Prior to its sale to Microsoft, Rare was a second-party Nintendo studio, and the Stamper siblings enjoyed an incredibly close relationship with the Japanese giant – so it's hardly shocking that Tim has several rare development and pre-production cartridges in his possession.
He's been showing them off on social media, but his posts haven't been finding favour with all sectors of the retro gaming community.
His latest post relates to the 1997 Spaceworld Zelda: Ocarina Of Time cartridge (oh, and a Mario 64 cart and several sealed copies of OoT, all worth plenty of cash these days) and has garnered some rather negative reactions:
The reason for the backlash? Well, as some Twitter posters have quite rightly pointed out, these cartridges won't last forever, and if they fail, they're going to take potentially significant game history with them.
'Dumping' the carts – digitising their contents for research and archival purposes – is the right thing to do, but those blindly assuming that Stamper will release the files online are perhaps a little bit naive.
For starters, given Rare's intense focus on hardware development and innovation during the Stamper's tenure, it's highly likely that these carts have already been dumped by one of the brothers. Secondly, dumping these carts and distributing their contents on the internet will almost certainly land Tim Stamper in a lot of hot water with Nintendo, the company that will have given the carts to Rare in the first place.