Activision studio cull may hit over 300 staff

Activision studio cull may hit over 300 staff

By Rob Crossley

February 15th 2010 at 11:50AM

5 studios cut so far: RedOctane, Neversoft, Luxoflux, Radical, Underground

A clearer view is emerging on the depths of Activision’s layoff operation – with at least five studios hit by swift and ongoing cuts.

Activision confirmed to Develop on Thursday that it was reorganising its development businesses, releasing a statement as it was quickly becoming clear that staff were being made redundant.

Around 90 workers are said to be gone at Radical Entertainment, while Underground Development – a co-developer of X-Men: The Official Game – has closed completely.

Activision has separately confirmed the closure of Transformers studio Luxoflux, with nearly 60 jobs affected.

Once a jewel in the publisher’s crown, Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero developer Neversoft has reportedly seen 50 staff gone – with another 120 jobs rumoured to be at risk after the Guitar Hero 6 project is completed.

It has also been confirmed that Californian studio Red Octane has closed office and merged with Activision’s Santa-Monica-based office. A reported 40 jobs have been lost here to, taking the speculated layoff toll, so far, to at least 240 workers.

That number could climb to at least 300 following the release of Guitar Hero 6.

Develop has contacted Activision for more confirmation on the corporate downsizing operation.

The publisher hit record revenues in 2009, but profit calculations pointed to a $286 million loss in the final three months of 2009.

These losses were driven, in part, by the sinking market viability of peripheral-based music games. Activision said it would release 10 Guitar Hero SKUs this year – a significant fall from 29 last year.

Activision told Develop it was ‘realigning’ its resources “to better reflect our slate and the market opportunities.”