Neversoft, who became Guitar Hero's primary developer with the third numbered entry and released nine Tony Hawk skateboarding games before relinquishing control of the franchise to Robomodo, lost around 50 of its 170 or so employees as of Wednesday.
Responsible for Dave Mirra Freestyle and BMX XXX while under the name of Z-Axis, Underground Development was once due to shut in 2008 and while it dodged that closure, Gamasutra suggests it has suffered layoffs at the very least and may be shut.
Activision announced this week that it would cease releasing Guitar Hero titles for the PlayStation 2 while CEO Bobby Kotick recently stated that the company's overall philosophy had recently shifted to "less games, better games."
Asked to commment, Activision provided Shacknews with the following statement:
Activision Publishing continually evaluates its resources to ensure that they are properly matched against its product slate and strategic goals. In 2010, the company's sku count will be smaller than in 2009 driven in part, by a decrease in the number of music-based games we will be releasing.
As we discussed on our earnings conference call yesterday, we are directing our resources against the largest and most profitable business segments, and as part of this initiative, we are realigning our resources to better reflect our slate and the market opportunities. At the same time, we are increasing our digital/online capabilities as we expect that digital/online will continue to become a more meaningful part of our business model in the years ahead.
Some of Luxoflux's 56 employees may be offered positions at Call of Duty: World at War developer Treyarch, according to the Los Angeles Times, but the studio will close.
Over at Prototype and Scarface: The World Is Yours developer Radical Entertainment, more than half of the studio's 180 staff have reportedly been let go.
Late last year, rival Electronic Arts initiated a cost-reduction plan with "a headcount reduction of approximately 1,500 positions," which saw Mercenaries and The Saboteur creator Pandemic Studios gutted and 'restructured' and the EA Los Angeles team responsible for Command & Conquer 4 reportedly due to be let go once the real-time strategy sequel launches in March.