Visceral execs defect to Activision

[UPDATE 2] EA confirms Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey have left former EA Redwood Shores; rival publisher announces pair will be working on installment in existing franchise and run all-new Bay Area studio.

Yesterday, job listings revealed that Activision is building an all-new games studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. Late today came a report that the megapublisher, one half of Activision Blizzard, has successfully wooed two senior developers away from its archrival, Bay Area-headquartered Electronic Arts.

Visceral's recently minted logo.

According to sources close to Electronic Arts, this afternoon the staff of Visceral Games were informed that the internal studio, formerly known as EA Redwood Shores, was losing two of its senior members--general manager Glen Schofield and COO Michael Condrey. The pair then reportedly let it be known they were going to work at Activision's new studio, which remains unnamed.

Schofield is best known for being the driving force behind Dead Space, which was pitched internally to EA executives by a group of dedicated developers. Most recently, he has been promoting Visceral's upcoming project, Dante's Inferno. In an interview earlier this year, Schofield told GameSpot several unannounced projects are also in the pipeline at the studio.

Departing GM Glen Schofield.

A source that wished to remain anonymous told GameSpot that today's news capped several weeks of rumors of the pair's departure. These were fueled by intense recruiting by Activision of many staffers at Visceral, which had just been rebranded as EA's core gamer label earlier this year. "It's not a very happy day here," said the source.

[UPDATE] After this story was first reported, an EA rep gave GameSpot the following statement: "I can confirm that Glen and Michael are exiting EA. It takes a team of talented people to make a highly rated game like Dead Space. The team at Visceral are currently working on Dante's Inferno, Dead Space Extraction, and new titles that will be announced at a later date." EA also emphasized that EA senior vice president Nick Earl continues to oversee Visceral, where production on Dante's Inferno and Dead Space Extraction is continuing apace.

[UPDATE 2] Activision has confirmed that the exiting EA executives will indeed head up its new San Mateo, California ship. "We are currently hiring employees to work at a new studio that is opening in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California," a rep told GameSpot. "Glen Schofield along with Michael Condrey will lead the studio which will be creating a new game based on one of Activision's existing franchises. We will be providing more details regarding the game at a later date.

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Discussion

122 comments
angelcar
angelcar

It would be sweet if it were the nexylt Mechwarrior

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

this is the studio that will make CoD in third person?

wahyudil
wahyudil

I never like EA with their famous employee exploitation scheme ... but I still loves some of their games ... its great to see such departing news ...

RitterXplode
RitterXplode

@ 12345678ew What? And what about EA? -_-'

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

i hope Dead Space 2 and Dante's Inferno will still amazing after Schofield left. It's a great loss for Visceral and EA

paireon
paireon

Pshaw. That's just a case of Evil VS Evil; both companies have been bombarding us for years with crappy titles underneath which a few gems are hidden, usually thanks to smaller studios they either eat up or raid.

chappy_man
chappy_man

bit of a shock, but when you gotta get that pay, i guess its only buisness

12345678ew
12345678ew

NO! the evil one gets more power! god i hate activision. blizzard needs to tie the leash to a bench or something, so activision can only bark at people.

solidine
solidine

Hopefully Dead Space 2 doesn't suck.

MissMorphine
MissMorphine

oh man this sucks. whats gonna happen with DS2 now? :(

Dgalmun
Dgalmun

Who cares... Two companies just getting along wow...

izmickey
izmickey

Activision and EA just arent getting along nowadays. Wasnt there a dead space 2 coming out? What ever the duo comes out with, its safe to assume that activision will milk that cow dry.....those bastards.

nobeaner
nobeaner

If these two can help develop an existing franchise at Activision and make it really good then I am all for it. Like many posting I was initially upset to seem them leave. Especially since Dead Space was one of my favorite games from last year. But if someone is offering me more money, a better title and/or a better place to work I would go for it too. Im not saying that was the case here, but that is what it would take for me to leave my job to go somewhere new.

tevic
tevic

Maybe they will work on how to develop peripherals for every game ... Too bad for EA, + I dont like activision

pycho22solid
pycho22solid

Heres hoping they make something good...

KhanhAgE
KhanhAgE

Pfft. Great way to ruin your resume. "So...I see you enjoy working for the devil?"

vietboi89
vietboi89

"nothing personal just business, yea they promised to give me a bonus in advance if I gave them some company secrets" very well played sir, u no they have a special place in hell for people like u, yea its called "DEFINITELY NOT HEAVEN... u screwed up now suffer... we need a shorter name"

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

wow didn't EA just give Scofield a huge promotion after dead space? what a jerk. "driving force"? LOL, listening him talk about the game made me feel like my IQ was dropping. the E3 stage demo sold me on Dead Space but he nearly talked me out of it with how generic he made it sound

twztid13
twztid13

finally, someone LEAVING EA. they usually leave other good companies to go TO EA.

namdar
namdar

It's the great circle of life!

D3A7HJ0K3R
D3A7HJ0K3R

"It's nothing personal, it's just business" Meh i've heard that before

Emraldo
Emraldo

Seems odd to jump ship just as the studio starts to get some recognition...

XeonForce
XeonForce

That picture of that guy's face is dying to be punched.

Petri87
Petri87

Dont really understand why you would leave a place where you work on new IPs where you can be more creative to work on old IPs that somewhat hinder creativity. Also EA seems to be a better place to work at now then Activision what whit Infinity Ward always crossing blades whit the Activision producers.

pakhair
pakhair

THIS IS BUSINESS, Things like this happen........... So it's no big deal as always, Anyone who is tracking this industry since long knows what I mean :)..............

themyth01
themyth01

Some bad luck for EA, when people of one of the best studio leave. They have to increase salaries and keep their employees happy.

maverick_76
maverick_76

@issizots Actually valve was responsible for not doing the port of The Orange Box to the PS3, Sierra as far as I know had nothing to do with that.

maverick_76
maverick_76

Too bad they won't be working on an entirely new IP, but hopefully they don't get saddled doing something with Guitar Hero, lol.

issizots
issizots

i know right.... activisioin all together and being blizzard is even involved being that seirra IS the ultimate enemy. activision used to be "okay". Hence it was Seirra that said the PS3 was CRAP and wouldn't publish half life orange box under their name which is why the "other" company took up license for ps3 release. So it's the Sierra within activision/blizzard that all the bullshat is stanking from. Activision for causing all of their so loyal fans amongst others are penalized from their threats and worried to death nothing is ruined from its origins of expertise but if they DO change dead space i will MURDER MY ACTIVISION COLLECTION and take it to CNN. lol

PepitoneConQues
PepitoneConQues

wow... just when EA was making quality games unbelievable.

Devil_Vergil
Devil_Vergil

He looks like a shmuck. . . . I outta punch him money drives the world and Activision is a huge force in this. Have fun blackmailing gaming execs and whining about the fact that EA is the more original company.

Halcalix
Halcalix

@KaGo I liked Dead Space though...

issizots
issizots

oh and i wouldn't worry about dantes inferno that game is going to be an earthquake hit most likely, being it's pretty much done except debugging/polishing/etc. but they also add content all the way up until they actually finish the game almost, so the game could get delayed again just because of "this" stuff here, the DELAY is what i would worry about, being 2k took their hit games off the releasings and set for next year-mid. and i CAN NOT BELIEVE id play final fantasy XIII beffore i played red dead redemption or bioshock 2....LOL just to think i love bioshock so much i bought it on PC when it first came out, rebought it on ps3 and bought exclusive add on pack and it's bad ass. I LOVE that game, I just wish they'd make it more exploreable being an underground utopia they could make it massive and still make it limited but make u feel less claustrophobic.

issizots
issizots

hmmm, yea activision are being jerks. Also so there will be NO MORE dead space-like happenens like this anymore lets say... they make contracts of who has rights to the sequel and such. It also is complicated because the companies change contracts all the time or modify them or "de" modify them and cause problems like this. But yes there should start being legit sequel rights contracts and DLC contracts so devs have to keep their word along with keeping their games label at the same time. wah lah

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

This makes me worry about the quality of Dante's Inferno and, more importantly, Dead Space 2.

xeromus
xeromus

This probably means there won't be a Dead Space sequel unfortunately. I'm sure EA retained the rights to the game and it's trademarks, which would prevent these two from developing a 2nd Dead Space game. That is, unless it is developed within EA, which means without these guys on board, it may not be a good game, just a money grab based on the success of the first one.

XeonForce
XeonForce

Let's enter the mind of senior EA Redwood Shores members... "Hmm... things are getting a little "nice" around here, there are too many original games we're having to make... what can we do? *looks over at Activision* Mwuahahahaaaa....." Well, we know where the true evil of EA was, and like a parasite that has killed it's host, it is migrating to a new host. lolz

FLYEboi50
FLYEboi50

wow...activision is kinda bein a jerk this year. sueing ppl on a game they r taking too long to make. then threats to stop supporting sony. now this. and im not particullarly gonna put all the blame on M$ jr. here, but EA must not be supporting Schofield's needs, money wise that is. I mean c'mon! he basically gave EA Dead Space. A 9 out of 10 game. and after all this speculation, that leaves me with one question: What's going to be of Dead Space 2?

hectic3
hectic3

this kinda sucks, I think EA is really turning themselves around, and now the brains behind one of the best new franchises leaves to activision... Activision is starting to drive me nuts, they have lost their way and are trying to suck us dry for every dollar we have...but they sure do publish some awesome games.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

Why is the feud between ea and activision get into this.

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

tut tut, he was involved in some good games (dead space for one) too bad he went to activision there terrible well not great.

KaGo
KaGo

good riddance Dead Space was a boring and short game, waste of my time and money. I hope they make up for this dissapointing turd with the sequel. Don't give me thumbs down, you know it's true.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Well Dante's Inferno was cancelled for PC and Dead Space turned out to be a 10 hour dud in sales and gameplay hours - so good luck Activision, you'll need it!

tricky-crazy
tricky-crazy

NuKku "man forget the console wars how bout the developer wars man EA and Activision are GOING at it lol" Don't you think there's enough gaming war right now? XD At least, if they want to do a war, I hope they will focus more on publish games rather than suing each other because "It's MY game!" "No it's mine!"