There’s been some sad news today, with Activision announcing the closure of Canadian studio Radical Entertainment, the developers of the Prototype series.
In their dour press release, Activision has said that “Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience” and that “the studio will cease development of its own games going forward.”
Sadly it’s not the first time that a long running studio has been culled after poor sales of a major release, with Activision previously hitting gaming headlines last year for closing veteran Brit studio Bizarrre Creations, following poor sales of the revved up racer Blur.
Even if it’s becoming increasingly common for large publishers to close underperforming studios, the news still comes as something of a shock due to the singling out of Prototype 2’s poor sales figures. Perhaps it didn’t meet some lofty targets, but it still carved itself a number one spot on the gaming charts and earned solid reviews.
Established in 1991, Radical Entertainment begun as an independent publisher of multiformat games, including licenced titles like The Terminator on the NES and the excellent Beavis & Butt-Head on the Sega Mega Drive. Other notable titles in their history include the fondly remembered The Simpsons Hit & Run and the well-received movie tie-in Hulk, both in 2003.
Shortly before their acquisition by Activision they also produced Scarface, a relentlessly sleazy and enjoyable GTA clone based on the classic Al Pacino movie. After their merge with Activision in 2008, Radical faced the cancellation of many future projects and solely focused on development of the successful Prototype and it’s equally well received sequel.
“We’re very proud of what we achieved with the PROTOTYPE franchise, but unfortunately, the Blacklight virus didn’t spread as far as it could” says the defunct studio on their official Facebook page.
“Special “Thanks” to the PROTOTYPE Army and all our extremely loyal and passionate fans for supporting Radical Entertainment. We couldn’t have come this far without you.”
Click here for our review of Prototype 2