Budcat put down

Activision shake-up continues with closure of studio behind Blast Works, Guitar Hero ports, trimming of California QA team; 88 positions impacted.

After finding instant success with the acquisition of Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane in 2006, Activision went on a spending spree of sorts. The publisher picked up Bizarre Creations in 2007 to jump-start its efforts to establish a presence in the racing genre and purchased Blast Works developer Budcat in 2008 for its work on the Guitar Hero franchise and Nintendo platforms.

Here's hoping the Budcat crew land on their feet.

The publisher is apparently enduring some buyer's remorse, as Activision confirmed for GameSpot today that it is considering selling Bizarre and has outright closed Budcat.

"We continue to streamline our music development resources to ensure that they are aligned against our slate and strategic goals," the company statement reads. "As a result, we are implementing a targeted reduction in jobs in our Quality Assurance team in California and closing our Budcat studio in Iowa. Budcat has been a great partner to Activision and has created a lasting impact on the Guitar Hero franchise.

"Approximately 88 positions, or approximately 1 percent of our global workforce, will be impacted by these reductions," the statement continued. "We are working to redirect those employees that are impacted to other parts of the company where possible, as well as offering them outplacement counseling services."

Budcat already had a working relationship with Activision before being acquired by the publisher, having developed the PlayStation 2 ports of Guitar Hero games like World Tour, Legends of Rock, and the Aerosmith-dedicated spin-off. Beyond that, the developer had worked on ports for the Madden NFL series and Psychonauts, as well as original titles like New York Times Crosswords on the DS and Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy on the Wii.

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Discussion

31 comments
xbox360555
xbox360555

well i wasnt happy with budcats recent ports. (band hero, guitar hero 5,) the fact that activision is closing budcat down is a mistake. (and bizzare is next)

ShadowDragoon05
ShadowDragoon05

The only thing I can think of is; "Well, looks like Budcat *sunglasses* was put down. YEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH."

6h05tly
6h05tly

It's like that saying "Take what you need and leave out the rest." But this, this is just... I... I'm speechless over this. At least it's making me hate Acti more and more every time things like this come up about the publisher :(

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

@Inconnux - it ALREADY happened to the CoD developers. infinity ward is in shambles. if you meant Treyarch- the OTHER CoD developer- then just wait, it will happen eventually

Inconnux
Inconnux

Buy a studio, milk it to death until customers are sick of their lukewarm rushed out products, close the studio... Profit!!! Economics according to Activision. Just wait, in a couple years it will be the CoD developers.

fighterguard
fighterguard

@ShroomyGrl: Activision Blizzard is the second largest publisher in the world. Reducing that to "The next Call of Duty" is not only ridiculous, but outright mean. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. I'm kind of sad for BudCat. I love GH - WoR for Wii, and I hope their legacy in the franchise will last beyond the company's fate.

irishscott99
irishscott99

Trim the fat, become leaner and meaner... that is what is he silver lining of hard economic times.

ShroomyGrl
ShroomyGrl

im sorta glad they did this, maybe less attention to pc gaming also. better to use all their resources on the next call of duty game, what company shouldnt maximize their earning?

truenextgen
truenextgen

Dint Kotick try to like rape one of his little waitresses on his private jet. I heard hes a azz. But What head of Big Bizz today is not one!!

Dmitheon
Dmitheon

I've been layed off twice, and I feel sorry for the guys, but that is business. Making a profit isn't enough. It's about ROI, return on investment. If these guys burn through 10 million and make 10,000 profit, it doesn't make sense. In that scenerio, investors would better off putting their money in a 0.4% CD for 12 months. The talented folks will find new jobs, better jobs, and will be better for it, in the long run.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Another one? Hope this shows to other devs what to expect of Activision.

glassesboy
glassesboy

Another victim. Sad thing when developers lose their jobs cuz their games didn't make enough profit for their publisher, while "Hero" games keep coming out with no problem.

buft
buft

Another victim of activisions quest for outlandish profit at the expense of peoples lives, this almost went under the radar thanks to the more prominent layoffs at bizarre. I guess that was part of the plan over at the devils office

Bivibob
Bivibob

I live in Iowa City and shamefully there's nothing about this on any of the local news sites. My thoughts go out to the Budcat staff.

Heshertonfist
Heshertonfist

Activision just made half a billion from Call of Duty and they're closing another studio. Activision = Bad for the industry.

Stressthesky
Stressthesky

It's like the company I'm working for. We are making a profit, but we are in danger of being closed down because we are not making A HIDEOUS AMOUNT of profit. Thats what the world has come down to.

Kleeyook
Kleeyook

That's what happened when they make too much the same games for years. :(

Crashbox45
Crashbox45

@Pierce_Sparrow Agreed. God, I hope Bungie can survive the next few years riding on Kotick's coattails. If not, well, it's nice knowing ya, Bungie.

Wylen0
Wylen0

Aww these guys did good with their ports D: hate to see em go.. activision is really out to destroy the gaming industry aren't they?

Pierce_Sparrow
Pierce_Sparrow

Jesus, these guys are like Nazis, cleansing the video game industry of anything not pure and economically sound. I would really love to see developers just snub-nose Activision, despite the wads of money they thrown in their face. I mean, I understand that people gotta make money, but they should really have a little shame. Bungie HAS to be looking a little sideways now at all these studio closures. Wonder what'll happen to them if their next game doesn't deliver how Activision wants it to.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

I hope someone other than EA hires these guys and sticks it to Activision good! Ok, i'll even accept EA if the game is killer.

Dmg051793
Dmg051793

Just think about it. Activision is going to sell off or close Bizarre. The masterminds who made amazing PGR games, Who made Geometry Wars, Who made Blur... will now be gone. And now Budcat. What do you think will happen to Bungie in a few years? D:

DragonRift
DragonRift

The least they could have done was wait after Christmas... -_-;

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

@Crashbox45 You read my mind on that one. I'm sure they have a lot of QA testers, but one thing I think Acti needs (outside of an excision of Kotick) is better Quality Assurance before releasing their IP-milking games.

tupac-makaveli
tupac-makaveli

thanks for porting Psychonauts to the ps2, budcat. R.I.P.

vader501st
vader501st

Activision is on a killing spree, it seems. I only wish that the victims were Kotick and the chairmen of Activision, not the developers themselves.

Crashbox45
Crashbox45

They also layed off some of their QA team. Meaning Activision is now leaning towards quantity over quality.

luffy11234
luffy11234

Only knew them in guitar hero. Awww they died.

IdolConverge
IdolConverge

Another company with good games that was put to rest by Activision...

feliscele
feliscele

Bad title pun...and photo caption.