Radical Entertainment

Last updated

Radical Entertainment Inc.
Type Subsidiary
Industry Video games
Founded1991;30 years ago (1991)
Founders
  • Rory Armes
  • Dave Davis
  • Ian Wilkinson
Headquarters,
Canada
Products
Parent
Website radical.ca (archived)

Radical Entertainment Inc. was a Canadian video game developer based in Vancouver, British Columbia and a subsidiary of Activision. The studio was founded in 1991 by industry veterans Rory Armes and Dave Davis, as well as newcomer Ian Wilkinson. It is best known for developing three games in the Crash Bandicoot franchise, and the Prototype series of games.

Contents

On 28 June 2012, due to the financial failure of Prototype 2 , Radical Entertainment suffered a "significant reduction" in staff, and would from then on focus solely on supporting other Activision studios, while ceasing development on their own projects. [1] Studio head Dr. David "Dave" Fracchia left the company in May 2014. Radical Entertainment contributed to Destiny in 2014.

History

Origin (1991–2005)

Former Radical Entertainment logo used until ca. 1999. Radical Entertainment old logo.gif
Former Radical Entertainment logo used until ca. 1999.

Radical Entertainment was founded in 1991 by Rory Armes, Dave Davis, and Ian Wilkinson, of which Davis and Armes had previously worked at Vancouver-based Distinctive Software. The studio primarily developed Nintendo Entertainment System ports and adaptations of other video games, peaking at eight projects in 1994. Mike Ribero left his position as Sega of America's vice president of sales and marketing to become CEO of Radical Entertainment in 1996. [2] Between 1997 and 1998, several employees left the studio to form Barking Dog Studios.

369 Interactive

In 2003, Radical Entertainment opened a development division, 369 Interactive, which was set to develop multiple titles based on the CSI franchise, in partnership with Ubi Soft.

Acquisition by Vivendi Universal (2005–2008)

Although Radical Entertainment developed few titles for Vivendi Universal Entertainment, the titles gained massive success and warranted the company's interest in the developers. In 2005, Vivendi acquired Radical Entertainment; however, as described by a former developer at Radical, the mood did not change much and Radical still operated as an independent game developing company. After being acquired by Vivendi, Radical began to make many games such as Scarface: The World Is Yours and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction while being published under Vivendi's Sierra Entertainment label. Radical was also given the license to continue development of the Crash Bandicoot franchise which was also published under Sierra Entertainment. Radical took over the development of Crash Tag Team Racing from Traveller's Tales. Due to the success of Crash Tag Team Racing, Radical started the development of Crash of the Titans and proclaimed that "Crash was home at Radical" stating that Radical would develop all further Crash games. The critical and commercial success of Crash of the Titans spawned one more sequel, Crash: Mind over Mutant , which managed to both critically beat its predecessor as well as commercially. During the development of Crash: Mind Over Mutant, Radical began working on its first original intellectual property, Prototype .

Subsidiary of Activision (2008–2009)

In 2008 it was announced that Vivendi Games and Activision were to form Activision Blizzard. The merger changed the mood of Radical and made it more like a first-party developer, instead of independent. At the time of the merge Radical was working on three different projects; one was an unnamed project, and the other two were Crash: Mind Over Mutant and Prototype. After the merger took place, about half of Radical's staff was cut under Activision Blizzard's restructuring. This resulted in the cancellation of an unnamed project while the development of Crash and Prototype was unaffected. As revealed later by a former developer at Radical, the unnamed project was Scarface 2, which had been in development at Radical for over two years and had nearly gone gold, the developer stated that Activision cancelled the project. Crash: Mind Over Mutant was one of the last games to be published under the Sierra Entertainment label, albeit only in Europe, as North American copies use Activision's logo. Nevertheless, Activision themselves are given credit within the video game. Prototype was published through Activision.

After the release of Prototype in 2009 Radical did not officially announce any new projects, though it was revealed again by another former developer that Radical was working on another unnamed project, which had been in development for over a year. However, when Radical Entertainment experienced layoffs which resulted in over 60 people losing jobs, the project Crash Landed was cancelled by Activision. [3] In 2019, environment artist Wayne Dalton leaked images of this unannounced project which was revealed to be a video game tie-in to the cancelled Spider-Man 4 film, taking over development from Treyarch. At the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards, Radical announced Prototype 2 , which was set to be its largest game, incorporating many assets and gameplay mechanics from the cancelled Spider-Man 4 game.

Prototype 2, layoffs (2010–2014)

Radical Entertainment released the first details for Prototype 2 in an interview with EGMi. In the same interview they revealed that they halted the development on an unknown game, possibly the rumoured Crash Bandicoot title, after the success of Prototype. However, other candidates for the halted game were rumored to be an unknown Spider-Man game and a Jason Bourne game. This title was later revealed to be cancelled. In January 2011, an artist posted video footage showing the cancelled Jason Bourne game called Treadstone. [4] The game was cancelled when the Bourne license was reacquired by Ludlum Entertainment, [5] and then licensed to Electronic Arts. [4]

To celebrate the release of Prototype 2, Radical Entertainment revealed that, to coincide, they were releasing RadNet. Similar to Call of Duty: Elite , RadNet is an online gaming hub. RadNet contains competitive challenges which in turn give the player rewards for in-game use, Avatar accessories, development videos and Dynamic themes. An iPhone game, Protoslice, was also released to coincide with the release of the game, the iPhone app had partial overseen development by Radical, whilst the actual game was not developed by them.

Prototype 2 was released in April 2012. It was Radical Entertainment's most successful game launch. The game was well-received, with positive reviews on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, with the PC release coming at a later date in 2012. The sales for Prototype 2 were the highest of games in April 2012. [6] Globally, Prototype 2 sold less than a million copies in the two months following release.

On 28 June 2012, Activision announced that Radical Entertainment had seen a "significant reduction in staff", and that the studio "will cease development of its own games going forward", prompting media speculation that the developer had closed. [1] The publisher cited Prototype 2's failure to "find a broad commercial audience" as the reason behind Radical's closure. According to Activision, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, thus, while keeping the studio active, leaves them as a support team. [1]

Games developed

YearTitlePlatform(s)
1992 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends Nintendo Entertainment System
The Terminator
1993 The Battle of Olympus Game Boy
Mario Is Missing! Nintendo Entertainment System
Pelé! Sega Genesis
Wayne's World Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System
1994 Bébé's Kids Super Nintendo Entertainment System
MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head Sega Genesis
Mario's Time Machine Nintendo Entertainment System
Pelé II: World Tournament Soccer Sega Genesis
Al Unser Jr.'s Road to the Top Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Mountain Bike Rally
Speed Racer in My Most Dangerous Adventures
Brett Hull Hockey
1995 Brett Hull Hockey '95 Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo Entertainment System
1996 The Divide: Enemies Within Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
Power Piggs of the Dark Age Super Nintendo Entertainment System
NHL Powerplay '96 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Sega Saturn
Grid Runner
1997 Independence Day
NHL Powerplay '98 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
NHL All-Star Hockey '98 Sega Saturn
1998 ESPN X Games Pro Boarder Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
1999Blood LinesPlayStation
MTV Sports: Snowboarding
NBA Basketball 2000 Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
NHL Championship 2000
2000 Jackie Chan Stuntmaster PlayStation
MTV Sports: Pure Ride
2001 Dark Summit GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
The Simpsons: Road Rage
2002 Tetris Worlds GameCube, Xbox
Monsters, Inc. Scream Arena GameCube
James Cameron's Dark Angel PlayStation 2, Xbox
2003 Hulk Microsoft Windows, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
The Simpsons: Hit & Run
2005 The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Crash Tag Team Racing GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox
2007 Crash of the Titans PlayStation 2, Wii, Xbox 360
2008 Crash: Mind over Mutant
2009 Prototype Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012 Prototype 2
2014 Destiny (as a support team for Bungie) [7] Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Canceled games

YearTitlePlatform(s)
1994 Brett Hull Hockey Sega Genesis
1995RHI Roller Hockey '95Super Nintendo Entertainment System
2001A.I. The Circuit or A.I. Gladiator [8] Xbox
2006 Scarface: The World Is Yours [9] Xbox 360
~2007The Simpsons: Hit & Run 2 [10] Unknown
2008Scarface 2Unknown
Treadstone [4]
2010I Am Crash Bandicoot, Crash 2010 or Crash Landed [8] PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
2012Prototype 3 [8] PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

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References

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  6. Sinclair, Brendan (14 June 2012). "Prototype 2 tops dismal April sales". GameSpot . CBS Interactive . Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  7. "Bungie : Destiny : Credits". Bungie . Retrieved 18 January 2020.
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  10. January 2020, Heather Wald 22 (22 January 2020). "The Simpsons: Hit and Run 2 was in the works at one point and even had a gameplay prototype". gamesradar. Retrieved 25 August 2021.