Radical Entertainment shut down

Radical Entertainment, best known for the Prototype series, has been shut down.

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Radical Entertainment, best known for the Prototype series, has been shut down. Rob Bridgett, former audio designer of the studio, confirmed the closure on Twitter with a concise message: RIP Radical Entertainment 1991-2012.

Radical Entertainment was a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision. And apparently, the sluggish sales of Prototype 2 are to blame. Although it topped NPD sales during its month of release, it managed to sell fewer than 250K copies.

Activision explained to Shacknews their decision to close the studio:

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.

Although the team has been largely gutted, the PC release of Prototype 2 will still release on time. As per Radical's Facebook page: "For PC gamers, rest assured that the PC version of Prototype 2 is still going to launch on July 24th as planned."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 28, 2012 12:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Radical Entertainment shut down.

    Radical Entertainment, best known for the Prototype series, has been shut down.

    • reply
      June 28, 2012 12:33 PM

      From my friend who works there:
      They are stuck in a room and can't leave until they meet with HR after which point they are escorted out by security.

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        June 28, 2012 12:45 PM

        ~VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY~

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          June 28, 2012 1:09 PM

          Yeah, that's not an industry specific practice.

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            June 28, 2012 1:10 PM

            It's a common thing for companies in the game industry to do. This isn't the first time that it's happened.

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              June 28, 2012 1:14 PM

              Just saying that doing that sort of thing for mass layoffs isn't only done in games.

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                June 28, 2012 1:20 PM

                It's not the layoffs, but simply locking them in a room or locking them outside of the building while doing it :P Pretty shady stuff.

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                  June 28, 2012 1:30 PM

                  That happens in a lot of companies. It's standard practice in the US for technology companies.

                  Mine just did that a year ago when they fired off the R&D staff here.

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                    June 28, 2012 2:01 PM

                    People are probably just more aware of it with video games because a) they hear about developers b) developers tend to have a lot of employees when they go bust

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                  June 28, 2012 2:05 PM

                  No this isn't shady at all even in other industries so employees don't walk out with sensitive information, assets, or whatnot.

                  There's an example of this in Mad Men when someone got laid off but no one took the steps to keep him from trashing the place and taking his client contact information with him.

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                  June 28, 2012 4:15 PM

                  Yes, maybe shady but it does happen in almost all industries I think.

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              June 28, 2012 1:18 PM

              Just like eating, so many gaming companies eat food. What weird people.

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          June 28, 2012 1:09 PM

          More like ~any big company~

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        June 28, 2012 1:02 PM

        That's better than what Sigil did to their employees. Asking all of them to meet outside, locked them out of the building and had security get their things. Talk about fucked up.

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        June 28, 2012 1:03 PM

        How can you treat your employers like that :/

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        June 28, 2012 1:58 PM

        What will they do if the employee just grabs his shit and leaves? Fire him?

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          June 28, 2012 2:06 PM

          Nothing unless he grabs something that isn't his.

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          June 28, 2012 2:20 PM

          No consequences, as far as I can tell, especially if you're a temp. A few years ago, I got up and walked out in the middle of the QA manager's goodbye spiel and slammed the door behind me. Maybe not the most tasteful action to take, but they didn't exactly go running after me or anything.

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        June 28, 2012 2:15 PM

        You can leave if you get up and walk out, however, they may decide to not give you a severance package then. Of course if everyone just walked out they would pretty much have to still give severance packages.

        I mean what are they going to do? Fight you? Call the police? "A man we were holding prisoner walked out of the building! Find and Arrest him!"

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        June 29, 2012 3:07 AM

        Sometimes the differences between scandinavian and american business practices are enormous. No employer could do that to you here, thank god for socialism I guess.

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          June 29, 2012 4:21 AM

          Yeah. I often cringe when I read about work places and policies on the Shack. A large part of the stuff that seems to go on over the seas would get a company in a shitload of trouble in Finland. I don't care what political views one attaches them to, I quite like my rights that ensure that I can't be fucked over without almost any notice and make sure that I can't be locked in a room... or well, I can, but as said, that would be a bad, bad idea over here. Also I keep reading about these horrible bosses who abuse their power however they please, and people seem to think "that's just the way it goes". During my 15 year career I've never, not even once, had a superior who talked down to me, yelled at me or abused his or her position in any way inappropriate. Pulling shit like that will get you in a position that you don't want to be in, at least in the type of work cultures I've been involved in. Most of the bosses I've had I'd classify as friends.

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            June 29, 2012 6:29 AM

            I had one boss that gave me trouble once, but that stopped quickly after I contacted the ombudsman and my labor union. In the US it seems like the fabric of society would unravel if you unionized or something. And the few unions they have are more like mafia, according to my researches of The Wire.

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      June 28, 2012 12:35 PM

      not surprising but sad. They had two titles canceled over the past two years, including a Crash Bandicoot remake.

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      June 28, 2012 12:38 PM

      Sad to see a studio close. Prototype 2's release was weird, though. It felt as if there was minimal marketing -- the release date crept up on many people.

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        June 28, 2012 2:17 PM

        there was quite a bit of tv marketing for it which makes the financial situation worse. word of mouth seemed indifferent or negative and from what I saw of the second game it was nothing special

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          June 29, 2012 5:46 AM

          It looked like a re-skin of the first game. I played the crap out of the first, had totally no interested in the sequel.

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      June 28, 2012 12:46 PM

      I'll always remember them for Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.

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      June 28, 2012 12:49 PM

      [deleted]

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      June 28, 2012 12:50 PM

      Damn. Not a lot of game Studios left in Vancouver...

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        June 28, 2012 1:28 PM

        No kidding. Used to be tons here, now they are dropping like flies.

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          June 28, 2012 1:45 PM

          This is a list from 2 years ago. http://www.techvibes.com/blog/10-biggest-video-game-developers-in-vancouver-in-2010 the landscape has changed a fair bit.

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          June 28, 2012 1:47 PM

          http://www.techvibes.com/blog/10-biggest-video-game-developers-in-vancouver-in-2010 that was a list from 2 years ago.

          More recent article: "A quick scan of the Top 10 employers reveals a little more information that could be called a trend. Two of the companies - Capcom and United Front - report that they have grown in the past year whereas five companies - THQ, Slant Six, Next Level, Rockstar, and Ubisoft - have seen headcount shrink."

          http://www.techvibes.com/blog/is-the-video-game-industry-in-trouble-in-british-columbia-2012-01-23/

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            June 28, 2012 2:16 PM

            :(

            Not that I'm in the industry, but it sucks to see it shrink. I've always wanted to try working for a game dev (probably on a tools team or something less tied to product releases), but that probably won't happen given this trend.

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              June 28, 2012 2:30 PM

              tools teams are still tied to product releases

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                June 28, 2012 3:00 PM

                Yeah, they're tied to all product releases, not just one.

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                June 28, 2012 5:14 PM

                Some of them not nearly as much.

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                  June 28, 2012 5:22 PM

                  most definitely are! the tools are required to create the product and have their own schedules which are always tied directly to feature requirements for the projects themselves. the vast majority are still at the mercy of project schedules, both current and future.

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                    June 28, 2012 6:09 PM

                    Oh, so you know all teams and all positions in the industry? *rolls eyes*

                    Perhaps I wasn't communicated what I meant properly. I meant positions that don't hit crunch time by the same magnitude as those working on the product. More stable in terms of work and hours over time. I know this exists because a friend of mine works for EA and this is how it is for him. Sounds like they are rare positions, though.

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                      June 28, 2012 6:28 PM

                      the ver first word i said was "most"

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                        June 28, 2012 6:30 PM

                        ...and yes i know a fair amount

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                        June 28, 2012 11:39 PM

                        I thought 'most' was a modifier for 'definitely', not a qualifier for how many :(

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                          June 29, 2012 2:25 AM

                          i could almost forgive you if you didn't pull out the rolleyes me

                          HOWCOULDYOU

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              June 28, 2012 3:40 PM

              There are actually quite a few devs doing well. And almost every company expands and contracts with product cycles, so it isn't entirely an accurate picture of things. But there definitely are some companies struggling.

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                June 28, 2012 5:12 PM

                Companies might be doing well, but have you tried getting a job in that city lately? No one is offering full time, its all these dinky, low paying contracts with no benefits.

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          June 28, 2012 4:05 PM

          Free money in Montreal and Toronto are succeeding at Vancouver's expensive =\

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      June 28, 2012 12:55 PM

      sucks for those workers, they were good devs. But if they had one last shot , I wish they had taken a risk to make a new game instead of prototype 2 which, as someone who liked prototype1, felt unnecessary.

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      June 28, 2012 12:57 PM

      With the economy still sluggish I have to pace my game buying. Sucks Activision can't seem to grasp that fact of the world.

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        June 28, 2012 2:24 PM

        They are accountable to their share holders which want to see record profits each quarter. In that kind of situation you only care about making money at the right time to make each quarter look good. Share holders don't want to hear about people waiting to buy games later at probably a discounted price.

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      June 28, 2012 12:58 PM

      SHIT! :( I hate this sort of news feels like a part of me just died each time a studio I like and have played their games is dissolved.

      Man I have been waiting for Prototype 2 for the PC I hope it still comes out, still on Steam.

      Odd in April there was not many massive releases so the window was good, wonder what happened.

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        June 28, 2012 1:04 PM

        Just pre ordered P2 for the PC and it still works on Steam so looks like the game will still be coming out in July.

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          June 28, 2012 1:13 PM

          I was about to do the same thing but just be careful about the support post release if the studio has been shut down...

          It's one thing if the release ended up smooth and mostly problem/bug-free, but if it is akin to Ghost Recon's release, then you are pretty much wasting money.

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            June 28, 2012 1:50 PM

            Yeah this is true, well thing is a really like P1 and I have been really looking forward to 2 so as long as I can play that's all I care.

            Even if there are hick ups you can use other apps to mend them, sure this sucks and is wrong but there usually is a way.

            I hope things will be find though :(

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      June 28, 2012 1:04 PM

      THE BOBS "have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff"

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      June 28, 2012 1:08 PM

      Companies like this closing are a sign of the dying times.... games cost so much more to develop now but they still dont cost enough to keep these companies up..... thats too bad

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      June 28, 2012 1:14 PM

      so no PC port of Prototype 2 then?

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      June 28, 2012 1:14 PM

      [deleted]

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      June 28, 2012 1:18 PM

      Thanks Steve Jobs!

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        June 28, 2012 2:06 PM

        eeeeh... WAT?

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          June 28, 2012 2:19 PM

          Steve jobs wrote in his final will that he demanded Radical Entertainment to be shut down. Apparently the entire development team slept with his dog.

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            June 28, 2012 2:30 PM

            Did you see what the dog was wearing though? Totally was asking for it.

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      June 28, 2012 3:07 PM

      Expected, soon as Activision set such lofty targets for the sequel I knew it was coming. No way the sequel was going to hit those numbers. I was planning on buying Prototype 2 on PC but now the developers are done I'm not sure I want to anymore.

      Bring on the crowd sourced funding

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      June 28, 2012 4:59 PM

      Long time coming, it was suprising Prototype 2 even was made. They cut most of the studio years and ago and just by chance that Prototype sold enough for them to hire a few people to make a sequel.

      Not surprising, but feel bad because it was a cool company once. RIP Vancouver games industry.

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      June 29, 2012 12:27 AM

      i read this as relic and my heart skipped a beat

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      June 29, 2012 2:17 AM

      Seems like the moral of these are: Don't sell your company to the man if you want to survive. Maybe I'm wrong.

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      June 29, 2012 3:12 AM

      I don't see this as an entirely bad thing. Creatively, Activision seems like a poisoned company. They are maximizing profit to fewer and fewer products with fewer employees. They are the Call of Duty company plus Blizzard. While this might not seem like a bad thing business wise but we all know at some point that WOW money will stop coming in and Call of Duty will stop selling.

      As for Radical, pretty much all the employees will be grabbed by someone else shortly. There are bunches are new companies forming and established companies are hiring, gearing up for the next generation. As much as it sucks to lose their job and have to relocate maybe, Just being away from Activision might be worth it for the developers and game consumers.

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      June 29, 2012 3:18 AM

      Too bad, I really like that series.

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      June 29, 2012 11:13 AM

      They would have survived i think if they retained the incredible hulk name and would have sold more units. Compared to ultimate destruction I just couldn't get into the prototype games as the character and story just didn't interest me. It's a real shame because i really would have liked a ultimate destruction 2.

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