Looks like another Activision studio is no more. After a very long run in the industry, famed Tony Hawk Pro Skater developer (and recent collaborator on the Call of Duty franchise), Neversoft is set to merge with Infinity Ward to form a sort of “super studio.”
The news comes from Patrick “Scoops” Klepek over on Giant Bomb who reported over the weekend that they had obtained an internal memo from Eric Hirshberg, CEO over at Activision Publishing. In the note, Hirshberg detailed the merging of both studios with the Neversoft name being retired. The decision came after work had been completed on Call of Duty Ghosts and Activision saw how well both studios worked together and how complimentary their skills fit each other.
As a result of the merger, Neversoft studio founder Joel Jewett and studio director Scott Pease, who have been with the company for over 20 years, have decided to retire. Dave Stohl, VP of worldwide studios at Activision will take over as studio head, replacing Infinity Ward’s Steve Ackrich, who will remain in a leadership role.
At this point in time, I can’t say this is a surprising turn of events especially when you consider that many of the alternative studios that Activision has (Neversoft, Raven Software, Radical Entertainment) seem to be regulated to helping on the Call of Duty franchise these days. Still, it’s sad to see the Neversoft brand retiring as they made franchises like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Guitar Hero household names. They’ve given me countless hours of fun and I can’t thank them enough.