Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Radical on the Ropes

No real punchline here, just kinda shitty news.

In a sad little bit of news that popped up late last week, it would appear that Radical Entertainment, a subsidiary of Activision and perhaps best known for being the studio that made the Prototype series seems to be pretty much down for the count. There were murmurs starting on June 28th that the studio would be closing it's doors, and although it appears that Activision may be trying to retain the creative team, the studio itself is almost certainly bust.

In a statement Activision seemingly has confirmed the worst:

"Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience. Radical is a very talented team of developers, however, we have explored various options for the studio, including a potential sale of the business, and have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff. As such, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, but the studio will cease development of its own games going forward."

Despite the fan support -- and of course no small amount of vitriol flinging at Activision -- over Facebook, Twitter and the like, it would seem that the decision is final. This seems to be a case of a franchise doing well, but not well enough. While Prototype 2 was April's best seller, the numbers were down considerably from last year, and it would appear that Activision was unimpressed enough to pull the plug.

Whether this means that another studio will swoop in to pick up Radical and perhaps ownership of some of the franchises therein, it just strikes me as another pointless closure of a studio that was doing good work. The closure means that even if a few key individuals did retain their jobs, that the layoffs were massive and pretty much final.

While Prototype didn't set the world on fire or anything I myself have found it to be a fine game, and I'm looking forward to a point when I can actually get a chance to pick up the sequel. I just think that it's rather ridiculous that just because a title can't boast the same numbers as mega-franchises such as Diablo, Call of Duty, or Battlefield that it somehow means that it's a failure and no longer worth investing in.

Perhaps some of my comments have been misguided, I like most don't know all of the details behind this decision, but taking what I could from that official statement above it certainly strikes me as the case of "good, but not good enough", which is something that really bothers me.

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