Raven Software trims staff

With Wolfenstein, Wolverine out the door, Activision subsidiary said to have let 30-35 developers go as part of transition to two development teams.


Raven Software has had a busy past few months. In May, the Activision-owned studio shipped X-Men Origins: Wolverine, a decently reviewed film tie-in to Marvel Entertainment and 20th Century Fox's film of the same name. Three months later, the studio shipped Wolfenstein, an update to id Software's classic shooter that also received a positive reaction from critics.

A few ravens have apparently flown the coop.
A few ravens have apparently flown the coop.

Unfortunately, with both projects now out the door, Activision is apparently trimming headcount at the Madison, Wisconsin, developer. Gaming site Shacknews reports that Raven Software laid off up to 56 developers today.

"With the recent completion of both X-Men Origins: Wolverine, based on the summer blockbuster movie, and Wolfenstein, the next chapter of the famed franchise, Raven Software is slightly reducing its workforce to better reflect the studio's upcoming slate," an Activision representative told GameSpot.

Raven Software remains at work on Singularity, which was delayed in July to Activision's January-March 2010 quarter.

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Avatar image for coolcoolguybg

Raven Software is one of the best video game studios ever. Heretic, Hexen, Soldier of Fortune, Quake 4, Wolfenstein, the upcoming Singularity... All those games are really cool. Why, ActiVision, WHY?! I feel sorry for the laid off guys. They are true professionals and I hope they'll remain in the video game industry.

Avatar image for hotplayer220

Hmm, for those of you who have seen the Original xXx (Vin Deisel), you will recall a scene where a group of scientists complete the construction of a very powerful biological weapon. Only to have it used on them during there celebration. Looks like the exact same thing to me.

Avatar image for spenney_2000

The game is great but it is severely stricken with bugs. This game requires patches and there is no one left to generate them.

Avatar image for Inconnux

I have yet to play a Raven game that wasn't tons of fun... sad news

Avatar image for Ca9ine

Activision has sunk so low... Luckily id Software and Splash Damage are gone from that shameful publisher.

Avatar image for guitarboy2954

Face it whens the last time anyone saw anything good come from activision. All they put out are half done games. Raven had quality titles till activision took over.

Avatar image for akmex


Avatar image for NuKkU

i hope Raven continues to make great games i like Raven

Avatar image for Ripper_TV

Now I know this is not a popular opinion, but I'm gonna say it anyway. I think it's a right thing to do, Raven stopped delivering after the first Soldier of Fortune, their games seemed dull and soulless.

Avatar image for smoothn00dle

@peetowser Sorry 4 post twice but I just read your comment. I don't believe Activision is making game here. Raven's games are direct/indirect compete against COD franchise. I believe Activision bought Raven cheap and slowly destroy this talented developer so EA won't get it. Bad 4 Raven, they choose the wrong buyer. A good game developer lesson

Avatar image for smoothn00dle

Raven is a good lesson for game developers that don't hold on to one platform/technology/gameplay for too long. The competition is just too stronge vs MW1 & KZ.. I bet Monolith is next.

Avatar image for jazilla

The game industry is ridiculous when it comes to job security. Why anyone would want to work in a thankless, no perks, dehumanizing, long-hours, indoor gig like that is beyond me. I would rather be a broke artist making a game I want to make rather than working on a sports title or something like that because I needed a job but wanted to make an RPG lol.

Avatar image for peetowser

Raven started sinking after working on that Marvel Alliance game... We could see there was something amiss when a studio renowned for its great FPS (SoF & 2, RtCW) was doing top-down beat-emups... Activision is retarded, they had Soldier of Fortune 3 done by Activision Value instead of letting Raven do it, with the results we know. Maybe they had to because any sane developper left at Raven was probably gone at that point... I sure hope so because if anyone left from the SoF2 team just got fired it's a shame they went misused this way... And with that franchise run into the ground, along with iD gone, what is left for Activision to make value games out of??

Avatar image for Rottenwood

@agathalynn Agatha, we need to talk. 1.) Spamming advertisements is lower than low, and likely to get you a quick boot or an all-out ban. 2.) There are, maybe, fifty people that will read this thread. It wasn't even worth the time to make an account for this level of "marketing." 3.) Cougarster? That's the worst name I've ever heard. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? I guess you're going for a connection to Friendster, which would have been okay 10 years ago, but everyone uses Facebook now. 4.) Nobody wants to think about a pudgy World of WarCraft addict hooking up with some horny old bag of bones. Thank you for your time.

Avatar image for brian_13un

Hope its Great but I also hope it would not be ^_^

Avatar image for kvan33

A mediocre movie tie-in game and outdated FPS sequel aren't going to keep a studio alive. These days, you need at least one AAA title. Let's face it, Raven doesn't make them anymore.

Avatar image for Rottenwood

"Hey, guys. Thanks for working so many long hours to get these games out on time and bug-free. Anyhow, you're fired. Feel free to help yourselves to whatever is in our dumpster out back." Great way to save money, but don't be surprised if developers start having trouble finding people who want to work for them. A lot of people don't like being discarded whenever it's expedient. I'd like to see employees fight to get long-term contracts and other forms of guaranteed pay.

Avatar image for Patatopan

Aww no!!!! I wonder how many of those people were from the original team that worked on heretic and hexen.

Avatar image for shawn7324

I loved Wolverine, & currently enjoying Wolfenstein.

Avatar image for perfect_chao

Please Raven.. make a new Soldier of fortune game doh

Avatar image for Morphine_OD

well, I believe they will gather some people when the next project is ready for development. they just tend to cut the staff when it's useless.

Avatar image for Adziboy

Best of luck to all developers that got let go - although I didn't but it, Wolverines demo was awesome and Wolfenstein seems to be pretty good. I'm sure they could've done more, given the chance. Best of luck guys.

Avatar image for WeaponX84

That sucks, I loved Wolverine and Wolfenstein. I wish that more games of that quality were around. Now its going to be more rare with the staff cut! Glad I just play 'em

Avatar image for bloodyrooster

That's why you don't work for game companies, they boot people after every launch.

Avatar image for jsbuck99

BUY WOLFENSTEIN BOYD830 its good and underated

Avatar image for ThisNameIsDumb

That just means they're not developing as much anymore.. which is true due to the fact they just released a game =P

Avatar image for Nerkcon

This is why indie is the why to go, even if the budgets suck.

Avatar image for snottrag21

Man that really sucks. I see alot of those guys come in and shop at the best buy I work at and their pretty cool dudes. Well I hope the best for them!

Avatar image for ever06

Those guys that got laid off needs to come start up a company in Chicago. It'll be nice to see another new game company downtown Chicago because right now it's really slim picking.

Avatar image for SDMF_TrueBlue

Unfortunate. Best of luck to those looking for employment. id should make the next Wolfenstein.

Avatar image for Gladestone1

Im same with SIns of mosin..Im about 3/4 of the way in myself..Game rocks..The head shots are awesome..Specially on sniper mode, shoot the head an it pops off..Always get a sinister smile on my face..Im also playing batman..Two great titles back to back weeks, next up for me marvel ultimate alliance 2..Cant wait for that one either..Im siding with Captain America on that one..Always go with the underdogs..

Avatar image for lurkero

Oh now I see. Raven's owned by Activision, and now that id is with Bethesda, and Activision has no other franchises to milk right now, Raven is useless to Activision.

Avatar image for MFazio23

It's really too bad, because Raven's an amazing developer.

Avatar image for parchisi

The new Wolfenstein game kicks ass. I hope its a success so that they'll get to work on the next one. BJ Blaskowicz (spelling?) is a BAMF!

Avatar image for Quinzark

ouch. just hope they kept the best & that those let go can find work in another company.

Avatar image for Neogenic

Can't say i like either of the games they produced, but it does go to show how tough the gaming industry is right now.

Avatar image for Neogenic

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for otanikun

Bummer dudes

Avatar image for Ovirew

Now I see why they didn't get to have a hand in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2...

Avatar image for Bobmarley00

The game was horrible, the let them go because the developers did not listen to the thousands of threads made on the wolfenstein forums. The game will sink unlike RTCW, which people still play

Avatar image for TIE_Elite_Pilot

well that explains why I got no feedback at all when I sent Raven a Demo Reel 3 weeks ago . . .

Avatar image for railroberto2007

activision is evil

Avatar image for Sins-of-Mosin

Sitting around 75% on gamerankings will make me think that the cuts were based on that more then anything else. And yes, that number really does matter. Seems Raven is already cutting costs as they probably expect below average sales.

Avatar image for akmex

it looked like a good game.. ?

Avatar image for boyd803

critics have drew a mix reaction of review on wolfenstein dont know i am going to buy it

Avatar image for KreepLX

I am 68% through Wolfenstein and it is really fun. They put a really cool twist on shooters by adding a little role playing environment into it. I wonder if any of the old "Chopper Command" crew still work there?

Avatar image for Golbez_77

This is nothing new, jobs are lossed as games are finished and new jobs are created when new games go into development.

Avatar image for lamprey263

I use to like their older games like Soldier of Fortune and Jedi Knight, heck even Quake 4 was a lot of fun, but I've no desire to try Wolfenstein just yet, and I can't say I'm too excited about Singularity. Maybe this downsize reflects their rather limited appeal these days.

Avatar image for Wingman1977

It's sad to see people lose their jobs. I hope they all find dev jobs in the industry soon (especially since the holidays are only 4 months away). I can sympathy with them since I recently lost my job too (I hope I get a new gig soon since now the blockbuster games are coming out)

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