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Layoffs hit multiple Activision studios

UPDATE: Over 200 staff at Neversoft, Radical Entertainment, Luxoflux and Underground Development face the axe

Call of Duty publisher Activision is culling staff across its internal studios, with employees at Neversoft, Radical Entertainment, Luxoflux and Underground Development all facing the axe.

The publisher has blamed a decline in the music business and a shift to digital and online products for the move.

"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,” said the company.

"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."

Around 90 members of staff have been let go at Prototype developer Radical Entertainment, according to a report by Gamasutra.

Neversoft has been best known for its work on the market-leading extreme sports series baring Tony Hawk's name, but recently moved over to Guitar Hero. Radical was acquired by the company when it merged the Vivendi business and Luxoflux has mainly concentrated on licensed product such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Underground Development, formerly Z-Axis, recently completed work on Guitar Hero: Van Halen.

Activision said yesterday that it would release one Guitar Hero and one DJ Hero game this year, despite the music genre seeing significant decline in the past year.

UPDATE: According to a report by the LA Times, as well as the 90 losses at Radical, Luxoflux will be shut down entirely at the cost of 56 positions, and 50 jobs at Neversoft have gone.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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