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Activision cracks EA with Sledgehammer

Poaches Visceral men to run new studio
Activision has landed another blow on its predecessor as top-dog publisher, EA, by forming a new, wholly-owned developer called Sledgehammer, run by men who previously helmed Dead Space developer Visceral Games.

Based in home Activision territory of Foster City, California, Sledgehammer Games will be run by Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, previously General Manager and COO of Visceral and, respectively, Executive producer and Senior Development Director of Dead Space. The new studio is already working on an as-yet unannounced game.

Schofield and Condrey seem chuffed to be ramping up a new studio at what was their previous employer's deadliest rival. Schofield said: "This was an opportunity for us to assemble a world-class team made up of developers with a proven track record in delivering top-rated games. We know what it takes to develop a Game of the Year title, and we also know that the title needs the support of a strong publisher to make the game a success."

And Condrey added: "Activision Blizzard's independent studio model is very empowering. We have a fantastic new studio facility, the foundation for a world-class team and the backing of the industry's most profitable game publisher. This was a rare opportunity we couldn't pass up."

The establishment of Sledgehammer Games marks another psychological blow for Actvision Blizzard over EA, which has recently been looking increasingly beleaguered after announcing that it is cutting 1,500 jobs, which equates to 17 per cent of its workforce.

It's also been confirmed that it will close developer Pandemic Studios, which is currently putting the finishing touches to The Saboteur, although Visceral Games, which emerged from EA's in-house Redwood Shores studio and is currently finishing Dante's Inferno, is not threatened with closure.

But the defection of two of its top brass to the opposition is a major blow for EA.

// Interactive
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Everyone has a price and Game Developers are no different. I may not agree with their decision to go to Activision but it was their choice to make.

Look forward to the yearly update of Lead Face Laughing .
StonecoldMC on 18 Nov '09
Activision sux, greedy w****rs
lmimmfn on 18 Nov '09
Just when I thought I couldn't hate Activision any more they go and 'steal' the main men from probably my game of last year.

If Dead Space 2 is crap I'm going to kill Bobby Kotick's dog Mad ............

I'll do it you know..........

Don't think I won't.
flash501 on 18 Nov '09
Activision sux, greedy w****rs

Sorry, from the states, but I think I get the w word. I found this comment funny because not less than 2 years ago (I think) most people were saying something along the lines of...

EA sux, greedy w****rs

I think everyone thought Activision was better, but now that they've adopted EA's winning mentality of "tons of sequels", I guess the shoes on the other foot now.
Android8675 on 18 Nov '09
god how the tables turn. EA finally starts to get its act together, then activision comes tear-arsing through causing all hell on. this industry is so full of s**t-stirring backstabbing bastards im starting to think again about being a gamer, especially a pc gamer and how weve been treated recently by these wastes-of-space. horrible
Willforbes on 18 Nov '09
EA are far worse than Activision, i personally would like to see the good old days of independent studios, where they had complete authority over there games.
Corblex on 19 Nov '09
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