The last twitter update from Radical Entertainment, just nine hours ago, reads “Did you know that we have a Radical Facebook page? http://ow.ly/bz5kC Head over NOW & LIKE it for a behind-the-scenes look at our studio! ” which would make the rest of what I’m about to say almost comical if it wasn’t so depressing.
Announced by Kotaku earlier today, and confirmed via twitter updates from various sources within or close to Radical Entertainment confirming, it looks as if the development studio behind such games as the “Prototype” series, the Scarface adaptations, and The Simpsons: Hit-And-Run is shutting its doors.
It cannot be overstated how much of a blow this is to the Vancouver video game scene; with roughly over a hundred employees, some big name titles under its belt, and a name that was well-known throughout the industry at large, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Radical Entertainment was one of the most important development houses in the city, and their absence will certainly leave reverberations (not to mention a large pool of available talent) throughout the city’s game development scene.
This news hits us at Geek Badge especially hard, as many of us know or have had discussions with individuals from Radical; all of us here sincerely hope that those who are walking out of the office on Terminal Street for the last time today get back on their feet very soon.
*Update*An official response from Activision regarding the closure of Radical Entertainment, containing the following statement:
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.
So it seems that, despite their marketing campaign and early buzz, Prototype 2 just didn’t sell well enough to keep the company afloat.