It’s a sad day for Prototype fans, as developer Radical Entertainment won’t be making any more games in the franchise. They won’t be making many new games at all, actually, as publisher Activision has significantly downsized the studio and put them to work on other products.
Activision is letting 89 people go from the Vancouver studio. While some of the staff remains, they will no longer be developing their own games and will instead lend support to other Activision titles. Knowing Activision, this probably means whatever’s left of Radical can enjoy a future working on Call of Duty DLC.
Early speculation this morning led to fears that the studio had been closed down, originating from a tweet from the studio’s senior audio director. Activision later confirmed via press release that the studio had not been shut down, though the majority of the staff had been let go:
“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.”
Radical Entertainment has been in the business for roughly 21 years, and while most known for crafting the two Prototype games, they have also worked on various Crash Bandicoot games, as well as titles based off the The Simpsons licence. Prototype 2 ended up being a huge improvement on its predecessor, and despite being the best selling game in the April 2012 NPD, it wasn’t enough to save the studio. The PC version of Prototype 2 will still release as planned, launching July 24th, 2012.
Hopefully those affected will be able to get back on their feet, like those impacted by the recent 38 Studios situation, as other developers have begun reaching out on Twitter about employment opportunities. The solidarity is heartwarming, though it still would have been best if the such a talented team weren’t let go.
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