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Activision confirms axe for Guitar Hero, True Crime

Wed 09 Feb 2011 6:59pm GMT / 1:59pm EST / 10:59am PST
BusinessPublishing

Sources indicate FreeStyleGames and other studios to be hit with redundancies as publisher initiates major entrenchment

Activision Blizzard

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...

activisionblizzard.c...

Activision Publishing

Activision, Inc. is a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products....

activision.com

FreeStyleGames

FreeStyleGames™ is a groundbreaking game development company with studios in Leamington Spa, London and...

freestylegames.com

Update

Activision Blizzard has confirmed that it has axed the Guitar Hero and True Crime franchises in a refocusing of its business.

In an earnings release the publisher released few details about the ramifications those change might have, but revealed that development on the planned releases of both games had discontinued.

"...due to continued declines in the music genre, the company will disband Activision Publishing's Guitar Hero business unit and discontinue development on its Guitar Hero game for 2011," read a statement. "The company also will stop development on True Crime: Hong Kong. These decisions are based on the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world's best interactive entertainment experiences."

Meanwhile the company detailed its Q4 and calendar 2010 fiscal performance, announced a new studio for Call of Duty plus plans to take the shooter franchise to China, and elaborated in more detail on the numbers and costs of the likely job losses.

Original Story

Activision is expected to announce a major entrenchment in its fourth quarter earnings call today, scaling back or shelving the long running Guitar Hero franchise and axing a number of jobs at UK developer FreeStyleGames.

The publisher will focus the majority of development and marketing on its two core businesses - the Call of Duty franchise and Blizzard's StarCraft and World of Warcraft brands, sources have told GamesIndustry.biz.

True Crime: Hong Kong, in development at United Front Games since at least 2009, is also expected to be axed.

Earlier this year Activision confirmed it was closing Blur studio Bizarre Creations. In the music market the Guitar Hero series has suffered diminishing returns while the Tony Hawk sports brand has all but collapsed at retail.

Late last year Activision's Eric Hirshberg admitted that the company needed to focus on its core strengths, and calling time on projects and staff was an uncomfortable necessity.

"You have to make some tough decisions sometimes," he said.

"Sometimes, really talented people get caught up in those, unfortunately. We have to manage our slate; we have to decide which genres and categories we want to try to compete in."

Further details on cost-cutting are expected to be announced during the companies fourth quarter earnings call in the next few hours.

51 Comments

Christopher Bowen Owner, Gaming Bus

118 0 0.0
This is great news. At this point, they'll run Call of Duty into the ground, and then what? I have to say, I'm giddy.

Posted:3 years ago

#1

Rupert Loman Founder & CEO, Gamer Network

139 45 0.3
Hmm. Lots of talented people are going to lose their jobs - some of them after working very hard making some great games. Even if you don't agree with Activision's way of doing things this isn't "great news" for the industry or the people affected. But it is yet another clear indication of how much turmoil the traditional games industry is in right now.

Posted:3 years ago

#2

Tris Browne Owner/marketing Director, AdWagon Co

2 0 0.0
Not good news at all but they need to seriously get their house in order. They've been flogging Tony Hawk now for way too long the franchise felt tired since number seven if not before! Guitar Hero got flogged to death and then the public got fed up of the music genre en masse. How many iterations can you keep releasing year after year? The BLUR release was bad timing due to the launch of Red Dead last year and also Disneys Split Second the week before which totally split the Market and resulted in both driving titles not selling well! Singularity didn't get decent promo for some reason yet it got a good reception from the media and People who played it. I think it's a good idea to fall back and then rebuild. Acti's fortunate to have two massive franchises to lean on but then it may also be having a negative effect on building a solid, diverse catalogue.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

James Prendergast Research Chemist

736 434 0.6
Wait... I thought Activision Blizzard were still posting record profits? Why would they be cost-cutting now instead of investing when they can afford to?

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Christopher Bowen Owner, Gaming Bus

118 0 0.0
Should have worded it better so that the sarcasm came out more. That's on me.

In all seriousness, it's appalling to me that the executives that shoved Guitar Hero down everyone's throats and emphasized that every game must be a #1 seller are still in work, but developers are closing and people are losing their jobs, but I don't hear about any changes near the top (obviously, Kotick's not going anywhere, much to my personal chagrin). Now, it's blatant: Activision is going to run CoD into the ground like any other commodity (that's all games are to them: a commodity. They get that they have to put them out, but don't understand the subtitles of making interactive entertainment, nor do they care for them), and focus on Blizzard. They're locusts. They take something innovative, suck it dry by flooding the market, and then move onto something else while leaving the corpse behind.

Their whole business policy revolves around trying to make every quarter bigger and better than the last one to keep investors happy. When something gets bigger, bigger, bigger to the point of being too good to be true, I think of that as a bubble. I'm waiting for the pop, but tired of seeing good people lose their jobs while the bubble gets bigger, while the bad ones make off scot-free.

I also eagerly await some developers who haven't been caught by the axe - yet - to come out and say what a wonderful company Activision is to work with. They remind me of hostage videos.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Ross Colgan Experienced Artist, Codemasters

13 0 0.0
Bizarre and now Freestyle... I feel for you guys. Decent studios are becoming an endangered species on this island of ours.

More Call of Duty in future then Activision? What a depressing thought for the developers, profits trump risk/imagination every time I guess.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Ross Colgan Experienced Artist, Codemasters

13 0 0.0
Christopher Bowen - spot on mate.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ross Colgan on 22nd February 2011 7:58pm

Posted:3 years ago

#7

Charles Lentz Game Developer, Stardock

15 0 0.0
maybe one day they'll stop churning out sequels so frequently. It kills franchises.

Posted:3 years ago

#8

Mark Nolan Editor, GameKiq

3 0 0.0
Guitar Hero was kind of expected, but I was actually excited about True Crime! Dammit. I played the original on GameCube and was hoping they'd bring the series' quality up.

Posted:3 years ago

#9

Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum

156 144 0.9
Is anyone really surprised that Guitar Hero would go sooner or later? I mean it's not like they've done anything really new in the past few games of the franchise. You have to pump some fresh ideas into your games if you expect people to buy the same title year after year.

Rock Band did add vocals to the mix, then the new keyboard peripheral and real instruments. It may still be the same game at its core but at least it's innovating within the genre. We need more of that to keep people's interests up.

Posted:3 years ago

#10

Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts

150 8 0.1
I second Mark's sentiment. I thought that the first True Crime (and to the extent, the second) was a nice alternative to GTA. It's nice to play as a cop instead of a criminal for once. I was hoping that TC: Hong Kong would kick things up to the next level. I guess that won't happen now.

But if the Duke can come back after 10 years, I can still have hope!

Posted:3 years ago

#11

Matthew Ash Quality Assurance

3 0 0.0
I can only echo what Chris has already said. There’s too many suits at Activision caring purely for net profit and not passion for the industry they’re in.

Call me disillusioned but in my opinion profit should never overshadow gaming design & innovation.
Activision is seemingly suffering from the bug EA had in yesteryear of churning out sequel after sequel. By focussing purely on what makes them money, they will eventually suck that IP dry of all entertainment value.

It truly saddens me to see yet another UK dev team suffer. Like this country needs any more unemployed hey. I hope they find work again soon.

(Mark - Yeah same here mate, I was liking the look of True Crime.. -_-)

Posted:3 years ago

#12

John Donnelly Quality Assurance

313 38 0.1
@Christopher Bowen

No matter what you think of the publisher today's news effects the lives of alot of people who have put their heart and soul in to the games coming out of Activision.

I wish everyone well and I hope you can all find something quickly.

Posted:3 years ago

#13

Howard Parry

23 13 0.6
More job losses, sad.

People who think this is a blow to Activision execs are badly misguided - like in every business and industry you see (including the government departments), it is the workers who get sacked en masse, whilst senior management get a pay rise.

Posted:3 years ago

#14

Robert Turner Studying Games Programming, SAE Institute

24 0 0.0

I'm both happy and sad to hear this.

Sad because talented developers will be losing jobs left right and centre, but what makes me happy is the prospect of innovation. What happens when military shooters don't sell any more? Its not a matter of 'if', but 'when' the COD franchisee will fall, and when massive franchises go down, new spaces and gaps emerge in the market for and truly innovative games to have a chance to shine through the remnants. One thing the Games Industry has always been able to do is adapt, change, innovate and evolve in order to survive and stay relevant.

Times are looking bleak right now, but I believe there is an even brighter future ahead, and I say bring it on!

Posted:3 years ago

#15

Jordan Woodward Level Designer, Codemasters Birmingham

44 0 0.0
The rate at which UK studios are closing and very talented game industry staff are being made redundant is honestly scary. Sad to hear about job losses at FreeStyle.

I do think the Guitar Hero franchise has gone on a bit too long though.

Posted:3 years ago

#16

Antony Cain Lecturer, Wakefield College

263 21 0.1
Bad news, I actually like my annual dose of Guitar Hero :(

I was at a talk by a FreeStyleGames programmer on Tuesday and before it I thought the execs blasted down orders to churn out games at a crazy rate - but they don't. FreeStyle have (or had) to work in one year cycles because they can't fund longer projects. It's definitely not the big cheeses losing out here.

Hope it works out ok for the guys working there; I've enjoyed everything they've made!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Antony Cain on 9th February 2011 11:28pm

Posted:3 years ago

#17

Christopher Bowen Owner, Gaming Bus

118 0 0.0
@Jordan

So, uh, how are those TIGA tax breaks coming along? Seems to me the UK government could have staved off a lot of this.

Posted:3 years ago

#18
What IF....activision did social games one day...eeehhe. Wouldnt that be scary indeed!

Posted:3 years ago

#19
Does working for a corporation or a gigantic company like this bother any of you? I mean do the positives outweigh the negatives, or do too many fall for the dollar signs they see?

I mean I would think that this hampers creativity and altogether causes more trouble then its worth. It would seem that if you were your own company you could just make your own choices. I think I see why some choose to remain indie developers to be honest.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Willis on 9th February 2011 11:55pm

Posted:3 years ago

#20
look at Hudson and Activision today.

Far better to be a independent developer with a co publishing or work for hire deal, and developing your own IP.

Posted:3 years ago

#21

Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology

179 0 0.0
its good that guitar her os finally over! (yay) but not good that true crime is,that franchise didnt get enough time to shine!

i hope the people who worked on these games get jobs!

Posted:3 years ago

#22

J. Goldmaker Community Management

26 0 0.0
Just another reason to turn gaming into education. After all, the A+ plus students of teachers college are always hired away by big business to operate their training programs whilst the B graduates end up training the kids.

This downward spiral could be replaced with in home training. After all, it has been proven unequivocally that children who have been trained privately one on one, all become geniuses.

The gaming is about to turn into the educational system. However the teachers might not like that.

Posted:3 years ago

#23

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 421 0.3
It seems crazy that they want to bank everything non blizzard on one franchise, especially in a year that their main rival, EA, has such a strong line up (Dead Space 2, Bulletstorm, Dragon age, Mass effect, portal 2, The old republic, Dark spore, Shadows of the damned and a revitalised NFS, before you even get to their sports titles).
Call of Duty will burn out eventually, especially if they start releasing 3 titles a year, and then they will be the world's biggest publisher with no games to publish.

Posted:3 years ago

#24

Frankie Kang Producer / Consultant, First Post LLC

39 1 0.0
I worked on True Crime: Hong Kong for a year. I want to say that I have nothing but respect and admiration for United Front Games. The team worked hard to make a great game. It's unfortunate that it will not be released, but this doesn't take anything away from them. They already proved their mettle by releasing the amazingly fun ModNation Racers.

I look forward to their next endeavor.

Posted:3 years ago

#25

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,163 1,232 1.1
Reading through their financial report for Q4, it seems to me that the goal is just to kick anything that might drag down revenue, to make 2011 a year in which there is a lot of money to be earned per share.

Right now they pay 34 cent per share annually and in the next 12 months they want to get to 70cent in earnings per share. At least that is what they told imnvestors yesterday. For that to happen they seem to want to retreat to publishing only the VERY safe bets, i.e. Blizzard + CoD.

Posted:3 years ago

#26

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,195 1,170 0.5
Why anyone is surprised that yet another annoying CEO-type only sees creativity as "products and services" and/or "commodities" that make his and his investors' wallets happy is beyond me. Call me crazy, but I think game companies should have gamers running them, or at least making key decisions about product they actually have a hand in helping create. OK, make that gamers with good business sense who can take risks on new IP's and come up with ways to promote these fresh titles to the masses... who only seem to want more of the same year after year (then complain when they see a lack of innovation).

There seems to be less appreciation for originality amongst some really jaded gamers unless a game is an inexpensive indie creation or a big-dollar shooter with a pedigree. Strap these clowns down and make them play 8 and 16-bit games for two years straight so they can see that a wider variety makes for a better appreciation of the medium. On the other hand, I predicted about six or so years ago that things were going to get bad throughout the industry once the law of diminishing returns due to sequel frenzy kicked in.

That and hell, let's not forget the industry seems to NOT want to realize that a HUGE amount of folks simply can't afford to buy games in these big premium packages (no matter if they're good or bad). Sure, WoW will sell, as will COD year after year, but Activision and other publishers have been churning out too many expensive peripheral-based games of assorted quality for a few years now in an economy where people can't all afford to buy every new piece of gear for any number of reasons

(Er, Kinect notwithstanding - hell, Activision can now make "Air Guitar Hero" and save us all $80-$300 on more stuff to pack into the hall closet).

COD will no doubt keep popping up, and shooters as a genre aren't going anywhere soon, However, the ideas are thinner, meaning the action will be ramped up so as to replace anything resembling a coherent plot. If there's a COD in space or set in any time period that's not current, I'd expect it'll be all over for the franchise at that point. I'm also guessing that if WoW fatigue ever sets in and they lose a few thousand players to other MMO's, they'll start taking it out on Blizzard staff (but I better see Diablo III, that's for damn sure...).

Best of luck to all affected by this latest kick in the head - same with Hudson Entertainment. This is getting sickening.

Posted:3 years ago

#27
If you look at the way Disney & Acti are run, its a jettison everything that is loss making (restructuring) and consolidate on what is profitable (current duration) to maximize the bottom dollar. In itself a common practise and highly unfortunate.

In contrast, without any new IPs, such as the way EA, THQ and Bethesda have decided to go, chances are their might be trouble ahead....but I guess, they'll face the music and dance, when that problem arises thence.

Posted:3 years ago

#28

Glen Elliott Partner/Head of Sales, European Game League

57 2 0.0
I have a money saving tip for them....Stop with the lawsuits!

Posted:3 years ago

#29

Tim Wright Managing Director, Tantrumedia Limited

29 0 0.0
I don't think anyone could accuse Activision of not acting in the best interests of their share holders by shedding less profitable lines. A good manager tries to maximise profits, and business can be very cut-throat. However their strategy seems very short-sighted in it's goals and ambitions.

Or maybe it isn't? Maybe they planned these culls years ago, but clearly it would be foolish to tell workers that they have 3 years and then it's all over. Better to plan that way, but keep the news to the last minute and get the best out of the team until the end is nigh.

I concur with the Locust comparison. They buy up great teams, use them and then cast them aside. These talented people have no other option but to re-group, develop new I.P. and grow. At this point Activision steps up again and waves their wallet, only for the cycle to renew. Harsh on the troops, but great for those higher up the food chain.

Posted:3 years ago

#30

Henry Tofts Games / Level Designer

1 0 0.0
Be interesting to know if there was much say from the freestyle team in terms of bringing a new idea to activision so that guitar hero could be put to rest for a bit (at least until everyone that had bought the last several games had killed their plastic intruments by then). A business model that relies on share holders can never be a good thing in the end, hello sequels. Only indie games companies are taking the risks at the moment and its paying off for alot of them in terms of focusing on new and fresh ideas.

I am really worried about the industry in the UK =( Again we will end up being on the sharp end of the stick. We will all end up working for Tescoes. Hey at least the shelving will look spectacular. Just need to convince Tescoes to make games then we are sorted.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Henry Tofts on 10th February 2011 9:12am

Posted:3 years ago

#31

Fraser Simpson Lead Designer, Climax

1 0 0.0
What surprises me in this is that I'm fairly certain that Guitar Hero still has an audience; there's a massive user-base out there with hardware and the will and means to buy content.

I agree that the market's been saturated, but a new IP would have to risk a lot (and would perhaps fail) to attract the same audience as the great many people still interested in playing Guitar Hero. Denying that audience the opportunity to play more, and more importantly (from Activision's perspective), denying themselves the opportunity to make money from that, seems like overkill to me.

As an aside - Those saying that it would be better to be a gamer-run work-for-hire studio co-developing your own IP with funding from a larger body; it's a pretty privileged developer who can secure that arrangement in 2011. The bottom line is that making a console game nowadays is expensive business and without a lot of funding, it's usually really difficult to make one. Funding means investors, and those investors are doing exactly what you'd expect - investing.

Anyway - Best of luck to everyone affected by this.

Posted:3 years ago

#32

Phil Elliott Project Leader, Collective; Head of Community (Live Team), Square Enix

163 29 0.2
"As an aside - Those saying that it would be better to be a gamer-run work-for-hire studio co-developing your own IP with funding from a larger body; it's a pretty privileged developer who can secure that arrangement in 2011."

Traditionally, yes - although it's interesting to see new initiatives, such as the Andy Payne-led Games Consortium works rather differently, and allows developer members to keep their own IP. While it will be some time before that project can be evaluated for success, on paper it's a great idea.

Posted:3 years ago

#33

Owen Williams Concept artist, Playdemic Ltd

1 0 0.0
Hope all my buddies at Freestyle escape the axe :(

Posted:3 years ago

#34

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Who would have thought that after Guitar Hero III became the first sole game to ever earn one billion dollars in sales, barely more than 3 years later the franchise would be killed off?! Unbelievable. Does that not show any Activision executives or shareholders how damaging it is to saturate a market or genre?

Call of Duty seems unassailable at the moment, but that won't last. Nothing lasts.

Posted:3 years ago

#35
I quite like the Battlefield series in contrast. Less arcadey than COD. But to each their own :)

Posted:3 years ago

#36

Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College

294 27 0.1
Activision "Stroking their evil beards"?

It's all about revenue and satisfying stakeholders which is fair enough but cancelling True Crime at this late stage when it was almost due for release doesn't make good business sense to me.

As for Guitar Hero, this was way overdue but Legends of Rock was the definite nail in the coffin. As for DJ Hero (and FreeStyleGames) hopefully they will return next year with a kick ass title! :) Failing that there is always B-Boy 2...

Posted:3 years ago

#37

Nik Love-Gittins Senior Character Artist, FreeStyleGames

59 27 0.5
"Failing that there is always B-Boy 2... "

ha ha...that cheered me up...thanks.

Posted:3 years ago

#38

Kirill Yarovoy Game designer / Narrative designer / Writer

41 5 0.1
Boby Kotick gone mad! Shoot him somebody please, Activision need new CEO!
Because it seems that short views of Koitick makes him believe that Activision can survive only with WOW and COD (what other games left now?), he just so stupid to understand that COD will soon repeat Guitar Hero's fate - due to over annualisation everyone will get Tired of COD just as everyone tired of GH, also quallity of COD games falling every year, because game needs to be bigger than previous one, but time schedule is same so Kotick could have his COD evey year.
What happened now with GH? Nobody plays this crap anymore! Sales are bellow Kotick's expectations, and same will happen with COD soon, remember my word!
WOW is pretty outdated too, despite they claim 14 millions players, i bet at least half of them banned and\or just registered account, played a little and forgot about game.
Starcraft 2 - it not as good as SC1, and Kotick's inlfluence turned SC2 into 3 little pieces of 1 game for a price of 3 games, so...

...So Activision going to hell with all the legacy the have left, and as long as Kotick is in charge, number of this legacy will decrease.

Be damned that day when Vivendi signed agreement with Activision and sold the sould of Good Vivendi-Universal and Blizzard (as well as Sierra) to devil Bobby Kotick (look at his real infernal face here http://twitpic.com/25rks8 ^_^).

And i hope some other publisher could buy unfinished True Crime Hong Kong and release it.

I wonder, wehn COD will make everyone puke and will be canceled too, what next will be the victim of Kotick? StarCraft or Warcraft and Diablo every year until they would be depleted too?

Posted:3 years ago

#39
Arent we forgetting the silent ninja ace - Bungie? Maybe Acti found a way to pour all monies into a un announced Bungie franchise.

Cut loss making products. All with one stone?

Posted:3 years ago

#40

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Bungie are definitely going to be a major factor for Activision over the next 10 years, but the franchise (whatever it may be, although I'd guess on a sci-fi shooter) belongs to Bungie themselves, so the benefit Activision will see from it probably won't compare to CoD.

Similarly, a lot of people cite WoW, but really we should look at the whole picture regarding Blizzard - meaning Starcraft, Diablo and 'Titan'. I expect if it came down to it Activision/Vivendi could survive solely on the profits from Blizzard's output.

Posted:3 years ago

#41

Brendan Fagan Animator

2 0 0.0
Pretty disapointing news.. I hopeitcan be turned around

Posted:3 years ago

#42

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 941 0.7
Thats what they get for milking the cow and getting greedy. I think its wrong for a company to take a franchise and drive it to the ground by releasing games too fast. Its suicide for a franchise.

It happened with Tomb Raider, Final fantasy, Kingdom hearts, Zelda, Metroid, Soul calibur, tekken, dead or alive, tenchu, Disgaea and it will happen with Call of duty. Assasins Creed is getting there. Final fantasy 14 was a dissapointment and now we got Final Fantasy 13 versus, Final Fantasy 13-2 and Final fantasy Type Zero. Tekken tag and Tekken 7 are already announced and Tekken vs Street Fighter... just great.

I think developers should only create a new sequel only when there is an idea or technology available that will allow for a significant evolution for the series. And if neither is available, create a fresh new franchise and alternate between them. And have a library of casual developer friendly games to make to keep the money flowing.

This is why, I can appreciate a Half Life 3 or Shin Megami Tensei Persona 5 when it comes out. Cause after such a long time, i know Its more likely I can expect something significantly more amazing as with games like Star Craft 2. And Im hoping for a new Beyond Good and Evil. That early Trailer blew me away.

Posted:3 years ago

#43

Glen Elliott Partner/Head of Sales, European Game League

57 2 0.0
For those interested, ATVI US trading about 6.5%-7% down premarket

Posted:3 years ago

#44

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
I don't agree with you there Rick that the likes of Metroid, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts or Disgaea have been over-milked at all. Nintendo in particular have in my opinion an excellent attitude to the long-term integrity of their in-house series, with most only appearing once or twice per console generation (and sometimes not at all!).

Posted:3 years ago

#45

Krasimir Koichev Producer, Riftforge

35 0 0.0
Agreed with Greg Wilcox about the big game packages.

Now, I'm not going to shove microtransactions down everyone's throat but for any free online game, they are our bread and butter.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Krasimir Koichev on 10th February 2011 3:05pm

Posted:3 years ago

#46

Joe Bognar PR Account Executive / Journalist

99 2 0.0
Guitar Hero and DJ Heor is no surprise for me... But True Crime??? Did they see the videos? That game looked amazing!!! Probably about half year and the game could've been out.

On second thought though I was thinking what if they just wanted some attention? Activision with all this "we only want to make quality games" bull...t wanted everyone to think of Activision as the best quality game publisher on the planet. Of course later on they will bring at least True Crime back. (I hope.)
If you think about it this way, then it does make sense. They wanted some spotlight, they've got it.

Posted:3 years ago

#47

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,195 1,170 0.5
I'm guessing that Bungie's new game will be a BIG reason for part of this chopping block strategy. Most likely, it'll be announced at E3 then heavily promoted (which required advertising buck$$$) afterward in order to grab as many potential buyers as possible. Activision still has its Marvel licensed games and Taransformers, so unless those get chopped down as well (call Beenox, Vicarious Visions and a few other studios and see what their fingernails are like these days), I'd guess well see those franchises around for a bit...

My "idea" about gamer-run studios producing ALL sorts of titles (triple-A to "casual") is based on that spirit of how companies such as Activision, EA and others were started. I'm not saying throw together a bunch of naive guys wearing no-longer ironic faded Mario and Atari tees who can code up fun, funky games in a weekend, have a few major hits and decide to take it big time with more like-minded folks all breezy and "lite"...

(although, that would be cool, it's a tad unrealistic long term unless it's a lot of indie devs all around the world teaming up to tackle creating/producing/publishing games across multiple platforms, blah, blah, call Hollywood, I've got a script, blah, blah...)

There needs to be a shift in the way all games are seen by gamers, the folks who write about games and those stupid "news" agencies that only cover games as a means to gin up BS for their frothing viewer/reader base. But that's another post for another time...

Anyway, Since those bouncy shiny days of EA and Activision's forming, the corporate side of these companies has through years of acquisitions and other means, turned into towering juggernauts rolling over and grinding up all the franchises and studios that fall under their paths (oh, brother - er, too late for a pompous sentence alert!).

Eek. Just saw this news (I woke up late, so sue me) - now Seven Studios gets the axe? Damn... The wheels grind on, it seems... I understand "it's only business" (what you're told before you get taken on a ride by the guys in the black car), but it's just crap the way creative types lose their livelihoods in a dragged out snap of the fingers...

Posted:3 years ago

#48

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,195 1,170 0.5
And, I dunno... why not change the music games division to making iOS or other portable releases that could be popular as well as profitable? There are what, a few hundred clones of GH, DJH and other games on all sorts of devices, so grabbing a bigger share of that market isn't a bad thing (a dime at a time)...

Switching the strategy up to keep people working while coming up with new ways to play music games on other devices could have led to a different revolution there.

Granted, the licensing would be pure hell (taking one's MP3/iTunes/other format library and sticking it into a iOS GH or DJH game or some other new IP for an endless play list possibility, maybe something goofy for the egghead set: "Classical Hero!" argh... I just typed that? )

We'd see that B-Boy 2 after all!

Posted:3 years ago

#49

Ropafadzo Mandaba Studying Ba (Hons) Games Design, University of Central Lancashire

3 0 0.0
FINALLY!!!!! The only GH games i liked were 3 and World Tour, the other Heroes can bugger off
but woop!

Posted:3 years ago

#50

Andy Bastable Lead Programmer, Microsoft / Rare

12 22 1.8
@Ropafadzo: Not cool, dude.

Posted:3 years ago

#51

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