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Landing On His Feet

Last year, Activision went on a totally berserk spree, buying up and/or merging with other game companies.  Acquisitions and mergers included Red Octane (Guitar Hero), Blizzard (World Of Warcraft, Diablo), and Vivendi Universal (Spyro The Dragon, Crash Bandicoot, etc.).  Activision then went through and started picking and choosing properties.  A lot of titles, like the planned video game sequel to Ghostbusters, 50 Cent's new game where he fights terrorists in the Middle East (I shit you not), the latest Chronicles Of Riddick from Vin Diesel's game studio, Brutal Legend, a new Leisure Suit Larry, and other high profile names, got the thumb.  High Moon, owned by Vivendi, was in trouble when their plans for a sequel to their Bourne Conspiracy game hit the skids -- the rights to the series had reverted back to Robert Ludlum's estate.  60 people there got the axe.  Activision decided to keep the Vivendi franchises Crash Bandicoot and Prototype, developed by Vivendi-owned Radical.  But the next game in the CB series?  Ain't coming for a while.  Activision cancelled at least two projects Radical was working on and sent 100 staffers out the door.  One of them was Radical's President and CEO, Ian Wilkinson.

Well, don't cry for Wilkinson.  He's moved to Hothead Games.  Hothead has been doing the episodic games based on the Penny Arcade comic strip.  Vlad Ceraldi, the current Prez and CEO, with move over to director of game development.  Also, COO Joel DeYoung is moving to director of game technology.  Wilkinson will be filling all duties they leave behind.  Besides the Penny Arcade games, the company is developing DeathSpank.  It will be another episodic game, this one created by Ron Gilbert (old schoolers know him as the creator of Curse Of Monkey Island).

The economy's tough, but there is still hope.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
Well, some people have hope.

I actually did get a call for something. They're "lining people up" because they expect to get a contract that would require 30-40 people. So I'm getting my app completed for them. It's not ideal, but at least it would be something.
Mar. 11th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
Go for it! If nothing else, it improves your bargaining position. I'm pulling for you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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