Rare is known these days as a Microsoft developer after they were bought by the software giant back in 2002, but the developer was almost bought by Activision.

In an interview with IGN, Xbox co-creator Ed Fries recounted how a bidding war for the developer almost led to a completely different ownership after Rare’s split with Nintendo. “So we put in a bid and then Activision outbid us, and it looked like we were going to lose the deal, and then at the very last minute Robbie increased our bid and we won the deal. And that was it. Who knows what could have happened with Rare.”

Former Xbox head Robbie Bach was present for the bidding and was instrumental to the acquisition. It is impossible to tell what would have happened to the developer if they were acquired by Activision, but one thing is certain, we wouldn’t be getting Sea of Thieves.

Now that Microsoft has distanced themselves from the Kinect, Rare, the developer behind the Kinect Sports series, is free to develop the upcoming pirate adventure Sea of Thieves. Rare’s upcoming epic is slated to release early 2017 for Xbox One and Windows 10. You can see the Xbox E3 gameplay teaser for Sea of Thieves here.

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