Radical Entertainment

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Radical Entertainment
Type Subsidiary of Activision
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1991
Founders Ian Wilkinson
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people Dave Fracchia (Studio Head)
Products Prototype series (2009–2012)
Crash Bandicoot series
(2005–2010)
Owners Activision Blizzard
Parent Independent (1991–2005)
Sierra Entertainment
(2005–2008)
Activision (2008–present)
Website radical.ca

Radical Entertainment is a video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was founded in 1991 and previously developed games for game publishers such as Microsoft and Fox Interactive. It is an entirely owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard after being acquired by Vivendi Games in 2005.[1] The studio, being the oldest gaming studio in British Columbia, is often referred to as backbone of the gaming industry in Vancouver.[2]

The company is known for developing Scarface: The World Is Yours, Crash: Mind over Mutant and Prototype. Their motto is Play, Work, Live, Breathe, Games.

The studio suffered massive layoffs on June 28, 2012 and suffered partial closure, being left with the inability to produce original games but rather being limited to support work on other Activision titles.[3] The layoffs at Radical were attributed to the fall of the video game design market in Vancouver, which had been said to be the "undisputed centre of the Canadian video game industry".[4] The studio, however, later confirmed the layoffs to not be as severe as reported.[5]

History[edit]

Radical Entertainment was founded by Dave Davis, Rory Armes and Ian Wilkinson. Davis and Armes had previously worked at Vancouver based Distinctive Software (now EA Canada). Wilkinson was an enthusiastic newcomer to the games industry. During the studio's early years, several employees left the company to form Barking Dog Studios.

369 Interactive[edit]

Before being acquired by Vivendi Universal Games, Radical developed various games for numerous publishers including Microsoft Game Studios, THQ and Fox Interactive. Although Radical was not a subsidiary of Vivendi till 2005, they did however develop a few of Vivendi Universal's titles including Hulk and The Simpsons: Hit & Run.

A division of Radical Entertainment, 369 Interactive, developed games for Ubisoft. Namely video games based on the numerous CSI television shows. However, after developing a final game in 2005, 369 Interactive was cut from developing the games and was succeeded by Telltale Games. The reason they were cut is primarily because of Vivendi acquiring Radical.

369 was later deleted from Radical Entertainment themselves. Due to 369 having already developed games exclusively for Ubisoft, Radical being purchased by Vivendi thus nullified 369's reason for existence. As reported by a staff member of Radical Entertainment, the 369 Interactive employees were later merged into the main of Radical Entertainment themselves.

Acquisition by Vivendi (2005–2008)[edit]

Although Radical Entertainment developed few titles for Vivendi Universal Entertainment, the titles gained massive success and warranted the company's interest in the developers. In 2005, Vivendi acquired Radical Entertainment, however, as described by a former developer at Radical, the mood did not change much and Radical still operated as an independent game developing company. After being acquired by Vivendi, Radical began to make many games such as Scarface: The World Is Yours and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction while being published under Vivendi's Sierra Entertainment label. Radical was also given the license to continue development of the Crash Bandicoot franchise which was also published under Sierra Entertainment. Radical took over the development of Crash Tag Team Racing from Traveller's Tales. Due to the success of Crash Tag Team Racing, Radical then started the development of Crash of the Titans and proclaimed that "Crash was home at Radical" stating that Radical would develop all further Crash games. The critical and commercial success of Crash of the Titans spawned one more sequel, Crash: Mind over Mutant, which managed to both critically beat its predecessor as well as commercially. During the development of Crash: Mind Over Mutant, Radical began working on its first original IP, Prototype.

Formation of Activision Blizzard (2008–2009)[edit]

In 2008 it was announced that Vivendi Games and Activision were to form Activision Blizzard, a described by a former developer, the merger changed the mood of Radical and made it like a first-party developer, instead of indie. At the time of the merge Radical was working on three different projects, one was an unnamed project and the other two were Crash: Mind Over Mutant and Prototype. After the merger took place, about half of Radical's staff was cut under Activision Blizzards restructuring. This resulted in the cancellation of the unnamed project while development of Crash and Prototype were unaffected. As revealed later by a former developer at Radical, the unnamed project was Scarface 2, which had been at development at Radical for over two years and had nearly gone gold, the developer stated that Activision canceled the project. Crash: Mind Over Mutant was the last games to be published under the Sierra Entertainment label, however some rare editions are given the Activision label instead. Nevertheless, Activision is given credit within the video game. Prototype was published only underneath the Activision label.

After the release of Prototype in 2009 Radical did not officially announce any new projects, though it was revealed again by another former developer that Radical was working on another unnamed project, which had been in development for over a year. However, when Radical Entertainment experienced layoffs which resulted in over 60 people losing jobs, the project (Crash Landed) was cancelled by Activision.[6] At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, Radical announced Prototype 2, which was set to be their largest game.

Prototype 2 (2010–2012)[edit]

Radical Entertainment released the first details for Prototype 2 in an interview with EGMi. In the same interview they revealed that they halted the development on an unknown game, possibly the rumoured Crash Bandicoot title, after the massive success of Prototype. However, other candidates for the halted game were rumored to be an unknown Spider-Man game and a Jason Bourne game. This title was later revealed to be cancelled.[7] In January 2011, an artist posted video footage showing the cancelled Jason Bourne game called Treadstone.[8] The game was cancelled when the Bourne license was reacquired by Ludlum Entertainment[9] and then licensed to EA.[8] Crash: Mind Over Mutant was re-released on Xbox Live in 2011.[10] Radical celebrated its 20th birthday in late August, 2011. They revealed to have had sold over 30 Million copies from each of their games and is the third oldest studio owned by Activision.[11]

To celebrate the release of Prototype 2, Radical Entertainment revealed that, to coincide, they were releasing RadNet. Similar to Call of Duty: Elite, RadNet is an online gaming hub. RadNet contains competitive challenges which in turn give the player rewards for in-game use, Avatar accessories, development videos and Dnyamic themes. An iPhone game, Protoslice, was also released to coincide with the release of the game, the iPhone app had partial overseen development by Radical, whilst the actual game was not developed by them.[12]

Prototype 2 was released in April 2012 as Radical Entertainment's biggest game launch ever. The game was well-received, with positive reviews on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Versions, with the PC release coming at a later date in 2012.[13] The sales for Prototype 2 dominated the sales of games in April 2012, and achieved higher sales than Kinect Star Wars and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.[14] Globally, Prototype 2 sold less than a million copies in the two months following release.[15]

Layoffs; support team (2012–present)[edit]

On June 28, 2012, Activision announced that Radical Entertainment had seen a "significant reduction in staff", and that the studio "will cease development of its own games going forward", prompting media speculation that the developer had closed.[16] The publisher cited Prototype 2 '​s failure to "find a broad commercial audience" as the reason behind Radical's closure. According to Activision, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, thus, while keeping the studio active, leaves them as a support team.[16] The neutering would result in some saying that the middle ground, the mid-card, game developing industry had died out,[17] with others citing the closure as being the forerunner for the crash of the Vancouver video game design market. This would prove to be true, as, weeks later, Rockstar Vancouver, the second largest gaming company in Vancouver, was shut down by their parent company. The only major video game-based company not affected in the Greater Vancouver Area was EA Canada.[18]

A common trend between the words of the fans and the news outlets was that of the amount of developers working for Activision that the company had shut down or made support teams, with Bizarre Creations and Raven Software being at the top of this trend. Game Informer content manager Matt Bertz would note, "Since 2010 Activision has closed Bizarre Creations, RedOctane and Luxoflux. It also neutered Neversoft and Raven. Many of their games are rated 80 and higher on Metacritic."[19]

The studio later thanked the fans for their support and confirm that while layoffs did indeed happen,[20] they were not as severe as reported by companies.[5] Soon after, they would reveal themselves to be working with another studio on an "incredible project".[21]

Titanium Engine[edit]

After its acquisition by Vivendi, Radical began to use only one game engine, having used various game engines before. The game engine was based on an engine used previously by Radical Entertainment for Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and was named the Titanium Engine. The engine has been used for Radical's Crash Bandicoot and Prototype video games. The only game released using the engine not using those two IP's was the game based on the Scarface IP.[22]

Games developed[edit]

As Radical Entertainment

Game title Year released Platform
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends 1992 NES
The Terminator 1992 NES
The Battle of Olympus 1993 Game Boy
Mario Is Missing! 1993 NES
Pelé! 1993 Sega Genesis
Wayne's World 1993 NES, Game Boy
Bébé's Kids 1994 SNES
Beavis and Butt-head 1994 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Mario's Time Machine 1994 NES
Pelé II: World Tournament Soccer 1994 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
Al Unser Jr.'s Road to the Top 1994 SNES
Mountain Bike Rally 1994 SNES
Speed Racer in My Most Dangerous Adventures 1994 SNES
Brett Hull Hockey 1994 SNES
Brett Hull Hockey '95 1995 SNES, DOS, Sega Genesis
The Divide: Enemies Within 1996 PlayStation, Windows
Power Piggs of the Dark Age 1996 SNES
NHL Powerplay '96 1996 PlayStation, Saturn, Windows
Grid Runner 1996 PlayStation, Saturn, Windows
Independence Day 1997 PlayStation, Saturn, Windows
NHL Powerplay '98 1997 PlayStation, Windows
NHL All-Star Hockey '98 1997 Saturn
ESPN X Games Pro Boarder 1998 PlayStation, Windows
Bloodlines 1999 PlayStation
MTV Sports: Snowboarding 1999 PlayStation
NBA Basketball 2000 1999 PlayStation, Windows
NHL Championship 2000 1999 PlayStation, Windows
Jackie Chan Stuntmaster 2000 PlayStation
MTV Sports: Pure Ride 2000 PlayStation
Dark Summit 2001 GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
The Simpsons: Road Rage 2001 GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Tetris Worlds 2002 GameCube, Xbox
Monsters, Inc. Scream Arena 2002 GameCube
Dark Angel 2002 PlayStation 2, Xbox
Hulk 2003 GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
The Simpsons: Hit & Run 2003 GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction 2005 GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Crash Tag Team Racing 2005 GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable
Scarface: The World Is Yours 2006 PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox, Wii
Crash of the Titans 2007 PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii
Crash: Mind over Mutant 2008 PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360
Prototype 2009 PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Prototype 2 2012 PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
"Incredible Project" TBA TBC

As 369 Interactive

Game title Year released Platform
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 2003 Windows, Xbox
CSI: Dark Motives 2004 Windows
CSI: Miami 2004 Windows

Cancelled games

Game Title Planned release year Platform
RHI Roller Hockey '95[23][24] Unknown SNES
Scarface 2[25] 2008 Unknown
Treadstone[25] 2008 Unknown
Crash Landed[26] 2010 PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2005-03-23. Gamers Hell: http://www.gamershell.com/companies/v_u_g_/220157.html
  2. ^ http://www.theprovince.com/life/laid+Vancouver+video+game+company+Radical+Entertainment/6858008/story.html
  3. ^ "Radical Entertainment has closed". Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  4. ^ Siemiatycki, Elliot (July 20, 2012). "Tactical change necessary to retain video game industry". Vancouver Sun. 
  5. ^ a b https://twitter.com/Radical_Ent/status/248450258655379456
  6. ^ "Radical's Canceled Projects". Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Radical's Halted Game?". Retrieved June 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Sliwinski, Alexander (13 May 2011). "Work on canned Bourne game 'Treadstone' revealed in vid". Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (30 July 2008). "Bourne game rights forget Vivendi, return to Ludlum Entertainment". Retrieved 24 June 2011. 
  10. ^ "Mind over Mutant re-released on the Xbox Live Arcade". Retrieved 25 June 2011. 
  11. ^ "Radical Turns 20.". Retrieved 9 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "RadNet". Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  13. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/prototype-2
  14. ^ Prototype 2 Tops April Sales; Overall Gaming Sales Down 32 Percent
  15. ^ http://www.gamingupdate.com/articles/160/Radical-Entertainment-Rockstar-Vancouver-follow-38-Stu
  16. ^ a b Scammell, David (28 June 2012). "Radical Entertainment has closed". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Stuart, Keith (2 July 2012). "Radical Entertainment and the death of the middle ground". Guardian. 
  18. ^ Radical Entertainment, Rockstar Vancouver follow 38 Studios
  19. ^ Snider, Mike (Jun 28, 2012). "Activision cuts staff at 'Prototype' video game studio". USA Today. 
  20. ^ https://twitter.com/Radical_Ent/status/218438997272309761
  21. ^ http://www.radical.ca/us/
  22. ^ Cowen, Nick (12 June 2009). "The Titanium Engine". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 June 2011. 
  23. ^ "RHI Roller Hockey 95 Release Information for SNES". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  24. ^ "RHI Roller Hockey '95 Canceled". Allgame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  25. ^ a b "TS Project". Blogger. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  26. ^ "Crash Bandicoot 2010 Cancelled - Xbox 360 / PS3 / Wii". Unseen64. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 

External links[edit]