Posted on Saturday, June 30th, 2012 at 12:19 AM by Guest
Activision is circling the wagons on yet another studio closure. The corpse this time: Radical Entertainment, developers of a few Crash Bandicoot titles and the open-world, kill-anything-that-moves Prototype series. Activision has been working to consolidate their development teams (including removing some high-profile members), although the logic behind these moves is not certain. We do know that although gamers recognize the major publishing and distribution companies (Nintendo, Capcom, Sony), they also know the game studios from which games come, like Epic Games, BioWare, and Ready at Dawn. Without these names attached to new games (and with the reputation that Activision is giving themselves), there is a chance that Activision/Blizzard will end up like EA Games: largely hated by the community and often the butt of jokes.
This is an interesting trend we are seeing in the video game and software industry. Where companies used to use multiple development studios to bring a myriad of games and game styles to the market, they are now reining in their focus in the interest of saving money, focusing on core franchises, like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Gears of War. Many of these game publishers are also pushing the online-only model or moving to the lucrative Free-to-Play (or Free-to-Pay as we have heard it called lately; yes, we’re looking at you, WoW). We wonder if this is a road that Activision/Blizzard is considering. After all, despite server issues, account hacking, and the online-only aspect of Diablo III, the long-awaited threequel has become yet another bestselling title in Activision’s lineup. One has to wonder, though, how long the gaming community will overlook these tactics in favor of continued releases of critically acclaimed favorites. Will people keep buying games from the big names if studios under those corporate umbrellas keep getting shut down?
Another possibility is that Activision/Blizzard means to compete with both EA and Steam, especially if they are consolidating development teams to focus on online-only with their biggest titles like Black Ops 2. Unfortunately for the gaming industry, the online-only model will more than likely not have the intended effect. Cybercrimes are perpetually on the rise, and the gaming industry is no more immune than any other corner of the net. Need we remind you of the PSN outage, or Xbox’s hacking woes. Instead, as with most preventative measures, the people hurt by these tactics will be the gamers, and gamers with less choice in how to play means less revenue for all involved.
So, what you, our readers, think? Do you think Activision is in the right to close Radical Games? Or do you want to see them burn for putting so many out of work and depriving us of all the games that might have been? Let us know in the comments section down below. And don’t forget to Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter at @zero1gaming.
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