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Comic for: February 12th, 2010
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The Zapper!: "RedOctane"
Posted: Friday February 12th, 2010 by

Taks laughed at me last night when I gleefully admitted, "man it's been a long time since I read gaming news". You see last night I was following the trail of misery rhythm games are walking right now. Viacom registered less than expected profits and pointed their fingers directly at Harmonix. Now they're looking to get back some of the "hit certain sales points" incentive money they paid for Rock Band's initial success. And Activision... just... wow.

First I read that they were cutting back Guitar Hero skus by more than half this year compared to last year. [more info] Now the rumor of mass firings and studio closings are flying. I say "rumor" because Activision hasn't released an official statement, but rather they keep telling gaming news sites that they "continually evaluates its resources to ensure that they are properly matched against its product slate and strategic goals". [more info]

And in amongst cutting staff, closing studios, and taking Guitar Hero out Neversoft's hand to give it to Vicarious Visions [more info], there's the "rumor" that RedOctane, the original publisher of Guitar Hero (when it was good), is being closed. [more info] The guys that are responsible for making the hardware (guitar controllers, DDR pads, etc) are being kept, they'll just be reporting directly to Activision. The other 30-40 folks... not so much.

I know I poke at Activision quite a bit for being all about the money, draining the sould out of their products for a dollar. And I DO realize that times are tough right now. But it's hard for me to see so many people getting the axe because Activision pushed the genre so aggressively. It just seems like they sacrificed the longevity of the genre for the sake of a quick buck right now.

Again, until there is official word about the closure, consider this zapping to be a rumor. Usually I show the fly pre-zap. It just didn't make as much sense to post a Metallica "Ride the Lightning" reference without there actually being a big blue sparkling Bzzzt!.

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