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Activision Continues Cutting Swath

Dozens of developers from Radical and High Moon are the latest casualties of increased efficiency.

Development unhindered, presumably.
Saw over on Gamasutra that Activision has rendered the latest victims of the ongoing restructuring of its development resources, cutting 100 positions from the staff of ProtoType maker Radical Entertainment. This is just a day after a similar fate befell another Activision studio, High Moon. As we've discussed before, it's no surprise that a single corporate entity, even one as massive as the Activision Blizzard juggernaut, doesn't want to support the full production slates of two independent top-tier publishers, so a little fat-trimming here and there is expected. That makes sense in the world of cold hard numbers and corporate bottom lines, but it's hard not to pour out a little of one's 40 when this many hardworking people are out of their jobs. (Not that I'm drinking a 40 at 9am, but you get the idea.)

I can't help wondering where this leaves ProtoType, a game I feel like I've heard a lot of good stuff about over the past year. It's still more than six months from release, so this isn't Activision pulling a LucasArts and axing a bunch of the staff right after they've wrapped up the significant work on the game. At least Radical's corporate messaging makes it sound like the ProtoType team is unaffected:

Radical Entertainment's vice president of human resources Leah Rubin confirmed to the Sun that Activision Blizzard cut the number of Radical's titles currently under development from four games to two...

That jives with the the recent reports that the company has let plans lapse for a new Scarface game, as well. Let's keep our fingers crossed all these corporate shenanigans will lead to fewer, better games when the dust settles. It's just a grueling process when so many people's lives are affected in the interim. Brad Shoemaker on Google+
16 Comments
Posted by Brad
Development unhindered, presumably.
Saw over on Gamasutra that Activision has rendered the latest victims of the ongoing restructuring of its development resources, cutting 100 positions from the staff of ProtoType maker Radical Entertainment. This is just a day after a similar fate befell another Activision studio, High Moon. As we've discussed before, it's no surprise that a single corporate entity, even one as massive as the Activision Blizzard juggernaut, doesn't want to support the full production slates of two independent top-tier publishers, so a little fat-trimming here and there is expected. That makes sense in the world of cold hard numbers and corporate bottom lines, but it's hard not to pour out a little of one's 40 when this many hardworking people are out of their jobs. (Not that I'm drinking a 40 at 9am, but you get the idea.)

I can't help wondering where this leaves ProtoType, a game I feel like I've heard a lot of good stuff about over the past year. It's still more than six months from release, so this isn't Activision pulling a LucasArts and axing a bunch of the staff right after they've wrapped up the significant work on the game. At least Radical's corporate messaging makes it sound like the ProtoType team is unaffected:

Radical Entertainment's vice president of human resources Leah Rubin confirmed to the Sun that Activision Blizzard cut the number of Radical's titles currently under development from four games to two...

That jives with the the recent reports that the company has let plans lapse for a new Scarface game, as well. Let's keep our fingers crossed all these corporate shenanigans will lead to fewer, better games when the dust settles. It's just a grueling process when so many people's lives are affected in the interim.
Posted by FatMikeKingOfPunk

I don't mind....as long as Prototype is still unharmed. That game looks awesome!!

Posted by Kraznor

Yeah, I guess a world without Scarface II is a better place to be. Still don't  get why they are cutting some awesome stuff loose though, in particular Brutal Legend. Their loss.

Posted by SonicFire

Like everyone is saying...Activision is the new EA....

But the new EA ain't looking too bad...
Posted by IncredibleBulk92

I've seen nothing special from Prototype, it'll have to show vast improvements for me to even consider buying it

Posted by MasterSplinter

I agree with IncredibleBulk about Prototype. I wasn't blown away by the gameplay footage I have seen of it. inFAMOUS peaked my interests a bit more than Prototype did.

Posted by ahoodedfigure

I guess.  Are these cuts really necessary to start?  Or did they allow a bunch of projects to begin, and then kick the ones that were the least buzz worthy?  Is this a new thing with game companies, allowing projects to go so long before cutting them in big waves, or do game companies do this a lot?  It feels like a herd culling.

Pour 40's?  Dude, people are losing their jobs. :P

EA does seem to be improving its public face.  They seem to be responding to the criticism with a little damage control.  Well, not so much DAMAGE...

Posted by CrazyGamer

It's always sad when you see people layed off because of mergers.

Posted by GalvanizedNails

seems like EA and Activision have switched positions, with activision being the bad company and EA being the good guy. I'm sad to hear that High Moon took a bullet for "the greater good" of activision blizzard, since i really enjoyed the Bourne Conspiracy. Seems like Actiblizz is just going to start churning out crap except for maybe 5 triple-A games a year :(

Posted by GaspoweR

well its not because of mergers, its just business. they're trying to make things more efficient by cutting costs (by laying people off) so they'd gain more profit.

Posted by Vinchenzo

So hard to break into the gaming industry, so easy to get kicked out.

Posted by Mexalen

yeah, it's a shame that these mergers cost so many jobs. I hope that Prototype is unaffected and developement proceeds as planned - and for all the guys that lost their job, that they keep their faith and keep on making games!

Posted by DiGiTaL_SiN
Posted by ahoodedfigure

Was this move necessary?  Do we know this certainty from insiders, or is this just an observation because people are often afraid to challenge business decisions because to do so would be unseemly?

Posted by normajean777

well i hope prototype is not axed i actually want this game really bad

Posted by IVIorpheus

As long as this game stay on track...