Activision moves to sell off some Sierra studios, “realign staffing” at others

Tuesday, 29 July 2008 07:05 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Activision’s confirmed it’s looking to “realign staffing” at Radical Entertainment and High Moon Studios, and is considering selling Massive Entertainment and Swordfish Studios.

For the record, Radical’s working on Prototype at the moment; High Moon’s just finished up work on Bourne; Massive’s working on the console versions of World in Conflict, now assumed canned; and it’s not clear what UK outfit Swordfish Studios was on right now.

The news comes alongside confirmation that of Sierra’s product slate, only Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age, Spyro, Prototype and an as-yet unannounced property will make the transition to the newly-formed Activision Blizzard.

Activision also said this morning that it’s considering selling Vivendi Games Mobile and Sierra Online.

“We are focused on improving efficiency across the combined organization and are concentrating on businesses where we have leadership positions that are aligned with Activision Publishing’s long-term corporate objectives,” said Activision CEO Mike Griffith.

Press release after the link.

Activision Publishing Broadens Product Portfolio With Crash Bandicoot(R), Ice Age(R), Spyro(R) and Two New Intellectual Properties
Monday July 28, 6:00 pm ET
Company to Streamline Vivendi Games’ Studio Operations

SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Further strengthening its foundation for future growth, Activision Publishing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI – News) today announced that the company will broaden its product portfolio by adding Vivendi Games’ multi-million unit selling properties Crash Bandicoot®, Ice Age® and Spyro® to its roster of proven franchises. The company will also retain two new intellectual properties that are currently in development — Prototype and a second game that has not yet been announced.

Additionally, Activision Publishing will continue to support the Vivendi Games’ catalogue including The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor(TM), which was launched on July 22 in conjunction with the release of Universal Pictures’ theatrical feature film.

Games based on Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age and Spyro have been top-selling titles in North America and Europe. The Crash Bandicoot franchise has sold more than 35 million units across multiple platforms in North America and Europe since its first release in 1996, and life-to-date units of Spyro have exceeded 20 million worldwide. The Ice Age feature films have grossed in excess of $1 billion in theatrical box office revenues worldwide, and Sierra Entertainment’s Ice Age® 2: The Meltdown(TM) sold nearly two million units worldwide.

“Four of the five properties that we are keeping will be wholly owned properties that further bolster our strong brand portfolio,” said Mike Griffith, CEO of Activision Publishing. “We are very excited to add such recognizable and successful brands as Crash Bandicoot, Ice Age and Spyro, which reinforce our leadership position in movie-based and family entertainment video games.”

Griffith added, “We have conducted a thorough review of Vivendi Games’ brand portfolio and are retaining those franchises and titles that are a strong fit with our long-term product strategy. We are reviewing our options regarding those titles that we will not be publishing.”

Additionally, Activision Publishing announced that the company intends to adapt the Vivendi Games’ studio operations to better align the studio structure against the new product slate. The company will realign staffing at Radical Entertainment and High Moon Studios and is exploring options regarding Massive Entertainment and Swordfish Studios, including the possibility of divestiture.

Griffith continued, “We are focused on improving efficiency across the combined organization and are concentrating on businesses where we have leadership positions that are aligned with Activision Publishing’s long-term corporate objectives.”

The company also is evaluating options regarding two non-strategic business units Vivendi Games Mobile and Sierra Online, which provides casual games for the PC and Xbox® Live® Marketplace, including the possibility of divesting these business units.

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision, Publishing, Inc. is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products.