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Activision Closes  Guitar Hero ,  Band Hero  Co-Dev Budcat
Activision Closes Guitar Hero, Band Hero Co-Dev Budcat
November 16, 2010 | By Kyle Orland

November 16, 2010 | By Kyle Orland
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More: Console/PC



Amidst questions surrounding the future of Activision's Bizarre Creations, reports suggest Iowa-based Activision studio Budcat Creations has been shut down today.

PC Gamer cites an anonymous source at the Iowa City-based company who reports the employees were greeted this morning by security guards and consultants who told them they had been let go. The report is backed up by Tweets from local developers.

The employees at the developer, which had around 70 staffers, according to LinkedIn, apparently received a generous severance package, according to PC Gamer's source.

Since being acquired by Activision almost exactly two years ago, the company has worked primarily on PlayStation 2 and Wii versions of titles in the popular Guitar Hero and Band Hero series.

Earlier this year, the company released Pix Maze, its first title in the iTunes App Store, as part of a move into digital titles.

Before the Activision acquisition, Budcat spent seven years working on numerous projects for Activision, Majesco and EA, including entries in the Madden, NASCAR and Medal of Honor series.

[UPDATE: Activision has released an official statement to Gamasutra regarding the Budcat closure and other layoffs around the company.

"We continue to streamline our music development resources to ensure that they are aligned against our slate and strategic goals," the 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," it continues. "Approximately 88 positions, or approximately 1% of our global workforce, will be impacted by these reductions. 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."]


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Comments


Ian Fisch
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This sucks. Quality studio.

Samuel Batista
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I'm actually quite happy to hear that employees got a nice little pat on the back in the form of lots of money from Activision. If constant studio closures and startups are to be a part of the culture of this Industry, let's at least make an effort to make these disruptions seamless for the people that work for the big corporations.



Activision Blizzard is a greedy corporation, with nothing in mind but money. But they seem to be learning that all of that money comes from the hard work of many individuals that will leave if treated like nothing but resources (and experienced talent is difficult to come by these days).



Best of luck to the people that worked at Budcat.

David Fisk
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well, define "generous severance package". In this industry, you can easily be out of work for a year, I was recently laid off from my studio (along with about 20 other people), and our severance was not that good. To me, a generous severance package is at least 6 months pay with insurance. Activision seems to be the new EA.

James Fielder
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I'm currently a grad student at U-Iowa, and my son is good friends with the son of a senior Budcat developer. Last year Budcat hosted 5-6th graders (my son included) at their studio, which is (was) just blocks from where I'm writing this.



Severance package or relocation, I feel for my son's friend's father given this happened right before the holidays!

benn rice
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just when i get my first game out the door (A MUSIC game!, but where you play REAL music (real notes) ) all these news stories about the..... decimation of the music game industry hit. 8(



games like mine and rock band 3's Pro Mode (on keyboards, i can't imagine the guitar pro mode catching on too much) should be the new direction for the music genre. get people actually building real melodic skills with all their time investment!



try my ENTIRE game ( http://PlayRealNotes.com ) for FREE, and Pay What You Want if you like it.


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