Activision closes Budcat, axes 88 staff

Music studio shuttered as QA staff dropped in California

Activision has closed its Budcat Creations studio and confirmed that it is laying off staff in its Californian QA team.

The move comes as it reassesses racing studio Bizarre Creations, with the possibility of closure, sale or downsizing at the Liverpool outfit.

"We continue to streamline our music development resources to ensure that they are aligned against our slate and strategic goals," the publisher said in a statement to Gamasutra.

"As a result, we are implementing a targeted reduction in jobs in our quality assurance team in California and closing our Budcat studio in Iowa. Budcat has been a great partner to Activision and has created a lasting impact on the Guitar Hero franchise.

"Approximately 88 positions, or approximately 1 per cent of our global workforce, will be impacted by these reductions. We are working to redirect those employees that are impacted to other parts of the company where possible, as well as offering them outplacement counselling services."

Activision acquired Budcat two years ago to work on its music franchises, and it has released PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of Guitar Hero and Band Hero games.

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Latest comments (6)

Steven Peck Quality Assurance Lead, Double Fine Productions7 years ago
Budcat did the PS2 port of Psychonauts and were a really great group of guys. I hope they land on their feet and wish them well.
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Private Industry 7 years ago
Good luck to them hope they find something new soon.
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Mike York Character Animator 7 years ago
Aweee this is a bummer to hear yet another studio closed down by Activision. I have a couple of buddies that work there or used to work there :( I hope they are able to find work soon.
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Show all comments (6)
Charles Lentz Game Developer, Stardock7 years ago
Bummer. A guy I graduated college with was working there when he first got into the industry. I wonder if he still was. I hate to see a company get bought up, only to be closed a couple years later.
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Philip Wilson Project Manager/QA 7 years ago
I think it can be pretty much officially said that Activision is the "EA"...and I don't mean that in a good way.
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Paquito Hernandez Vice-President Asia-Pacific, Bug-Tracker7 years ago
Hello Everyone, new QA adventure is still possible. Bug-Tracker is hiring at Bug-Tracker Montreal, Paris and Chengdu. We are always looking for experienced QA Testers, Leads and PM to join our team. /
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