      I am 100% agreed …. they should go for the same engine of street fighter should be tweaked
      to the last technology on 2.5D Just like that it would be a killer instinct 3.

      I am a guy who feel the right to express this to the max expression because I been a gamer for 22 years. since atary 2600.

      • luis says:

        they say it was gonna be realsed in natal but also on xbox360 and you could also play it on wii with the old style controllers

  3. [...] Mark Betteridge para el más reciente número de la revista Games TM, el director general de Rare ha confirmado el posible regreso de la franquicia Killer Instinct, aunque los planes del estudio son de realizar [...]

  4. SupremeVictory! says:

    KI with Natal……

    *trying to imagine myself doing Glacius Ultra Combo in front of my TV*

    (Glacius Ultra Combo +60 hits)

    …Hell no

  5. matt says:

    either go back to nintendo or die rare. stop thinking that you can still make good games

  6. bozzy says:

    Wouldn’t any new Killer Instinct require consultation with Nintendo since they own some part of that IP?

  7. Doree says:

    No, nintendo owns none of the IP, it’s all Microsoft now

  8. [...] capitán de ese barco a la deriva que cada vez más gente abandona, llamado Rare, ha acudido puntual a su cita navideña con la especulación. En declaraciones a la revista Games TV, el presidente de la compañía de la [...]

  9. [...] boss Mark Betteridge dropped some serious hints about the project in an interview with GamesTM this week, saying: “It’s about timing, and it’s about the opportunity creatively and [...]

  10. [...] | VideoGamesDaily Categorias:  Rumores Kameo 2 ha sido cancelado Rare podría revivir licencias para [...]

  11. [...] pero después de terminar de leer el artículo “me le quiero puro morir”: Gracias a VGD (a través de Develop Online) se ha confirmado que Mark Betteridge, el cabecilla de Rare, estaría [...]

  12. Solrak says:

    Is this real? I mean, seriously Rare. It is so sad to see a great franchise like KI getting on the Natal marketing fail-train, because that’s what this is, a stupid move to give hype to the casual aimed Natal. It’s been more than 10 years waiting a worthy successor of KI and this is the best you can give us? We and KI deserve better Rare.


  13. Carvega says:

    Lol, this would be the best way to kill the franchise!!! Horrible idea… motion controls for fighting games is a VERY lame idea!

  14. Leingod says:

    Killer Instinct 3? Yay, all the way! Natal controlled? No… absolutely no. That’d be the most horrible idea since turning Banjo & Kazooie into a … kart or … whatever game… thing.

    There are times for innovation, and times for just doing things right. This is one of the latter. Didn’t RARE learn anything from SF4? Classic gameplay, new everything else = WIN.

  15. smegma breath says:

    motherfuck rare up their untalented asses. htey truly suck balls, what a waste of money it was for microsoft to buy em up.

  16. Adam Doree says:

    While my first impressions is that a fighting game could not work on Natal, I also say this: let them prove us wrong. As someone who’s played Natal and been suitably impressed by it, it’s not implausible that a talented studio with imagination could figure out a way to make something work, even if gamers wouldn’t expect it in advance.

  17. jskull says:

    I would like to see KI on the psp more then XBL.

  18. Wallace says:

    Some people say that that would be a waste of money if they make the game using natal technology.I am 100% agreed with this.

    i don’t know what is happening with Microsoft.They fucked windows vista,no happy with it…they decided to force you buy windows 7.Now they will fuck up Killer instinct 3.Microsoft sucks.

  19. Nomaro says:

    Can you imagine doing Ultra Combos with Natal? You would probably end up destroying everything in the room.

    • Joel says:

      Thats the funniest thing i’ve heard today I nearly pooped myself O.o

  20. Jawn says:

    KI3 Would Be Awesome! i hope its coming out.

    For PlayStation 3 as Well. I’d be so pissed and hate xbox more if it only released for the 360.

    I’m still not over DOA only for 360. i hate xbox for that.

    K.I3 for PS3 to Please.

  21. jane says:

    ki3 is awesome, but for natal? id rather go back to halo 1 than for this to happen… ki is a controller based game… and rare hasnt been the same since joining microsoft…. they went downhill deeply ever since after goldeneye was made…. the original crew of rare left, they joined microsoft… seriously… start making fun 2d games for microsoft like they use to for nintendo….. graphics isnt everything… its gameplay or gameplay with a really good storyline

  22. Mark says:

    Get real dude! Microsoft rules.

  23. patrik says:

    hi iam slovak and i like play ki3 but i dont download …help me

  24. patrik says:

    pc game killer instinct 3 downloading help me

  25. reinaldo says:


  26. svilerback says:

    this game needs to fucking come out on ps fuckin 3 and these people need to stop fucking around

  27. blingking says:

    they should go for the same engine of street fighter IV. Preview with thoughts from Senior Producer Samuel Jacques.join me


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