After more than two decades in business, Radical Entertainment is apparently no more. The Activision studio’s audio director, Rob Bridgett, posted the news on Twitter today, saying simply, “RIP Radical Entertainment 1991-2012.” A variety of developers in the area have also been reporting the closure and posting condolences on their Twitter accounts.
Radical’s latest game was Prototype 2, which launched in April to chart-topping sales and a warm critical reception. The Prototype series was Radical’s first original intellectual property, created after more than a decade of games based on other people’s franchises, like Scarface: The World Is Yours, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, and The Simpsons Road Rage. The company’s official site boasts that its games have combined to sell more than 30 million copies.
Radical was an independent developer until Vivendi Universal Games acquired the studio in 2005. When Vivendi completed its merger with Activision in 2008, the Vancouver shop was one of a few non-Blizzard VU Games studios that survived the deal, with the remaining outfits being closed or sold off.
As of press time, Activision had not responded to GameSpot’s request for comment, and attempts to reach Radical were unsuccessful.
[UPDATE]: Activision has confirmed the news to Game Informer, with a representative saying, “Radical is a very talented studio and has been a great partner to Activision. Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience. Following an exploration of a wide range of options, it was determined that closing Radical Entertainment as a creative entity was the only option.”
Activision also provided a similar statement to GameSpot, but one that suggests the studio has not been outright closed. The publisher said, “Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience. Radical is a very talented team of developers, however, we have explored various options for the studio, including a potential sale of the business, and have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff. As such, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, but the studio will cease development of its own games going forward.”
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