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.
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.
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."

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Avatar image for Kirnl
Kirnl

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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.

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Skull-Fire

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

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MSG-Deathscythe

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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.

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Tremor671

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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.

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Tremor671

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

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Tremor671

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@ 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.

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sun_rider95

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CrimsonMaher you are an idiot :-P

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CrimsonMaher

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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!

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monson21502

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

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artiebillymac

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

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Downloadpilot

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

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Downloadpilot

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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

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KittyHeart

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always sad to see people lose jobs in this economy

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Jaggermaster

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Black Cat kissing Spider Man :o

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chocomomiji

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awwww, yeahhhhhhhhhhh... 26TH COMMENT

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Darkman2007

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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

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daveneonfarrell

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

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kris9031998

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:.(

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shawn_mitchel

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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........

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jebushank

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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.

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Excedra

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ok...

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elbert_b_23

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

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FarmFreshDX

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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?

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FF_fan2004

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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.

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master_zidane

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@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.

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schesak

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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.

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rizal-engine

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

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BigBacon87

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

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Bigboss232

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Wth activision I am disapointed.

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SDBusDriver1979

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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.

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Guzthon

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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! :(

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joce667

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

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joce667

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

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chappy_man

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man, why am i not surprised activision die already

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Bardock47

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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.

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SillySkeleton

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

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JCTiggs

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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.

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big_and_dumb

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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.

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Lurkero

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"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."

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rgn1rountree

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

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