Activision Aims To Recruit Ex-RTW Staff

By John Walker on August 18th, 2010 at 1:50 pm.

Good luck, chaps.

There’s a peculiar bit of news for all those Realtime Worlds employees who have found themselves out of a job in the last week. As an anonymous insider told us, “It’s a shame… as Dundee can’t absorb the level of game dev redundancies that are about to hit, which means the Dundee scene gets that little bit smaller.” It seems that Activision is attempting to absorb at least some of them, by launching a recruitment drive of ex-RTWers in the city tomorrow afternoon.

The developer went into administration yesterday, with the majority of staff asked to clear their desks by Friday. With this the future of both MyWorld and APB are in doubt, and a good deal of British game developers are out of work. But Edge reports that Activision has a plan to scoop them up.

“Activision and game industry recruitment specialist Specialmove have announced a recruitment event in Dundee aimed at attracting staff from the ailing developer. The event is scheduled to take place tomorrow at 6pm in the Apex Hotel and will include presentations on the publisher’s various studios and vacancies, followed by a networking session. Selected applicants will be invited to one-on-one interviews which will take place on Friday.”

At the event on Thursday, at 6pm, Dundee developers will be able to attend a presentation explaining job vacancies in Activision’s various UK developers, including Freestyle Games and Bizarre Creations, as well as find out details of overseas job positions that might be available. They’ll then scan CVs, and invite those they’re interested in for one-on-one interviews on Friday.

Of course, Activision-Blizzard might not be some employees number one choice, with the recent peculiar goings on at Infinity Ward, and the recurring outbursts of CEO Bobby Kotick. But they’re one of the largest developers in the world, buoyed by the infinite money that pours in via World Of Warcraft.

We wish all the best to all those RTWers who find themselves needing new work.

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45 Comments »

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  1. DarthNader says:

    From beneath it devours.

  2. Archonsod says:

    It’s just so they can send round some rough looking types in suits to escort them from the building, isn’t it?

  3. Calabi says:

    Activision the demon publishers swoop to the rescue. I’m betting the developers will be bundled into lorries and never seen again.

  4. ExRTW says:

    A healthy respect for the bottom line is an attribute a lot of us are probably looking for, at the moment…

    • ChaosSmurf says:

      Yeah what this guy said. It’s pretty amazing how people’s hate of Activision means they’re evil even when they allow people to go on living.

    • Meat Circus says:

      Working for Activision.

      Plus: you’re guaranteed to get paid.
      Minus: Your boss is a corporate sociopath.

    • Premium User Badge

      KindredPhantom says:

      Plus: The company isn’t likely to go into administration any time soon.
      Minus: The company is going to make you work on generic sequels.

    • Deston says:

      Plus: Hey, it’s a big name for the CV and you’ll surely win some bread.
      Minus: Kotick may task you with disposing of the odd mutilated hooker / intern corpse from time to time. On the plus side, they’ll be 21 grams lighter than usual…

    • MultiVaC says:

      There’s a difference between healthy respect for the bottom line and sociopathic obsession with the bottom line. I think Activision has been leaning much to the latter recently.

  5. Andy says:

    I feel terrible for RTW. This is just an investor getting scared and jumping ship rather than supporting their interests and giving RTW the faith they needed. APB was certainly not a fun game but the technology behind it all showed incredible potential and to see it all disappear now is a great loss (MyWorld on on the other hand looked pants and they should never have announced it after APB struggled to launch).

    This however, happens all the time when a studio collapses.
    It happened at Midway a few months ago too when a good number of the developers got picked up by CCP (who formed a Newcastle arm to accommodate them).
    It’s a huge shame though as there is heaps of talent in the central belt of Scotland and not nearly enough studios to make use of us.
    Good luck to all of them and here’s hoping Dave Jones keeps going in some form or another.

    • bob_d says:

      “It’s a huge shame though as there is heaps of talent in the central belt of Scotland and not nearly enough studios to make use of us.”
      This seems to be the story all over: the San Francisco bay area, where I’m located, used to be a massive game development center (it still is, relatively), but every time a company goes down, there just aren’t enough open positions to absorb everyone. Friends and colleagues have been forced to leave the area; ironically one of them even ended up at Realtime Worlds…

    • TheSombreroKid says:

      I Think this might be representative of a transition from the old game development hubs of japan, uk, California and Texas to new ones like Canada & France. Although in an industry like Games, there is always more people wanting to work than the market can support.

  6. SirKicksalot says:

    They’re obviously going to work on the subscription-based COD.

  7. Kadayi says:

    Well that’s a positive. Here is hoping that it leads to great thing for those lucky enough to get picked up.

  8. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    This is like going to jail, right?

  9. Tei says:

    Nice on activision to help on these people lives. Smart decision on the longterm, already good PR for activision.

  10. Garg says:

    To echo “ExRTW” above, I dare say in spite of all the perceived evils of Activision and their intent focus on the moneys, many of the former Real Time World employees will surely just be glad to get a relatively secure job in a big company. Also, realistically how many of the 150+ development team will have a chance of being employed? This sounds like Acti are looking for comparatively few new people.

  11. ZIGS says:

    I dunno, what’s worse, losing your job or getting recruited by Activison

  12. John says:

    It’s easy to be cynical and see this as a big company snatching up people cheap while they’re vulnerable and desperate, but it’s probably a win-win overall if it keeps people out of joblessness.

  13. Frye says:

    Testing times. Good luck to those affected.

    • Tei says:

      The problem with making predictions now, is that we know the output is true. APB tanked, is a fact. Only 10K box sell is a LOL.
      About the iterate model, .. I trough ExRTW was talking about MyWorld. Like… APB was more focused on Big Product(Release once, relase a great thing), while MyWorld was focused on the iterative model (release early, release often).
      I think Nicholas (the article author) blame the problems of APB on his personal pet-peeves. I could create a different list, but I will probably repeat some obvious points like Error 2.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Arathain says:

    Recent unemployment for me was seriously un-fun, and I had a decent severance package from my old job as well as enough savings to see me through. I wish every RTW the very best of luck finding new work with whoever they wish. However I may feel about Activision, I want you folks to find personal stability and some good, fulfilling work to do, wherever you can find it.

    You know, you’d think unemployment would be great. More time for games, and all that. Turns out it’s rubbish. Job hunting is stressful and takes up heaps of time, and the combination of inactivity, gradually draining resources and constant sense of rejection just sucks a lot of the fun out of it.

    • Hunam says:

      This. I fell out of Uni into the dole office and sat around playing videogames and loving it. 2 months later i’d burned through a dozen games. At that point I’d lost the fun of just playing them and the lack of anything meaningful to do becomes apparent. You start looking for Jobs and you find a great one, but they never get back to you.

      It’s draining spiritually, and you start wondering if you are really worth what you think you are pay wise and then it’s just a slippery fucking slope there after. I don’t know how the dole scum live with themselves to be honest.

    • Aerozol says:

      ^ after going through the process and how hard it is yourself, ‘dole scum’ isn’t a term I’d imagine you using.

      Some people may abuse it, but such a minority. You were a student, and probably young enough to adapt to changes, as well as be appealing to employees. If you’re getting over the age of 40 or 50, and your qualifications aren’t worth anything anymore, or you’ve been on the dole for a long time, possibly while dealing with other illnesses/ problems, I imagine it gets much much harder.

      So, good luck to the people who got let off, keep at it!
      If you have the skills, you’ll pay the bills, I like to think (very optimistically)

    • Josh W says:

      Yeah it sucks, if anyone reading this is I’d seriously recommend volunteering, a bit of success in helping people does a massive amount to relieve the feeling of futility that comes from the basic jobsearching cycle (which if you don’t know is basically “find crappy job -> imagine something that might be good in it -> summon up enthusiasm to apply -> rework entire past history as some kind of training montage towards getting the job -> write out all that and maybe repeat a lot of it at interview->get minimal response and start again”). With charity stuff on the other hand you can do real people some good, as well as have the nice game-style feedback loop of learning your way around and getting better at it.

      Do that, and suddenly your not draining society’s resources, your doing stuff that people value but can’t put a price on, your paying back society even as you try to get into a more official state of “service for pay”. Games get better, sleep gets more steady, and basically you feel a hell of a lot better about your place in the world, and as far as I’ve found get better at applying for jobs too (and as everyone says in jobcentres, “well it’s something for the CV”).

  15. Premium User Badge

    Stompywitch says:

    So I was just talking to my gf about this, and she said “weren’t they the ones who did Dundeeville?”

    …which is a very interesting way of describing APB.

  16. Targ says:

    This is standard procedure when a lot of developers are laid off in a location with a lot of other studios. The other studios swoop in to help. The larger ones throw recruitment events. It’s nothing new or special on Activision’s part.

  17. M.P. says:

    Oh, the ironings! :p

  18. Da'Jobat says:

    Being a student at Abertay Dundee, I have seen this affect quite a few of my friends. RTW is a real help to gaming students at the Uni, as it lets them see how a reasonably big studio works. They’ll be missed.

  19. TheSombreroKid says:

    I’m not going to pretend that the Tax relief could’ve saved Realtime Worlds, their problems were irrecoverable long before the tax relief was on the agenda, but the ex RTW staff would’ve had more incentive to stay in the UK if we had it.

    I’m certain most of the jobs will go to Ireland and France.

  20. meheleventyone says:

    It’s not just Activision either. There are quite a few vultures circling to pick up our carcasses.

    • Tei says:

      Your image is too negative. What about rescue boats tryiing to save these drop in the cold waters of the atlantic?

    • meheleventyone says:

      @Tei

      Yeah I know, although it’s quite hard to be positive when you’re sitting at the end of the month and found out you won’t be getting paid! :)

      These things also tend to be competition amongst your peers for the few jobs kicking about. Pretty soul destroying stuff!

    • Kadayi says:

      @meheleventyone

      Best of luck to you

  21. molesworth says:

    Quite a few games companies and agencies will be in Dundee this week and next. Details are being distributed to everyone affected, and there should be loads of opportunities to talk to them.

    Don’t think of them as “vultures” – sure, they may be hoping to pickup some prime staff, but at the same time they’re putting in a lot of effort to get people up here, and they’re trying to help out in a bad situation.

    Games companies might be competitors when it comes to getting sales, but when a crisis hits we become much more a community of like-minded folks looking out for each other.

  22. mystic sika says:

    CCP are also in town lol.

    From LinkedIn:

    CCP wants to buy you a drink!
    Monday August 23 at Laings Bar in
    Dundee-1pm to 5pm Meet with the makers of EVE Online and DUST 514.
    …Enjoy some free food, drinks and networking. We are hiring in all
    locations and all disciplines.

    Stop by if you are looking for a job or just want to chat!

    • Josh W says:

      It’s better to be payed be people playing at being conscienceless exploiters!

  23. Kcitok Ybbob says:

    Well you can have respect for Activision-Blizzard for the recruiting, but it also serves for them as positive publicity, to overshadow their negative traits. Tippl once stated that they are going for positive publicity to cut down the negativity about their company. Don’t just look through the pink glasses, it could be dangerous.

  24. Malibu Stacey says:

    Looks like Crytek is the next one up http://www.specialmove.com/_microsites/Crytek

    Also anyone recognise the name & location of this seller -> http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/Sales/1991926.htm