According to Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, the company is all about letting their internal developers have a certain level of freedom along with developing their own projects. In fact, Kotick went on to say that Activision’s various studios were better off compared to EA in terms of creative freedom. Well what do you know; Kotick is once again shown as being the complete punk that he is based on the closure of a pretty much beloved Activision studio.
Raven Software has now joined the ranks of closed/essentially dead studios based on Activision’s recent studio adjustments. I use the phrase “studio adjustments” as a nice way to say that a crap load of folks got fired and are now out of a job. According to sources, at least 40 members of Raven Software were let go today, essentially a good chunk of the reasonably small studio.
Instead of releasing proper games that surprised gamers such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine or Singularity, Raven’s remaining workforce will be resorted to working on downloadable content. Prior to this layoff news, it was reported that after development on Singularity wrapped (which in itself was a 3 year+ project), the studio began work on Call of Duty: Black Ops DLC. Well it appears that developing Call of Duty DLC will probably be Raven’s fate for the foreseeable future until Activision completely pulls the plug.
I must say as a fan of Raven’s work in the past, it’s an incredible shame to see the studio resort to being a DLC farm. Raven’s recent games weren’t massive mega-hits, but they were well rounded products that found a reasonable audience amongst gamers. But to be honest, with Activision’s plan to merely have their developers become known for producing huge franchise games, we shouldn’t be too surprised that Raven, a studio with some originality, were given the boot.
Out of the remaining Activision studios, which one could be up on the chopping block next? Obviously Infinity Ward is safe – for now at least, but I have a feeling High Moon Studios (Transformers: War for Cybertron) could be up next. But I guess we’ll see which masterful move of incompetence Bobby Kotick does next.