It’s all a-go at Activision. Not only has news been dropping on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare like there’s no tomorrow, including the announcement of a role for Kevin Spacey in the next installment of the bestselling series, but it looks as though two of the publisher’s major studios are merging up.
Neversoft, developer of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Guitar Hero franchises, looks set to join the ranks of fellow Activision studio Infinity Ward. This follows the work that Neversoft did on the Extinction mode of 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts — work that apparently impressed Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.
According to an internal memo, which was acquired by Giant Bomb, Hirshberg felt that the studios worked so well together that a creation of a “super-studio” made the most sense.
“As you know, Neversoft and Infinity Ward teamed up for the development of Call of Duty: Ghosts. And through that process, it became clear that the two studios have very complementary skill sets. Between these two excellent studios, it seemed like a single ‘super-studio’ could emerge.”
The news has since been confirmed by a tweet from Infinity Ward’s Twitter account, although Activision has yet to issue a formal statement about the merger.
The creation of this studio will not be without collateral, however. Both Neversoft studio head Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease will retire from the games industry later this year, after overseeing the transition. Hirshberg wrote that he hoped that “both Joel and Scott come ‘out of retirement’ someday and develop more great Activision games for us all to play.”
The name Neversoft is also going to disappear. This news may come with pangs of sadness for gamers of a certain generation, given the stellar job the developer (which was acquired by Activision in 1999) did during the PlayStation-era on titles such as the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series and 2000’s Spider-Man. Hirshberg has explained the reason for losing the name Neversoft.
“The impact of their 20-year run of hard work and success cannot be overstated. As always mentioned, we are merging these two very talented teams and obviously had to choose a name for the combined studio. Since the Infinity Ward brand is indelibly tied to the Call of Duty franchise, it is the sensible choice. While it will be strange to not see the Neversoft logo on future games, the important things — which are the Neversoft team’s talent, creativity, professionalism and commitment to creative excellence — all remain unchanged as part of this new chapter.”
It remains to be seen just how this merger is going to go, but Hirshberg himself seems excited, stating he is “very much looking forward to what the new Infinity Ward will deliver in the near future.”
How do you feel about the super-studio? Do you think it will add a greater surge of creativity to Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty games? Or will you miss Neversoft and their twenty years in the industry?
Source: Giant Bomb