Prototype Dev Radical Entertainment Closed Down

Richard Walker

Radical Entertainment, the studio behind the Prototype series has been shut down by Activision, with the developer's Former Audio Designer Rob Bridgett declaring "RIP Radical Entertainment 1991-2012" on Twitter earlier this evening.

The studio will now apparently serve a support role at Activision while the company decides what to do with the Prototype dev and wholly owned Acti subsidiary. Prototype 2's poor sales performance is supposedly to blame for Acti's decision to shut down Radical, despite the game topping NPD sales charts in April when it launched.

Prototype 2 managed to limp to only 250,000 sales since its release, despite generally strong reviews and a respectable first month. Activision issued the following statement to Kotaku, explaining the decision to close Radical Entertainment down:

"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," the statement reads.

"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."

[Via Shack News]

  • sad =(
  • Only 250,000 copies were sold? Yikes. It's too bad. I really enjoyed both Prototypes. I guess the Mercer Virus has been eradicated.
  • Shame, They should sell them to Sony so at least then we might get a chance at seeing that Crash Bandicoot game they were working on. Still though very sad news, I liked Prototype 1 & Still need to buy Prototype 2.
  • I remember an article stating 100,000 sales will bring most games into the win zone. Publishers should really drop their expectation of everything selling in millions. That's just plain stupid, especially when they try to bind the customers long term to their games with premium services, DLC flooding and coming microtransactions.
  • thats sucks...anybody know what there gonna do with the IP since acti owned free radical.
  • sad for the people that lost their jobs fuck economical crisis
  • @4 Unfortunately, its not that simple. How many copies sell, and how many sales it takes to generate a sustainable profit are both directly linked to the cost of development, cost of the marketing campaign, after sale support, etc. Some games have to sell several million just to turn a profit. This was a well made game that had a pretty vigorous marketing campaign, and I would venture to guess that it would've needed to sell in upwards of a million copies to generate a profit And I'm surprised it didn't. Like I said, it had a good ad campaign and it was weel received by most gamers and reviewers. Sad day, tho, nonetheless.
  • Sad, but not surprising. Prototype was good, mindless fun, but nothing stellar... while its sequel was Prototype 1.5 with so many recycled resources.
  • @4 For a game to do okay, then simply selling 100,000 copies would be fine...but considering how much it costs just to invest in making a game, 100,000 is not enough to get their money back, let alone make profit. It'd be smart to assume since this is an Activision-published game that there was a great investment into the Prototype series that didn't see a good enough return to keep it going. I never really felt the interest in playing Prototype, it seemed like a poor man's Infamous. Prototype 2 had received some good reviews but if it only moved 250k during a period of virtually no competition, then Activision only make a sensible business move. But is seems like Activision is slowly closing studios left and right...Bizarre's close wasn't that long ago.
  • @7: that's why I said most games ;) But seeing that PC release is still 3 weeks away and will probably add another 100,000 sales, I say this was either totally miscalculated or had some other reasons. And how they could expect sales so far off is beyond me.
  • Sad :( I LOVED prototype 2, I haven't enjoyed exploring a city as much since Spider-man 2.
  • And after all them hours of people playing Prototype 1 and 2 it ended up being Activision who killed the virus off.
  • I thought that the first game was awesome with all the abilities. But I THOUGHT that the game didn't need a sequel because it would be pretty much the same game and it didn't feel like there would be a follower. The story in Prototype sucked goat balls. I myself haven't played the second game because of these reasons. But this just make me think of the Red Faction series. I will never understand why they made their "final" game in a cave... That is like they wanted it to fail.
  • Looks like activision is killing himself slowly, they basicaly want the same amout of sales as they get with their beloved COD. But of course they will never meet that requirement. Still I'm guilty for not buying this game.. the first one was amazing but the trophies made me sell it off on ebay...
  • The only way I would be less surprised is if it was EA in charge of Radical Entertainment and the Prototype games. Prototype 2 didn't really feel like a full sequel, that and several other factors probably contributed to its downfall.
  • Maybe if they didn't program 1 mission and then just repeat it over and over and over it would have sold better. Prototype 2 played decently enough but all of the missions were Use the Hand Scanner, do something in a lab, leave, exit alert.
  • just because games dont sell, doesnt mean they have to shut down a company. Developers make great games with other publishers until "Activision" buys them. Then they get kicked to the curb. First Blur and 007 Bloodstone(Bizzare Ceations), then DJ Hero franchise and now this. Prototype is a great game. Now, im just hoping Prototype 2 will be in a cheaper price.
  • That's because nobody players real games anymore unless it's an FPS, racing, or sport they just don't sell cause nobody wants to give any other game a chance. Yes the economy sucks right now but game like this need our support (lollipop chainsaw, okami HD, brutal legend) and even though I love playing video games I so hope for another video game crash so we can clean this industry up and start with a clean slate.
  • Wow, I'm amazed at the 250,000 figure. Admittedly, I never played either despite always intending to ... which I suppose is how games fail to sell. I remember when Prototype 1 came out around the same time as InFamous and I thought they seemed largely the same. I played (and loved) both InFamous games and skipped Prototype altogether.
  • activision couldnt afford their USA insurance with todays obamacare ruling lol
  • Of course Activision is goin close Radical because Prototype 1&2 weren't even good. Infamous 1&2 were stroller games. Sony does have the best Exclusives.
  • Of course Activision is goin close Radical because Prototype 1&2 weren't even good. Infamous 1&2 were stroller games. Sony does have the best Exclusives.
  • Beenox u better be careful u can be next
  • @20. Yes, we'll ignore the fact that Prototype came out less than 4 weeks after inFamous so clearly they copied everything from inFamous in less than a month! Not to mention both games borrowed heavily from both the Spider-Man and GTA series of games and that's not a knock on either game. So basically... Dumb trolling comment.
  • Wow. I am not a fan of either [Prototype] game, but to close the studio and make the staff play a "support role" seems odd. As a business, you have to know that every game your studios release will not always be a hit. You win some, you lose some. Why close a studio because they had one off game? That sounds more like a marketing issue, not a development issue. After reading the interview with Jason West and Vince Zampella (creators of Infinity Ward and the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise) in this month's Game Informer, I wonder if there were other people at Radical who were blacklisted by Activision, and this was Activision's excuse to let them go. "Oh sorry, Prototype 2 didn't do well. You, you, and you are fired. The rest of you can stay." Activision plays dirty, really dirty.
  • Activision did the same with Bizarre, the dev behind Blur. It's disgraceful, but it can't be helped. "You didn't put enough money in our pockets, so we're shutting you guys down."
  • activision did cancel many games they where working on 2 out 5 not good Prototype 2 (2012) Treadstone (2011) (Cancelled by Activision) Crash Bandicoot title (2010) (Cancelled by Activision) Prototype (2009) Scarface 2 (2008) (Cancelled by Activision)
  • @28 james bond blood stone was not a good game and terrible online i can see why they got axe
  • First off, people need to stop this "inFamous is better than Prototype" and "Prototype is a poor man's inFamous" bullshit. The two were fundamentally different games. Both are sandbox, superpower games? Sure, but that's where the similarities end. Its apples and oranges. Both are fruit, but... Anyway, I loved the first game. I played both it and the first inFamous and was gonna pick up both sequels when I went back to the States. Shame Radical had to die.
  • Its always a sad day when a developer gets screwed by their publisher like this. The games were good, and the dev's more than deserved to keep all their jobs and continued working. But business is business, and Activision won't accept anything less than world record setting preorder counts, perfected rehashing, and zero innovation in their titles. The standards are just too low for any self-respecting developer to achieve.
  • Radical Entertainment made Hulk Ultimate Destruction! I will miss them dearly :,,(
  • HA well that's what you get for making a totally shit game. Well done activision I've always hated prototype mindless unoriginal messy garbage, should av been an Xbox exclusive. I never understood how it ever managed a sequel but now im happy it did as that's what killed it. I for one won't be missing it
  • That's sad news, never played the games but sad to hear either way.
  • I really enjoyed how smooth the motion was in running around. Well, maybe 10 years from now, we'll get a nostalgia generating Prototype Redux sort of like Deus Ex or Fallout.
  • To think they were already planning a 3rd installment there was even a trailer. How could activison do this if its not one of their Call of Duty games which suck but reel in the dough. They finally made something substantial just to shut it down because an unlikely possibility of copies sold. Feels like Heavenly Sword. Quite sad, I was actually hoping for a continuation, hell even some DLC to keep us going. Hope they change their damn fucking minds. =/
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