|Defunct||July 10, 2014|
|Fate||Merged with and into Infinity Ward|
|Products|| Tony Hawk's series (1999–2007)|
Guitar Hero series (2007–2010)
Number of employees
Neversoft Entertainment was an American video game developer, founded in July 1994 by Joel Jewett, Mick West and Chris Ward. Neversoft was known for the Spider-Man video game as well as the Tony Hawk's and Guitar Hero video game franchises. The company was acquired by Activision in October 1999.Their last game was the Extinction mode of Call of Duty: Ghosts , and the studio merged with Infinity Ward, a primary developer on the Call of Duty franchise, on May 3, 2014 and was made defunct on July 10, 2014.
Neversoft was founded in July 1994 by three employees of Malibu Interactive (previously Acme Interactive), a division of Malibu Comics based in Westlake Village, California. At that time, the primary platforms were the home gaming consoles, the Genesis/Mega Drive and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Games for these systems could be developed by small teams, anywhere from two to ten developers. As a result, it was much easier than at present to set up a game development company, and several groups of people had already left Malibu to strike out on their own. Joel Jewett, a native of Montana and a CPA, was at the time head of development at the rapidly shrinking Malibu Interactive. He teamed up with Mick West, a game programmer, who had just completed working on BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat for the Genesis, and Chris Ward, an artist.
In July 1994, Neversoft was formed. They initially found work for Playmates Interactive, a then-division of Playmates Toys who were about to release a line of toys called Skeleton Warriors and wanted a video game to go along with the toys and the cartoon series. Neversoft began work on the game design and moved into offices in Woodland Hills, California. Neversoft worked on the Genesis version for five months. Over that time they hired another artist and a level designer. In December 1994, Playmates cancelled the game. They were not unhappy with the progress, but had decided that they needed to develop the game for the Sega Saturn. 1995 was spent developing Skeleton Warriors for the Sega Saturn. Over the course of 1995, Neversoft grew rapidly by hiring three programmers, five artists, a level designer, a tester and an office administrator. Skeleton Warriors was finished in time for the 1995 holiday season and Neversoft began looking for other work while they ported Skeleton Warriors to the PlayStation in 1996.
Neversoft continued to expand during 1996, expanding to over twenty employees. They worked for six months on a game based on Ghost Rider for Crystal Dynamics, which was cancelled due to financial problems with the publisher. With some excess capacity Neversoft started to develop a game of their own design, initially called Big Guns. The technology developed there was used in their next project, a conversion of the PC game MDK . Towards the end of 1996, Neversoft sold the idea for Big Guns to Sony Computer Entertainment and they began development. 1997 was a tumultuous year for Neversoft. The MDK conversion took far longer than expected, and the Big Guns game (renamed Exodus) went through numerous design changes at the behest of Sony and was cancelled in November 1997. The company shrunk back to just twelve employees. Neversoft spent the next few months shopping around their technology, meeting with numerous companies and looking for work.
In January 1998, just as Neversoft was about to run out of money, they had a meeting with Activision, who were looking for someone to re-develop Apocalypse , a failed internal project. The technology developed for Big Guns turned out to be ideal for the project, Activision was impressed and Neversoft began work on Apocalypse. In May 1998, Apocalypse was going very well, and Activision signed up Neversoft to develop a prototype for a skateboarding game. This proceeded slowly as they could not spare many people from Apocalypse. The initial prototypes resembled the arcade game Top Skater . Apocalypse wrapped up in October 1998 and development began in earnest on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater for the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. By the end of 1998, the game development was in full swing and Neversoft comprised 16 people: six programmers, five artists, three level designers, one producer and Joel, the company's president.
From 1999 to 2007, Neversoft developed nine Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games and increased their employees to over 150.
In 2005, Neversoft developed a Western action-adventure open world game entitled Gun , alongside Beenox and Rebellion Developments.
In 2006, Activision acquired the Guitar Hero series from Harmonix Music Systems, as well as RedOctane, and chose Neversoft as the developer. Neversoft developed several games in the franchise, breaking several records with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock . The games following Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock would be developed by Vicarious Visions, developers of the Wii ports and Guitar Hero: Van Halen .In light of this, 50 employees were laid off on February 11, 2010. In May 2014 it was reported that Neversoft had been merged with Call of Duty creators Infinity Ward to create what was internally referred to as a "super-studio".
Neversoft was officially made defunct on July 10, 2014, 20 years to the day of its founding, with the remaining employees attending a burning of a sculpture of the skewered eyeball from their logo that has been part of their offices before.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (THPS) was released on the PlayStation in August 1999. Development of a sequel began immediately after its release. Spider-Man was also developed for Activision in 2000. Like THPS, the technology for this game was based on the Apocalypse engine, which was in turn based on the Big Guns engine. Neversoft was now developing two major games in parallel, and expanded into two large teams. Activision acquired Neversoft in the summer of 1999 in a stock swap deal. The founders of Neversoft and several key employees signed four-year employment agreements.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 and Spider-Man were both released in 2000. Neversoft began work on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 specifically for the PlayStation 2. After both teams finished their projects they were merged into one large team. THPS3 was developed using the RenderWare game engine. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was released in 2001, followed by Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 in 2002. In 2003 Neversoft reworked the game with a more story-oriented approach in Tony Hawk's Underground , followed by a sequel in Tony Hawk's Underground 2 in 2004. In 2005 Neversoft again split into two teams to begin work on the internally developed Gun and the seventh version of the Tony Hawk's series — Tony Hawk's American Wasteland .
Tony Hawk's Project 8 was developed and released in 2006. This was the first title under Neversoft that was developed as a next-gen title for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Tony Hawk's Proving Ground was released in 2007. It is the second title for the PlayStation 3 and third for Xbox 360 in the Tony Hawk's series. It was the last Tony Hawk game to be developed by Neversoft; the franchise moved to Robomodo.
After Activision acquired RedOctane and the Guitar Hero series, Harmonix developed their last Guitar Hero game, Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s , before they were acquired by MTV. Neversoft became the developer for the Guitar Hero series beginning with Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles, using their in-house game engine made from scratch instead of Harmonix's engine. Several Guitar Hero series games have been developed by Neversoft since 2007, including Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock , Guitar Hero: Aerosmith , Guitar Hero World Tour (incorporating drums and vocals alongside guitar), Guitar Hero: Metallica , Guitar Hero 5 , Band Hero and Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock .
|1996||Skeleton Warriors||Sega Saturn, PlayStation|
|1999||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater|
|Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2|
|2001||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3||PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox|
|2002||Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4|
|2003||Tony Hawk's Underground|
|2004||Tony Hawk's Underground 2|
|2005||Tony Hawk's American Wasteland||PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, Xbox 360|
|2006||Tony Hawk's Project 8||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|2007||Tony Hawk's Proving Ground|
|Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock|
|2008||Guitar Hero: Aerosmith|
|Guitar Hero World Tour|
|2009||Guitar Hero: Metallica|
|Guitar Hero 5|
|2010||Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock|
|2011||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii|
|2013||Call of Duty: Ghosts||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
Raven Software Corporation is an American video game developer based in Wisconsin and founded in 1990. In 1997, Raven made an exclusive publishing deal with Activision and was subsequently acquired by them. After the acquisition, many of the studio's original developers, largely responsible for creating the Heretic and Hexen: Beyond Heretic games, left to form Human Head Studios.
Activision Publishing, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Santa Monica, California. It currently serves as the publishing business for its parent company, Activision Blizzard, and consists of several subsidiary studios. Activision is one of the largest third-party video game publishers in the world and was the top United States publisher in 2016.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, released as Tony Hawk's Skateboarding in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, is a skateboarding video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It was released for the PlayStation on September 29, 1999 and was later ported to the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, and N-Gage.
Infinity Ward, Inc. is an American video game developer. They developed the video game Call of Duty, along with seven other installments in the Call of Duty series. Vince Zampella, Grant Collier, and Jason West established Infinity Ward in 2002 after working at 2015, Inc. previously. All of the 22 original team members of Infinity Ward came from the team that had worked on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault while at 2015, Inc. Activision helped fund Infinity Ward in its early days, buying up 30 percent of the company. The studio's first game, World War II shooter Call of Duty, was released on the PC in 2003. The day after the game was released, Activision bought the rest of Infinity Ward, signing employees to long-term contracts. Infinity Ward went on to make Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and the Modern Warfare reboot.
Tony Hawk's Underground is a skateboarding video game and the fifth entry in the Tony Hawk's series after Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4. It was developed by Neversoft and published by Activision in 2003 for the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Game Boy Advance. In 2004, it was published for Microsoft Windows in Australia and New Zealand as a budget release.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 is a skateboarding video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It is the second installment in the Tony Hawk's series of sports games and was released for the PlayStation in 2000, with subsequent ports to Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, and Dreamcast the same year. In 2001, the game was ported to the Mac OS, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, and Xbox. The game was later ported to Windows Mobile and Windows Phone devices in 2006 and to iOS devices in 2010.
RedOctane, Inc. was an American electronic entertainment company best known for producing the Guitar Hero series, beginning in November 2005. RedOctane became a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision in 2006. In February 2010, Activision closed the RedOctane division.
Apocalypse is a third-person shooter video game released for the PlayStation, developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It features actor Bruce Willis, who provides the main character's likeness and voice.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x is a 2001 skateboarding video game in the Tony Hawk's series. Developed by Neversoft and Treyarch, and published by Activision under the Activision O2 label, Pro Skater 2x is a re-release featuring the 19 levels from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Pro Skater 2, as well as five levels exclusive to the game. Some elements from the then-recently released Pro Skater 3 were included, along with other new features. It was released exclusively in North America for Xbox on November 15, 2001 as a launch title for the system.
Tony Hawk's is a skateboarding video game series published by Activision and endorsed by the American professional skateboarder of the same name. The series was primarily developed for home consoles by Neversoft from launch to 2007, until Activision transferred the franchise to Robomodo in 2008, who developed the franchise until 2015 when Activision and Hawk's license expired, leaving the future of the series uncertain. In 2020, the series returned under Activision with a remake of the original two games in the series, with development handled by Vicarious Visions. The series has spawned a total of 21 games.
Guitar Hero is a series of music rhythm game video games first released in 2005, in which players use a guitar-shaped game controller to simulate playing primarily lead, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar across numerous songs. Players match notes that scroll on-screen to colored fret buttons on the controller, strumming the controller in time to the music in order to score points, and keep the virtual audience excited. The games attempt to mimic many features of playing a real guitar, including the use of fast-fingering hammer-ons and pull-offs and the use of the whammy bar to alter the pitch of notes. Most games support single player modes, typically a Career mode to play through all the songs in the game, and both competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. With the introduction of Guitar Hero World Tour in 2008, the game includes support for a four-player band including vocals and drums. The series initially used mostly cover versions of songs created by WaveGroup Sound, but most recent titles feature soundtracks that are fully master recordings, and in some cases, special re-recordings, of the songs. Later titles in the series feature support for downloadable content in the form of new songs.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is a 2015 skateboarding video game developed by Robomodo and Disruptive Games, and published by Activision. The sixteenth installment in the Tony Hawk's series, the game is the first new entry in the main series since 2007's Proving Ground and the first Pro Skater since 2002's Pro Skater 4, as the series had been put on hold following a lack of critical and commercial success with later games.
Beenox Inc. is a Canadian video game developer established in 2000 in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The studio became a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision on May 25, 2005.
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is a music rhythm video game developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It is the third main installment in the Guitar Hero series. It is the first game in the series to be developed by Neversoft after Activision's acquisition of RedOctane and MTV Games' purchase of Harmonix, the previous development studio for the series. The game was released worldwide for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 in October 2007, with Budcat Creations assisting Neversoft on developing the PlayStation 2 port and Vicarious Visions solely developing on the Wii port respectively. Aspyr published the Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X versions of the game, releasing them later in 2007.
SuperVillain Studios is an American video game development company that develops for the Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Portable.
Tony Hawk's Underground 2: Remix is a skateboarding video game in the Tony Hawk's series. The game, developed by Neversoft and Shaba Games and published by Activision, is the first handheld release in the series for the PlayStation Portable. Primarily a port of its console counterpart, the game featured a different progression, with four exclusive levels, exclusive characters, and new cutscenes. "Create-a-Park" was notably absent in the game, with some graphics and other aspects toned-down from the console version. It was released on March 24, 2005, as a launch title for the system.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD is a skateboarding video game in the Tony Hawk's series. Developed by Robomodo and published by Activision, Pro Skater HD is a high-definition remake of classic levels from Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Pro Skater 2, and, via download, Pro Skater 3. It was released in 2012 for Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade on July 18, for PlayStation 3 through PlayStation Network on August 28 and Steam on September 18. The game was delisted from Steam and all other digital marketplaces on July 17, 2017.
THUG Pro is a total conversion mod of the 2004 video game Tony Hawk's Underground 2. It uses its gameplay as the basis for an all-encompassing collection of levels from every original Neversoft game in the series, for use in single-player and online multiplayer gameplay.
Tony Hawk's Skate Jam is a skateboarding video game developed and published by American studio Maple Media. A free-to-play game for iOS and Android mobile phones, Skate Jam is the only game in the Tony Hawk's video game series to not be published by Activision, as Activision's publishing license expired in 2015.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a skateboarding video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. It was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 4, 2020, and was released on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S on March 26, 2021, and is set to be released for Nintendo Switch later on June 25, 2021. It is a remaster of the first two games in the Tony Hawk's series: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater (1999) and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000) which were originally developed by Neversoft. It is the first major game in the series since Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 (2015) and is noted for being Vicarious Visions' final work as a subsidiary of Activision before it was merged into Blizzard Entertainment on January 22, 2021.