Raven Software

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Raven Software
Industry Computer and video games
Interactive entertainment
Founded 1990
Founder Brian Raffel
Steve Raffel
Headquarters Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Products Soldier of Fortune (2000–2002)
Number of employees
Parent Activision
Website ravensoftware.com

Raven Software (or Raven Entertainment Software, Inc.) is an American video game developing company based in Wisconsin and founded in 1990. In 1997, Raven made an exclusive publishing deal with Activision and was subsequently acquired by them. After the acquisition, much of the studio's original developers, largely responsible for creating the Heretic and Hexen: Beyond Heretic games, left to form Human Head Studios.


Raven Software was founded in 1990 by brothers Brian and Steve Raffel. The company was independent until 1997 when it looked for a buyer; eventually being bought by Activision in the same year, i.e. 1997, due to their happiness to leave the studio relatively untouched. When Raven Software was acquired it lost many employees who distrusted Activision and were afraid that it would ruin their corporate culture.[1]

Raven has a history of working with id Software: After using id's engines for many of their games (from Heretic in 1994), they took over development of id's Quake franchise for Quake 4 and the 2009 iteration of id's Wolfenstein series.[2]

The company started off with three development teams, cut to two from the major layoffs, of 30-35 staff, which occurred in August 2009 following the poor performance and possible over-budget of Wolfenstein.[3][4] The amount of teams reduced to one as a result of more layoffs in October 2010 after delays with Singularity in which as many as 40 staff were released.[5][6]


In 2012, Raven began hiring employees for a next generation game,[7] and were announced as collaborating with Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Ghosts in May 2013.[8]

On April 3, 2013 following the closure of LucasArts, Raven Software released the source codes for Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy on Sourceforge.[9]

As of April 2014, they are the lead developer of the free-to-play Chinese Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Online.[10]

Games developed[edit]

Year Game Platform(s)
1992 Black Crypt Amiga, Windows(Demo, OpenGL Demo)
1993 Shadowcaster DOS, PC-98
1994 CyClones DOS
Heretic Mac OS(? - Non Official), MS-DOS
1995 Hexen: Beyond Heretic Mac OS, MS-DOS, Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Windows
1996 Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders DOS, Microsoft Windows(? - Non Official)
Deathkings of the Dark Citadel DOS, Mac OS, Microsoft Windows
Necrodome Microsoft Windows
1997 Take No Prisoners Microsoft Windows
MageSlayer Microsoft Windows
Hexen II Mac OS, Microsoft Windows
1998 Hexen II Mission Pack: Portal of Praevus Microsoft Windows
Heretic II AmigaOS, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux
2000 Soldier of Fortune Dreamcast, Linux, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2
Star Trek: Voyager – Elite Force Mac OS, Microsoft Windows
2001 Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force: Virtual Voyager Microsoft Windows
2002 Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
2003 Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
2004 X-Men Legends GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
2005 X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows
Quake 4 Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2006 Marvel: Ultimate Alliance PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows
2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Wolfenstein Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2010 Singularity Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Call of Duty: Black Ops (DLC, user interface)[11] Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
2011 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Multiplayer, Singleplayer (elements), DLC, user interface)[11] Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
2013 Call of Duty: Ghosts (Multiplayer, Singleplayer (elements), DLC)[12] Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2014 Call of Duty Online[10] Microsoft Windows
2014 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Multiplayer, Exo Zombies, DLC) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
2015 Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Assisted on Redwood map) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One


  1. ^ "Lessons Learned from Raven Software". Edge. 20 February 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "id Software and Activision, Inc. Confirm Wolfenstein(R) for the Xbox 360 Video Game and Entertainment System". PR Newswire. 2005-10-05. 
  3. ^ Ivan, Tom. "Raven Software Hit By Layoffs". 
  4. ^ Crecente, Brian (26 August 2009). "Raven Hit By Layoffs, Some Point to Lackluster Wolfenstein Sales". Kotaku. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Raven Software loses more staff". 
  6. ^ Crecente, Brian (11 October 2010). "Singularity Game Developer Hit with Layoffs". Kotaku. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  7. ^ Hinkle, David (2 November 2012). "Raven job listings suggest next-gen game in the works". Joystiq. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Pitcher, Jenna (May 22, 2013). "Raven Software and Neversoft assisted Infinity Ward in Call of Duty: Ghosts development". Polygon. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  9. ^ Hinkle, David (4 April 2013). "Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy source code released". Joystiq. Retrieved 1 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Raven Software now the lead developer on CoD: Online for China". CharlieIntel. April 17, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b gamerzines (2011-07-20). "Infinity Ward clarifies Raven's involvement with CoD franchise". GamerZines. 
  12. ^ Conklin, Aaron K. (October 31, 2013). "Raven Software revolutionizes multiplayer gaming with Call of Duty: Ghosts". The Daily Page. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]