Activision Closes Another Studio

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Activision Closes Another Studio

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Activision has pulled the plug on Budcat Creations, the studio it acquired in 2008 to develop Guitar Hero and Band Hero games on the PlayStation 2.

It's not a good day to be an Activision studio. Earlier today we got word that Project Gotham Racing studio Bizarre Creations was facing the ax and while that situation was later vaguely clarified as "we are exploring our options," it turns out that another of its studios has definitely been shuttered. Budcat Creations, which was founded in 2000 and developed various EA Sports titles and the PS2 version of Psychonauts before being bought out by Activision in 2008, has been shut down.

According to PC Gamer, "anonymous sources" inside the studio reported today that when they arrived for work this morning, they were greeted outside their office by security guards and "'too cheerful' consultants" who told them they were being fired. Activision later confirmed the closure in a statement to Gamasutra.

"We continue to streamline our music development resources to ensure that they are aligned against our slate and strategic goals," the statement said. "As a result, we are implementing a targeted reduction in jobs in our Quality Assurance team in California and closing our Budcat studio in Iowa."

"Budcat has been a great partner to Activision and has created a lasting impact on the Guitar Hero franchise," it continued. "Approximately 88 positions, or approximately one percent of our global workforce, will be impacted by these reductions. We are working to redirect those employees that are impacted to other parts of the company where possible, as well as offering them outplacement counseling services."

Activision is obviously feeling the decline of the music game genre and it looks like we've seen the end of the Guitar Hero line on the PS2. And while one percent of the workforce is a tiny slice, that can't be much consolation to the people at Budcat. We wish all the best to everyone affected by the closure.

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on the bright side, it's good they stopped it before guitar hero went any further

on the realistic side, I miss old late 90s early 2000s Activision

also, fire them THAT suddenly?

dick move right there, they should have at least noticed them night before, 'cause letting them go all the way to work just to tell 'em they got up of bed pointlessly is just cold

That's absolutely terrible. :< If any of the employees there are reading this, though they probably aren't, I wish you and your families well. I hope they can find another job.

Side note: So, this is why Kotick is spouting sugar-coated bullshit that sounds nice: it's in the hopes of people forgetting stuff like this.

Why are security guards always involved when something like this happens with Activision? Brings to mind the Infinity Ward stuff at the beginning of the year.

what...the....heck?

MentalBakura:
Why are security guards always involved when something like this happens with Activision? Brings to mind the Infinity Ward stuff at the beginning of the year.

The security guards are there in case someone snaps and goes postal.

"impacted by these reductions"

God I hate corporate bullshit expressions...

Feel bad for these guys =/

So let me see if I've got this right:

Activision kicks Bizzare Out,
Lucasarts kicks people out ,Kotick says be patient - while he builds a better place for WoW HQ, but Budcat can eff off.

Or, simply, Kotick says he'll be nice to us, while shafting two studios and building himself more office space. Oh, and Lucasarts seem to have milked Star Wars dry.

Conclusion: Kotick is a dick. I don't see how anyone can even defend that man now.

Budcat, huh? Cute name, but i haven't even heard of the company up until now. So it's hard to really feel anything as a consumer. The job loss sucks and all, but people are hired and fired every day. No reason to get all weepy-eyed over this story.

And considering these guys only seem to have made PS2 games, it's hardly surprising they've been shut down to cut costs and keep things economical.

I understand sometimes you have to make difficult decisions with a large company.. but they could have at least given them more warning than that.

I can understand this, from an economical point of view. The fact of the matter is that music games are just a fad, a very short lived fad. The falling sales in both Guitar Hero and Rock Band games supports this view. If a studio isn't going to make any money for a publisher, there is no point in keeping them on.

Yes, job loss is sad, but it's something that happens every day and can't really be stopped. These people, if they're good at what they do, will either be reintegrated into the company some other way, or find work elsewhere. It's not much of a sop-story, it's just life.

man those statements are always so heartless when they just straight up list statistics. Although the sugarcoated ones are just as bad. Guess there just isnt a good way to say "we're firing people."

Well hope they find work or is placed into more successful companies quickly.

The_root_of_all_evil:

Conclusion: Kotick is a dick. I don't see how anyone can even defend that man now.

I can do it:

Bizzare and Budcat made shitty games. That's why they were fired.

oh cmon thats just an ass move, at least let them loot work a little bit if your going to be ass enough to make them drive all the way to work to tell them they are fired

xscoot:

Bizzare and Budcat made shitty games. That's why they were fired.

On the runup to Christmas still makes you a dick, even if justified.

damn you Activision

I hope those who lost their jobs are able to find a job with some other publisher than Activision.

Is it just me or are they becoming the new EA...

Damn it even if the games are 'crap' (I don't think so) shutting it down would leave hundreds of people jobless! That's cold man, cold.

I'm confused, you don't need fucking security guards to fire people.

MentalBakura:
Why are security guards always involved when something like this happens with Activision? Brings to mind the Infinity Ward stuff at the beginning of the year.

Big BrotherKotick the clown sees all? Why would anyone willingly work for a company that's so ham-handedly tyrannical? Activision is worse than EA ever was. Worse than pretty much ANY can think of. Save sweatshops and such.

Nouw:
Damn it even if the games are 'crap' (I don't think so) shutting it down would leave hundreds of people jobless! That's cold man, cold.

What is your alternative?

killamanhunter:
Is it just me or are they becoming the new EA...

Becoming?

They are far worse.

Vaccine:
I'm confused, you don't need fucking security guards to fire people.

Activision Logic.

Just like Activision Logic says you should fire people who got up to come to work when they show up at the door instead of politely informing them the day/night before so they can immediately start looking for new work. On top of that, with the holidays in the next few weeks, this just shows that Activision is becoming whiny over their absurd profit as it is, and cares less about who it employs.

The Bandit:

Nouw:
Damn it even if the games are 'crap' (I don't think so) shutting it down would leave hundreds of people jobless! That's cold man, cold.

What is your alternative?

It is not my or your place to judge whether or not those people deserve jobs.

Nouw:

The Bandit:

Nouw:
Damn it even if the games are 'crap' (I don't think so) shutting it down would leave hundreds of people jobless! That's cold man, cold.

What is your alternative?

It is not my or your place to judge whether or not those people deserve jobs.

I'm assuming you don't have an alternative then.

But, you're right. It isn't our place. It is, however, Activision's place.

Yeah, I'm not so sure I want to work on AAA titles if this is my fate.

The Bandit:

Nouw:

The Bandit:

What is your alternative?

It is not my or your place to judge whether or not those people deserve jobs.

I'm assuming you don't have an alternative then.

But, you're right. It isn't our place. It is, however, Activision's place.

Indeed, but I just feel that they could at least think about the fired people by offering them other jobs in the behemoth of Activision.

Devs are bought up, used to milk their IP to death with sequel after sequel, then closed down when no longer useful so the publishing monsters can move on to another developer and do it all over again.

Corporate age of gaming sucks

Damn that sucks. Good luck to the guys over there.

On a side note:
OK, so that's two Activision studios closing in a day, and on the same day Blizzard is aparently getting a new building that's 40% bigger to hold all their new employees. WTF?! Remind me again why Blizz is associated with Activision and doesn't just leave them out to dry?

That sounds... extreme. Did they really not get any warning that they were all about to lose their jobs? What the hell? :o

Yureina:
That sounds... extreme. Did they really not get any warning that they were all about to lose their jobs? What the hell? :o

This all the way.

You see, if you're gonna fire someone then at least give some form of heads-up and treat them with respect rather than just telling security to come by to intimidate them and have these 'too cheerful' consultants play messenger.

Even if tis the season for the layoffs, it's one thing to fire a person with at least a modicum of dignity, by talking to them about it face-to-face. Another to just tell them "Yeah, we'll be laying your ass off. Oh and by the way, security's here so don't stir up any shit out of frustration!" To me - *that* is the kind of treatment that genuinely warrants bad press.

so basically Activision has its own privatized militant police force......

killamanhunter:
Is it just me or are they becoming the new EA...

it's been like that...since Activision started sending bands of Stormtroopers to keep their studios in obedience

killamanhunter:
Is it just me or are they becoming the new EA...

Wrong. They're becoming the old EA, but even back then there wasn't a large frequency of situations like this with EA ten or so years ago. For every enemy Activison makes, EA gains a friend.

EA could never be as bad as Activision even if they tried. Comparing EA with Activison nowadays is criminal.

xscoot:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Conclusion: Kotick is a dick. I don't see how anyone can even defend that man now.

I can do it:

Bizzare and Budcat made shitty games. That's why they were fired.

No. Bizzare didn't make shitty games. It made games that didn't sell well.

Budcat didn't make games at all. They made ports of some "... Hero" games on the PS2.

Also, to fire people like this, with no indication of anything, just by meeting them outside the office and telling them to fuck off? That's cruel.

duchaked:
so basically Activision has its own privatized militant police force......

You think this is bad? my fathers work got bought by the french... no offence to anybody in france but your companies treat there workers like slaves or dogs. I forgot to mention they brought in hired guns when there was a strike.

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