New Activision studio rises from EA fallout

New Activision studio rises from EA fallout

By Rob Crossley

July 23rd 2009 at 9:50AM

Speculation: Activision Bay Area studio likely to be working on a new James Bond title



Activision is forming a brand new dev studio in California that will be lead by the two high-profile execs who quit their jobs at EA yesterday.

Prized studio figureheads Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey had been working on several game projects at EA outfit Visceral Games, but yesterday staff at the studio had been informed that both had left.

Moments later Activision announced that it is establishing studio in the San Francisco Bay Area – close to Visceral’s Californian offices – with both Schofield and Condrey at the helm.

Nicknamed ‘Activision Bay Area’, the developer will soon be working on “a new game based on one of Activision’s existing franchises.” Activision continues to publish a large quantity of job vacancy postings for the studio.

EA – the biggest rival to Activision’s empire – asserted that the Schofield and Condrey exodus has not interrupted development at Visceral. Schofield himself was a driving force behind Dead Space, an award-winning title which sparked off the entire franchise.

Condrey and Schofield’s old company downplayed the importance of Activision’s coup, stating that it takes not just two executives, but “a team of talented people to make a highly-rated game like Dead Space.”

Visceral continues to work on titles such as Dante's Inferno, the Wii title Dead Space Extraction and what is believed to be two other unannounced titles. 



“Nick Earl continues to lead the Visceral Games Studio," said EA, adding that the company had been “nurturing great developers for 27 years and making room for the next generation is an important part of that process."



EA implied that it would be looking to internal promotion to fill the sizable space left by Condrey and Schofield, yet the firm said its will give its staff “the opportunity to step into the spotlight and have their talent recognised."

Reasons for the EA walk out are unknown, while Activision’s Bay Area project has not been detailed. 



Suggestions are building that Activision will use its Bay Area studio to work on James Bond titles.

Though it has paid for the Bond licence, Activision has only released one Bond game. 

World At War dev Treyarch was employed to develop the 2008 action title Quantum of Solace, though that studio is almost certain to be working on the follow up to Modern Warfare 2.



Frank Gibeau, president of EA Games label, said in June that “the bloom is really off the rose for licensed games.