Activision has confirmed that it will close Red Octane as part of a strategy to release fewer Guitar Hero titles in 2010.
Red Octane is the original Guitar Hero publisher and creator of the franchise’s plastic instruments. Kotaku has reported that Red Octane had been completely shut down with those employees responsible directly for the series’ hardware to report straight into Activision. The website estimates that about 30 to 40 people were shown the door.
Also affected by Activision’s recent crop of cost-cutting measures is Underground Development, an internal studio that has made Guitar Hero: Van Halen and BMX XXX.
In a statement Activision explained, “As part of our overall strategy to release fewer skus for Guitar Hero in 2010 we are closing the Underground studios and relocating RedOctane to our Santa Monica headquarters under the leadership of David Haddad.”
Several of Activision’s other studios were also affected by layoffs last week including Prototype developer Radical Entertainment.
Earlier this month Activision said that David Haddad, chief operating officer of Guitar Hero, will now assume operational responsibilities for the business unit following the departure of President and CEO, Dan Rosensweig.