Activision trims 7 Studios, closes Shaba

Guitar Hero publisher confirms cutbacks as part of overall music-game workforce reduction, shuttering of Spider-Man: Web of Shadows shop.

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The past few months have seen Activision make news for both opening a new San Francisco Bay developer and cutting staff at its Madison, Wisconsin-based shop Raven Software. This week, news of the latter category arrived, with the company confirming that it has trimmed the payroll at 7 Studios.

Working on Scratch probably sounds pretty good to now-jobless 7 Studios staffers.

"7 Studios has realigned its business to focus its development resources on the music genre," a rep told GameSpot. "As a part of this realignment, the studio is reducing its workforce to better reflect Activision's upcoming slate of music-based games."

The 7 Studios layoffs come just seven months after Activision purchased the former Scratch: The Ultimate DJ developer, setting off a chain of events that delayed the turntable-based rhythm game until next year. Shortly after the buyout, Scratch's publisher sued Activision, claiming the acquisition was simply a move to eliminate any competition to DJ Hero, due out October 27. (In April, the shop was ordered to hand over the Scratch source code.)

Activision gave Shaba the kiss of death this week.

Shortly after admitting the 7 Studios layoffs, Activision confirmed to game blog Kotaku that it had closed Shaba Games, the San Francisco-based developer of Shrek Super Slam and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. The move puts an abrupt end to the studio's 12-year history, which saw it develop such games as Tony Hawk's Project 8 (Xbox, PlayStation 2) and the critically acclaimed Grind Session for the original PlayStation. Just this past July, it became public that Shaba was working on an unnamed karaoke game.

"Activision continually evaluates the resources at our studio properties to ensure that they are properly matched to our product slate and overall strategic goals," the company said in a statement. "As part of this process, we recently made the difficult but necessary decision to close Shaba Studios. We are grateful for the studio's contributions and wish this talented team success in their future endeavors."

Discussion

40 comments
Kirnl
Kirnl

bad games like spider man web of shadows? =/ that was the best spider man game anyone has ever made. sucks there is no sequel or even a game made by the same dev team =( the new shattered dimensions is crap its level based not open world there is no web slinging through the city from what i have read anyway shame web of shadows was fantastic i passed it 3 times.

Skull-Fire
Skull-Fire

Well, so much for hoping for a sequel to web of shadows..

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

this sounds like the thousands of lay-offs in microsoft a few months back while bill gates is all over the news this week for being worth $50B as the richest man. what a world we live in.

Tremor671
Tremor671

Besides, if Activision (or some other company) wasn't the top dog, everyone would be making more Rhythm and same old same old. Competition drives innovation.

Tremor671
Tremor671

Unless Activision starts producing S#!T, I'm fine with them shutting down as many crappy rythm or overdone superhero games as they want.

Tremor671
Tremor671

@ CrimsonMaher Boycott?! Really?! Let me get this straight... you want to boycott a bunch of REALLY GOOD GAMES like COD or GH, just so that we hurt their feelings? Get real, and think before you post.

CrimsonMaher
CrimsonMaher

For the fourth time I call for a boycott of Activision! People DO NOT BUY Activision games and they will get that we don't like them! But if you run out and buy MW2 and every GH game they make first day then come complain about them than you're just an idiot!

monson21502
monson21502

well you know you got to many music games out when they start making van hellen games.

artiebillymac
artiebillymac

web of shadows was an ok game overall but we do need more spidy games thou .

Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

@shawn_mitchel: Yeah you're right. P.S. Where'd you get your avatar, and what character is it?

Downloadpilot
Downloadpilot

They shut down Shaba - the guys who made the greatest Spider-Man game in history? It's a shame. I always knew Activision was gay

KittyHeart
KittyHeart

always sad to see people lose jobs in this economy

chocomomiji
chocomomiji

awwww, yeahhhhhhhhhhh... 26TH COMMENT

Darkman2007
Darkman2007 ranger

its a shame all these studios are having their talent wasted on making a flood of music games, not that there is anything wrong with them, but oversaturation is not a good thing. at any rate I hope that the people who just lost their jobs due to Activision's stupidity, find jobs quickly, hopefully somewhere where their talents are better used

daveneonfarrell
daveneonfarrell

I'll be glad when this rhythm game fad is over. Talk about garbage.

shawn_mitchel
shawn_mitchel

When you guys STOP buying Games published by Activision,.......Kotick will be forced to listen to the Gamers,Employees and change his corporate strategy. That is if he does not loose his position soon before he creates more havok........

jebushank
jebushank

I think its pretty funny that a few years ago you could have easily replaced every use of the word "Activision" in this article with "EA" and it would have made sense. Because hey, EA were the evil coporate giants right? Activsion was always the underdog we rooted for, giving us all those awesome Tony Hawk and Spiderman games. So why do things seem to be reverting? These days EA is taking risks with new and interesting IP's and making games that people want (Brutal Legend, can't wait) and Activision are the one's oversaturating the market with yearly releases and pointless franchise whoring....... well just like bob dylan said "these times they are a' changin'". Go EA.

elbert_b_23
elbert_b_23

not a good move for them spiderman was there second best ip after guitar hero

FarmFreshDX
FarmFreshDX

Guzthon, just because the studio is no more doesn't mean the games they made won't be continued. Lots of sequels have been made by new companies that were much better than their prequels. As far as this goes, it's just more of Activision's greed. They're way too hung up on the music genre, too, because they think they can print money with Guitar Hero. Newsflash: $60+ games only sell so many times before people get bored of track and skin packs. Not only that, but who wants to change the disc 43535 times to play different songs when it should just be all in one game?

FF_fan2004
FF_fan2004

Hopefully a good opportunity for both. On one end, recently redundant Shaba Studios could find other work and gain new experiences. On the other, Activision could now focus its attention on gaming a new level. I could be wrong here.

master_zidane
master_zidane

@schesak I agree...Activision's no longer the company it used to be. It's good for the industry that they made these developers redundant.

schesak
schesak

I look at it this way, it frees up a bunch of talented people to go work for someone else who will probable give them alot more liberty to make great games without clueless corporate big-wigs screwing them up.

rizal-engine
rizal-engine

Modern Warfare 2 is the last Activision game that i I will buy, until that kotick guy is replace!!!

BigBacon87
BigBacon87

They should have just 'trimmed' Bobby Kotick's pay cheques completely and left better people with work.

Bigboss232
Bigboss232

Wth activision I am disapointed.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

I can only hope for the best for the people of 7 Studios and Shaba, to find another company to work for. And the people who are left at 7 Studios, I hope they quit and start a new company. There is only so much public abuse a worker can take. At least EA had the courtesy of hiding it from public where is Activision's CEO is publicly announcing that he is screwing over and threatening their own workers.

Guzthon
Guzthon

WHAT!? You fools (Activision staff members), don't you see? You're gonna condemned everyone (not to mention Marvel). "No more Marvel Ultimate Alliance? No more X-Men Legends? No more Spiderman games?" This sitnks, I HATE YOU ACTIVISION! :(

joce667
joce667

that is it activision will now only make music game and cod wow

joce667
joce667

EA is the new activision while activision is going down ea former path! what the world coming to. Dogs and cats living in harmony

chappy_man
chappy_man

man, why am i not surprised activision die already

Bardock47
Bardock47

Lately I've noticed Activision = fail, while EA has been doing pretty good, seems like EA has (hopefully) cleaned up their act and a new goliath took their spot as the wannabe industry leaders.

SillySkeleton
SillySkeleton

As if I needed another reason to hate Activision...

JCTiggs
JCTiggs

Damn I hate Activision. Apparently Radical Games will be the next big developer shut down next by "Axe-a-vision" after already cutting staff by 50% a year ago.

big_and_dumb
big_and_dumb

Considering the things Activision has done lately, I think THEY should shut down. Billions of Guitar Hero games every year, the crap about wanting to originally stifle the Call of Duty franchise before it began. Then this. In a way, Activision is the new EA...... In a way.

robfield
robfield

"Activision continually evaluates the resources at our studio properties to ensure that they are properly matched to our product slate and overall strategic goals" I think that should actually read "Activision continually DRAINS the resources of our studio properties OF ALL LIFE to ensure they make us money as quickly as possible."

rgn1rountree
rgn1rountree

*sigh* It's too bad Shaba is closing it's doors. It made the best Spider-Man game ever! DAMN YOU ACTIVISION, DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!