Radical Entertainment

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Radical Entertainment Inc.
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
FoundedSeptember 1991; 30 years ago (1991-09)
Founders
  • Rory Armes
  • Dave Davis
  • Ian Wilkinson
Headquarters,
Canada
Products
Parent

Radical Entertainment Inc. is[1] a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver. The studio is best known for developing The Simpsons: Hit & Run, Prototype and Prototype 2, as well as entries in the Crash Bandicoot franchise. Radical Entertainment was founded in September 1991 by Rory Armes. Dave Davis, and Ian Wilkinson. It was acquired by Vivendi Games in 2005 and transferred to Activision in 2008. The studio faced significant layoffs in 2010 and 2012, with the latter causing it to cease development of original games and only support other Activision studios.

History[edit]

Origin (1991–2005)[edit]

Former Radical Entertainment logo used from 1991 to 1999.

Radical Entertainment co-founders Ian Wilkinson and Rory Armes previously worked for Distinctive Software during the late 1980s. When Distinctive Software was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1991, Wilkinson and Armes took the opportunity to form their own company.[2] Radical Entertainment was established in September 1991 in the Yaletown district of Vancouver.[3][4] The studio primarily developed Nintendo Entertainment System ports and adaptations of other video games, peaking at eight projects in 1994. Mike Ribero left his position as Sega of America's vice president of sales and marketing to become CEO of Radical Entertainment in 1996.[5] Between 1997 and 1998, several 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 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 intellectual property, Prototype.

Prototype games and layoffs under Activision (2008–present)[edit]

When Vivendi Games merged with Activision to form Activision Blizzard in 2008, Vivendi's former studios, including Radical Entertainment, became part of Activision.[6] At the time, Radical Entertainment was developing four games, including Crash: Mind Over Mutant and Prototype. Activision laid off circa 100 people, half of the studio's staff, and canceled the two unannounced projects.[7][8] One of these was Treadstone, a game set in the Jason Bourne universe. Activision was not interested in the property and sold it back to Ludlum Entertainment, which subsequently licensed it to Electronic Arts.[9][10]

In February 2010, Activision laid off around 200 developers from its studios, including roughly 90 at Radical Entertainment, equating to half of the studio's workforce at the time.[11][12] A sequel to Prototype, Prototype 2, was released in April 2012. In the United States, it was the best-selling game of its release month.[13] However, Activision considered the game a commercial failure; on 28 June 2012, the company announced a "significant reduction in staff" at Radical Entertainment that would see the studio cease development of its own games and only support other Activision studios going forward.[14] While some reports, including that of former Radical Entertainment senior audio director Rob Bridgett, indicated that the studio had closed, Activision stated that the would remain open with the reduced staff.[15] Activision and Radical Entertainment re-iterated this statement in September that year.[16] The Microsoft Windows port of Prototype 2 was released in July 2012,[17] and Radical Entertainment co-developed Destiny, released in 2014.[18]

Games developed[edit]

Year Title Publisher Platform(s) Ref.
1992 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends THQ Nintendo Entertainment System [19]
The Terminator Mindscape [19]
1993 The Battle of Olympus Broderbund Game Boy [19]
Mario Is Missing! The Software Toolworks Nintendo Entertainment System
Pelé! Accolade Sega Genesis [19]
Wayne's World THQ Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System [19]
1994 Bébé's Kids Motown Software Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Beavis and Butt-Head Viacom New Media Sega Genesis [19]
Mario's Time Machine The Software Toolworks Nintendo Entertainment System [19]
Pelé II: World Tournament Soccer Accolade Sega Genesis
Al Unser Jr.'s Road to the Top The Software Toolworks Super Nintendo Entertainment System [19]
Mountain Bike Rally ASC Games [19]
Speed Racer in My Most Dangerous Adventures Accolade
Brett Hull Hockey
1995 Brett Hull Hockey '95 Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System [19]
1996 The Divide: Enemies Within Viacom New Media Microsoft Windows, PlayStation [19]
Power Piggs of the Dark Age Titus Software Super Nintendo Entertainment System
NHL Powerplay '96 Virgin Interactive Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Saturn [19]
Grid Runner [19]
1997 Independence Day Fox Interactive [19]
NHL Powerplay 98 / NHL All-Star Hockey 98 Virgin Interactive / Sega
1998 X Games Pro Boarder Electronic Arts Microsoft Windows, PlayStation [19]
1999 Blood Lines Sony Computer Entertainment Europe PlayStation
MTV Sports: Snowboarding THQ [4]
NBA Basketball 2000 Fox Interactive Microsoft Windows, PlayStation [19]
NHL Championship 2000 [19]
2000 Jackie Chan Stuntmaster Midway Games PlayStation [19]
MTV Sports: Pure Ride THQ [19]
2001 Dark Summit GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox [19]
The Simpsons: Road Rage Electronic Arts [19]
2002 Tetris Worlds THQ GameCube, Xbox [19]
Monsters, Inc. Scream Arena GameCube [19]
James Cameron's Dark Angel Sierra Entertainment PlayStation 2, Xbox [19]
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Ubi Soft Microsoft Windows, Xbox [19]
Hulk Vivendi Universal Games Microsoft Windows, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox [19]
The Simpsons: Hit & Run [19]
2004 CSI: Dark Motives Ubi Soft Microsoft Windows [19]
CSI: Miami [19]
2005 The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction Vivendi Universal Games GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox [19]
Crash Tag Team Racing GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable [19]
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Vivendi Games Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox [19]
2007 Crash of the Titans PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360 [19]
2008 Crash: Mind over Mutant Activision [19]
2009 Prototype Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [19]
2012 Prototype 2 [19]
2014 Destiny (as a support team for Bungie) Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [20]

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[21] Xbox
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours[22] Xbox 360
~2007 The Simpsons: Hit & Run 2[23] Unknown
2008 Scarface 2 Unknown
Treadstone[9]
2010 I Am Crash Bandicoot, Crash 2010 or Crash Landed[21] PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
2011 Spider-Man 4 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012 Prototype 3[21] PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Studios & Locations". Activision. Archived from the original on 29 December 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  2. ^ Kyllo, Blaine (11 March 2009). "Radical founder Ian Wilkinson becomes CEO of Hothead Games". Georgia Straight. Vancouver Free Press. Archived from the original on 27 December 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  3. ^ "About Radical Entertainment". Radical Entertainment. Archived from the original on 20 January 1998. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Radical Entertainment – Plug Into Our World and Play". Radical Entertainment. Archived from the original on 18 June 2000. Retrieved 20 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Radical and Disney to Play Ball!". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 99. Ziff Davis. October 1997. p. 31.
  6. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (29 July 2008). "Activision Blizzard 'streamlining' Vivendi". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 11 July 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  7. ^ Cavalli, Earnest (14 August 2008). "Prototype Developer Dumps 'About 100' Employees". Wired. Archived from the original on 9 August 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  8. ^ Kuchera, Ben (24 August 2011). "Feral developers: why game industry talent is going indie". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  9. ^ a b Sliwinski, Alexander (13 May 2011). "Work on canned Bourne game 'Treadstone' revealed in vid". Engadget. AOL Tech. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  10. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (30 July 2008). "Bourne game rights forget Vivendi, return to Ludlum Entertainment". Engadget. AOL Tech. Archived from the original on 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  11. ^ Martin, Matt (12 February 2010). "Layoffs hit multiple Activision studios". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  12. ^ McWhertor, Michael (11 February 2010). "Prototype Developer Radical Cut In Half". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  13. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (14 June 2012). "Prototype 2 tops dismal April sales". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  14. ^ Schreier, Jason (28 June 2012). "Prototype Creators Shutting Down [UPDATE]". Kotaku. Gizmodo Media Group. Archived from the original on 8 January 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  15. ^ Williams, Mike (28 June 2012). "Prototype 2 developer seeing "significant reduction in staff"". GamesIndustry.biz. Archived from the original on 18 June 2016. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  16. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (25 September 2012). "Prototype dev Radical Entertainment's status hasn't changed since downsize". Engadget. Archived from the original on 29 December 2021. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  17. ^ Onyett, Charles (24 July 2012). "Prototype 2 Now Available for PC". IGN. Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  18. ^ Destiny – End Credits. IGN. 11 September 2014. Event occurs at 5:01. Retrieved 29 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj "Radical – Games". Radical Entertainment. Activision Blizzard. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Bungie : Destiny : Credits". Bungie. Archived from the original on 7 June 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  21. ^ a b c "Beta & Cancelled Radical Entertainment Videogames". Unseen64. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  22. ^ Surette, Tim (28 July 2006). "Scarface says hello to PSP, adios to 360". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  23. ^ January 2020, Heather Wald 22 (22 January 2020). "The Simpsons: Hit and Run 2 was in the works at one point and even had a gameplay prototype". gamesradar. Archived from the original on 25 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2021.

External links[edit]