Activision Finally Opens A Studio To Make Something Other Than Call Of Duty

microsoft, activision finally opens a studio to make something other than call of duty

A screenshot shows soldiers from Call of Duty standing outside.

Xbox-owned Activision has revealed a brand new AAA studio in Poland that will develop something other than Call of Duty, which most of Activision currently works on. This should be good news! The industry needs more studios after thousands of layoffs. However, last week, Activision’s parent company, Microsoft, announced it was closing three video game studios. So the response to this new studio opening hasn’t been entirely positive.

On May 16, Activision officially revealed Elsewhere Entertainment, a new internal studio recently formed in Warsaw, Poland. According to Activision’s press release, the new studio will be focused “exclusively” on developing a “new narrative-based,” “genre-defining AAA franchise.”

That seems to imply that this new studio won’t be another gear in the enormous Call of Duty content creation machine, unlike Raven Software and High Moon Studios. Activision has made headlines over the years for essentially taking all of its studios and throwing them into the Call of Duty mines. Perhaps this time, things will be different.

“Built from the ground up, Elsewhere Entertainment is a premier and standalone studio dedicated to establishing an environment that inspires bold and diverse ideas. The team’s underlying mission encourages everyone to explore and collaborate creatively to craft a franchise with an enduring legacy that resonates far beyond games,” reads Activision’s press release, which was seemingly written by someone who was also trying to set a new record for most buzzwords used in one paragraph.

Activision says Elsewhere Entertainment features staff who have previously worked on games like The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher, Cyberpunk, The Division, Destiny, and Far Cry. The studio has seemingly gone public now as it continues to staff up and likely ramps up development on its first big game.

The timing of this news is not great, Bob

Of course, the timing of this reveal hasn’t gone over well online. Activision’s parent company—Xbox—was recently in the news after it suddenly closed three Bethesda-owned studios on May 7.

Things only got worse for Xbox after an all-hands meeting with Bethesda leaked and reportedly revealed that the company had shut down those studios due to resources and staff being spread too thin. Xbox President Matt Booty reportedly said that shutting down these teams would help provide more money and staff to projects as the company focuses on fewer, more “high-impact” games.

So, a big AAA studio being unveiled shortly after a bunch of people lost their jobs has gone over poorly online. And while Activision is its own large company with its own leaders and marketing plans, I understand why so many online are reacting poorly to the news. It’s likely that Activision was building Elsewhere Entertainment long before the Microsoft merger happened. But it’s extremely unlikely that Xbox leadership had no idea this studio existed or that it was going to be announced publicly around this time.

Personally, if I was an executive at one of the biggest tech companies in the world, I’d probably wait at least, like, I don’t know...a month after closing studios down before letting another part of the corporation reveal a big new video game studio, even if that means delaying plans that have been in the works for months. But hey, what do I know?

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