Radical Entertainment

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Radical Entertainment Inc.
Subsidiary
Industry Video game industry
Founded 1991; 26 years ago (1991)
Founders
  • Rory Armes
  • Dave Davis
  • Ian Wilkinson
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
David Fracchia (head)
Products
Parent
Website radical.ca (defunct)

Radical Entertainment Inc. is a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia and a subsidiary of Activision. The studio was founded in 1991 by industry veterans Rory Armes and Dave Davis, as well as newcomer Ian Wilkinson. It is best known for developing three games in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and the Prototype series of games.

On 28 June 2012, due to the financial failure of Prototype 2, Radical Entertainment suffered a "significant reduction" in staff, and would from then on focus solely on supporting other Activision studios, while ceasing development on their own projects.[1] They most recently contributed to Destiny in 2014.

History[edit]

Origin (1991–2005)[edit]

Radical Entertainment was founded in 1991 by Rory Armes, Dave Davis, and Ian Wilkinson, of which Davis and Armes had previously worked at Vancouver-based Distinctive Software, with Wilkinson being an enthusiastic newcomer to the games industry. The studio primarliy developed Nintendo Entertainment System ports and adaptions of other video games, peaking at eight projects in 1994. Between 1997 and 1998, serveral employees left the studio to form Barking Dog Studios.

369 Interactive[edit]

In 2003, Radical Entertainment opened a development division, 369 Interactive, which was set to develop multiple titles based on the CSI franchise, in partnership with Ubi Soft.

Acquisition by Vivendi Universal (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.

Subsidiary of Activision (2008–2009)[edit]

In 2008 it was announced that Vivendi Games and Activision were to form Activision Blizzard. The merger changed the mood of Radical and made it more 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.[2] At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, Radical announced Prototype 2, which was set to be their largest game.

Prototype 2, layoffs (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. In January 2011, an artist posted video footage showing the cancelled Jason Bourne game called Treadstone.[3] The game was cancelled when the Bourne license was reacquired by Ludlum Entertainment,[4] and then licensed to Electronic Arts.[3]

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 Dynamic 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.

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. 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.[5] Globally, Prototype 2 sold less than a million copies in the two months following release.

On 28 June 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.[1] 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.[1]

Games developed[edit]

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

Canceled games[edit]

Year Title Platform(s)
1994 Brett Hull Hockey Sega Genesis
1995 RHI Roller Hockey '95 Super Nintendo Entertainment System
2001 A.I. The Circuit or A.I. Gladiator[6] Xbox
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours[7] Xbox 360
2008 Scarface 2 Unknown
Treadstone[3]
2010 Crash Bandicoot: Landed or Crash Landed[6] PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Schreier, Jason (28 June 2012). "Prototype Creators Shutting Down [UPDATE]". Kotaku. Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Kuchera, Ben (24 August 2011). "Feral developers: why game industry talent is going indie". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Sliwinski, Alexander (13 May 2011). "Work on canned Bourne game 'Treadstone' revealed in vid". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  4. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (30 July 2008). "Bourne game rights forget Vivendi, return to Ludlum Entertainment". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (14 June 2012). "Prototype 2 tops dismal April sales". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Taborelli, Luca. "Beta & Cancelled Radical Entertainment Videogames". Unseen64. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Surette, Tim (28 July 2006). "Scarface says hello to PSP, adios to 360". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 

External links[edit]