I want to ask something, why did Nintendo sell them in the first place? Were they not doing as well as they used to, did some key people leave, or did Nintendo just not want them. Really why did that happen?
As I noted above, Nintendo didn't sell the company itself. They only sold back their 49% share to Rare themselves.
And they did this because they dropped way below their usual level of output and became just 1% of total revenue. Knowing that several key employees have departed the company (they formed Free Radical of Time Splitters fame) and that their output level would nto pick up, they sold back their share to Rare. Then MS bought up the whole thing after Activision and some others passed on the sale.
The rEVOLution is not being televised