Activision drops Sledgehammer on SF Bay Area

Megapublisher confirms rumored name of Foster City shop led by former Dead Space developer heads Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield; first game still unnamed.

In July, two of the top developers at Electronic Arts' Dead Space and Dante's Inferno developer Visceral Games quit suddenly to work at Activision. The megapublisher confirmed that the pair, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, were heading up the formation of a nascent studio in the San Francisco Bay Area city of San Mateo, only a few miles from EA's Redwood Shores headquarters.

Sledgehammer GM Glen Schofield.

Today, Activision confirmed rumors that the new studio would sport the aggressive moniker Sledgehammer Games. Schofield and Condrey will occupy the same positions there that they did at Visceral Games, general manager and chief operating officer (respectively). The company also announced that Sledgehammer will be located in the San Mateo suburb of Foster City, also home of Sony Computer Entertainment America's headquarters. In welcome news for the hundreds of developers being laid off by EA, the new studio is actively hiring to bulk up its talent pool.

Unfortunately, Sledgehammer's first title remains unidentified. Though Activision previously said it was a new entry in an existing series, today it described the project only as an "as-yet-unannounced new video game." Interestingly, on the same day Sledgehammer's title was revealed, the Australian Classification Board listed a game called "Bloodhunt" being published by Activision Blizzard. Though the developer was not listed, the filing did reveal that the game will be multiplatform and rated MA 15+ for mature audiences 15 and over under the Australian game-ratings system.

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25 comments
BigDaddy973
BigDaddy973

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Good to see this. There are a lot of former EA employees desperate for work, I'm sure, and hopefully many of them find homes at Sledgehammer. It is rare to see a studio open up just a few miles away from a behemoth, such as what happened here.

Jhoalot
Jhoalot

that remembers me that supposedly there will be a dead space 2, who will develop it?

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

I'm very curious to see if Activision can stave off watering down their products as they expand out of control. They're making a lot of the same mistakes EA did. (Pissing off their customer base with nickel-and-diming DLC, underhanded DRM schemes, poor PR strategy) They're over-expanding and a few clunker games will quickly render that unsustainable. Their quality is starting suffer in my opinion also. You can't keep making "Guitar Hero Gazillion" and Call of Duty games and expect to stay on top. Sure, they're popular now, but these IP's won't last forever, especially if they keep watering down releases due to shrinking development cycles. All in all, it seems like they're committing the sins of their fathers (in this case, EA).

Rikuide_Furame
Rikuide_Furame

Crossing from EA to Activision... what was that saying about the fire and the frying pan?

KittyHeart
KittyHeart

"Activision drops Banhammer on SF Bay Area" that's a more apprepriate title! :o

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

Eventually succubis Activision will entice every worker at EA until there is nothing left but EA's IPs.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

But no, let's blame the little guys.

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

I don't get how EA would dismantle a studio that did Dead Space and Dante's Inferno because that Wii faux, which wasn't their fault because the game got great reviews, it's the publisher that didn't market it well enough.

NearlyPrescient
NearlyPrescient

@k0r3aN_pR1d3 such is the business world. that's why Kotick is so popular to shareholders; the things he says are all about profit, which is what they want, even if it typically offends the vast majority of the gaming community. until people rise up and boycott activision to get him fired (not that I honestly think its possible), it will always be profitable for him to piss off gamers.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

Oh good because we needed more reasons to dislike Bobby Kottick and his band of GH making monkeys. The more I read about Activision the more I like EA.

k0r3aN_pR1d3
k0r3aN_pR1d3

How much did Bobby Kotick bribe the duo to leave Visceral Games? Pretty douchey tactic nabbing the best minds in a crucial moment just to make a studio to make more money for yourself.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

I know I'm waaay in the minority on this one but I didn't really find Dead Space to be all THAT impressive. It was basically just Event Horizon meets an easy mode Resident Evil 4. So not only was it brain dead easy, but it really wasn't that unique or innovative albeit it was definitely entertaining and a solid game overall. But people seem to herald it as a future classic or something and its not. So seeing these 2 join up with the worst publisher in gaming history doesn't really bother me all that much. They will reap what they sow me thinks.

Wallenstein_155
Wallenstein_155

This is good for those being laid off, but Activision saying "it's a new entry in an EXISTING series?" Wow, what a surprise from Activision, isn't it?

msharki
msharki

jmace1 Posted Nov 17, 2009 11:39 pm GMT @ gatsbythepig Visceral games is still developing Dead Space. It's just that Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey left during the middle of development and are now working for Activision rathen than EA Yes, and I hope they fail. Die Activision!

cid_007
cid_007

Go sledgehammer; crush thy enemy!

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

Good news for people who have lost jobs recently.

jmace1
jmace1

@ gatsbythepig Visceral games is still developing Dead Space. It's just that Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey left during the middle of development and are now working for Activision rathen than EA

Shanks_D_Chop
Shanks_D_Chop

This would be a good thing, if it didn't have Activision behind it. Not hating Activision in general... but video game quality... well, big name publishers seem to care less about customer satisfaction and more about initial profits. What am I talking about, seems to? Not saying we need more indie games. Just more games developed and published by people who care.

MidniteShadow
MidniteShadow

Hopefully this doesn't affect the sequel for DeadSpace, its such a great game, as long as the original team is still intact or least half, it will live up to its expectations.

jazilla
jazilla

that dude looks like he belongs playing as a doctor on a cheesy daytime soap opera. Dr. Rock Blanders.

-Fromage-
-Fromage-

Rated 15 and over? Must be too harsh for the 14 year olds.