The failure of Prototype 2 to find broad commercial audience has resulted in an effective demise of the game’s developer Radical Entertainment.
Owned by Activision, the studio has been instructed to cease development of its own games immediately and instead support other projects that the publisher is currently working on. A significant reduction has also been made in the studio’s staff.
“Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience,” Activision said in a statement on the matter. “Radical is a very talented team of developers, however, we have explored various options for the studio, including a potential sale of the business, and have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff. As such, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, but the studio will cease development of its own games going forward.”
With the closure of Radical Entertainment’s operations, the PC version of Prototype 2 slated for release on July 24 seemed to be in jeopardy. Activision, however, reassured the fans of the franchise that the game would be releasing for PC on the scheduled date without any delay, removing all fears about its possible cancellation.
Activision went on to thank the game’s developers and fans for supporting the studio and encouraging it to come up with innovative products over the years.
Released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on April 24, 2012, Prototype 2 had a lot of hype surrounding it. The trailers promised the same satisfying experience as its predecessor, which had gone on to earn commercial and critical acclaim despite being accused of bearing a strong resemblance to another popular action-adventure open-world game of that time, Infamous . The sequel became a top seller for a limited period, but the overall sales fell real short of the developer’s expectations.
Activision responded to the unexpected lacklustre performance of Prototype 2 in terms of sales by cutting down the staff of Radical Entertainment significantly while reassigning the remaining employees to work on other projects.
This demise of Radical Entertainment comes as a huge surprise and disappointment for the fans of Prototype, especially the ones who found very little wrong with the sequel. Aside from the flaws with the graphics, which seemed to lack depth, and the gameplay that often came off as monotonous, the game had plenty to offer. The gripping storyline, flashy moves, fast-paced action and plenty of side-missions and achievements to get busy with, Prototype 2 could hardly be considered as a failed attempt to provide an entertaining experience.
The harsh decision taken by Activision regarding the Radical Entertainment comes is indeed startling, though the company most likely has a very valid reason for its intolerance towards the failure of the studio’s recent creative endeavour.