Home > Video Games, WTF? > Activision’s Gavel Has Fallen

Activision’s Gavel Has Fallen

If you haven’t seen the video game headlines lately, Activision has been making some pretty strong cuts all around. In an apparent attempt to trim down the excess fat of the company, game franchises and now even entire companies are being cut from the mega-publisher. Here is what has happened so far.

Activision has made its executive decision


Activision announces it will “disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit”

When I first saw this news article, two immediate thoughts came into my head. The first? WHAT!? The Second? It was going to happen eventually. We’ve all seen the news: the music game industry is declining fast. The novelty that was playing plastic instruments and feeling like a rock star has worn off significantly. With so many music games out there, the market was overwhelmed with cheap plastic and a bundle of game discs. It was shocking to see that the once almighty Guitar Hero franchise was ending its days, but now that I look at it, I shouldn’t be surprised at all. Over twenty games in a 5 year period, with the majority falling in the later years. The market simply couldn’t handle this. The DJ Hero series, which is part of the Guitar Hero franchise, has been put on hold.

I knew this would happen at some point in time...


Going hand in hand with the disbanding, Activision has also shut down Red Octane, the original developers of Guitar Hero, and have severely cut the staff of Neversoft.

Next on the list: Activision cuts the True Crime franchise.

This is the open world crime game developed by United Front Games. The newest installment, True Crime: Hong Kong was due later this year. The reasoning behind this cut? “It just wasn’t going to be good enough” – Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.

Continuing on with the game franchises, The Tony Hawk series has been put on hold.

Honestly, I’m not even going to complain about this one; they had it coming and those games just plain sucked.


In a market dominated by the Wii and plastic guitars, people did not want to buy another motion sensing piece of crap

Lastly, as of now, Activision is shutting down Bizarre Creations.

This one hit me the hardest and inspired me to write this article. I am a huge fan of Bizarre Creations and hate to see that Activision is ending their run. For those who don’t know, Bizarre Creations is behind the madly addictive XBLA game Geometry Wars and the racing game Blur, which I actually found insanely fun. The saddest part to this story is that Activision only just recently bought Bizarre Creations back in 2007. It really does suck to lose them.

Easily one of the most addictive XBLA games I have ever played

Now I may have missed another cut or hold that Activision has released, but this is what I have compiled as of now. And I get the feeling this list is going to grow even larger.

  1. Jofis
    February 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Activision’s main problem is that when they find a hit, which they seem to do more than any other publisher, they over saturate the market with it. It was definitely true of the Guitar Hero franchise and the Tony Hawk franchise. Hell, it is without a doubt true of Activision’s current cash cow Call of Duty. Releasing something new in a franchise every year like its just another cheap Madden game is not the answer. Activision needs to learn that too much of a good thing is bad.

  2. C.L. Anderson
    February 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

    It’s strange, I use to like Activision more than EA. Now, it seems to be the reverse. EA at LEAST gives new IP a chance like Dead Space & Mirror’s Edge. Sure, the Mirror’s Edge sequel got canned, but damnit they had the courtesy to say, “Lets give gamers something fresh and new” regardless if it didn’t sell to well. EA’s Dead Space is now a giant of a franchise, so it goes to show that risks do pay off.

    It’s Activision own damn fault for putting out Tony Hawk and GH every year. Releases with incremental improvements aren’t gonna cut it unless it’s a sports title. I feel your pain too Chris, Bizzare Creations is one of the most underrated developer this generation. I normally don’t like racing games too much but Project Gotham was a fine series. Blur showed that they can be crazy and over-the-top with their racing expertise. Geometry Wars was the FIRST XBLA game I bought and I dive into it every now and then. It’s a shame that they got signed by Activision only to be let go only a few years later.

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