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Report: Activision Staffs Up In Bay Area, Hires Visceral Games Execs

Report: Activision Staffs Up In Bay Area, Hires Visceral Games Execs

July 22, 2009 | By Leigh Alexander

As Activision staffs up a major new studio in the Bay Area, online reports claim that the firm has plucked away GM Glen Schofield and COO Michael Condrey from EA's Visceral Games studio to help lead it.

Thus far, the only indications that the Guitar Hero publisher may be planning a new San Francisco-area studio are a large quantity of job postings, on multiple industry message boards, for a non-specific 'Activision Bay Area' studio.

But now, according to consumer site GameSpot, EA's recently rebranded Visceral Games, the studio behind the Dead Space franchise and Dante's Inferno, has lost general manager Glen Schofield and COO Michael Condrey to Activision's new studio.

Staff at Visceral were reportedly informed that Schofield and Condrey were leaving late yesterday. In addition to Dead Space: Extraction and Dante's Inferno, the EA Redwood Shores-based studio is said to have two unannounced projects in development.

Gamasutra spoke to Schofield at the time of the studio rebrand, which focused on building a distinct, 'core gamer' focused identity for the Visceral studio and its projects. At the time, Schofield said that a strong identity for a studio builds motivation, team cohesion and dedication, and improves quality levels by correlation.

We have requested comment on the apparent move from both Electronic Arts and Activision, and will update with any comments we receive.

[UPDATE: "I can confirm that Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey are exiting EA," a rep for the company said in a statement to Gamasutra. "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 to be announced at a later date. Production is uninterrupted on Dante's Inferno and Dead Space Extraction. SVP Nick Earl continues to lead the Visceral Games Studio."]

[UPDATE 2: Activision has made an official statement to a number of sites, including, noting that the duo "will lead the studio which will be creating a new game based on one of Activision’s existing franchises." Further information on the prospective title isn't currently available.]

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