Raven Software’s 25th Anniversary

Judy Newman in the Wisconsin State Journal:

In a place like the Madison area, where people supported home-grown businesses way before the phrase “Buy local” became a battle cry, it’s not all that unusual to find companies that have been a mainstay for decades.

But in the highly competitive and ever-evolving world of video games, it’s much more rare.

Raven Software is one such survivor.

Launched in 1990 by brothers Brian and Steve Raffel, Raven, 8496 Greenway Blvd., Middleton, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

[…]

Raven is one of several studios working on any particular game for Activision, its parent company.

Daniel Suarez, vice president of production for Activision, called Raven “an impressive developer with a wide range of experience.”

“As the primary studio on ‘Call of Duty Online,’ Activision’s free-to-play product for China, and as a supporting studio on the last several ‘Call of Duty’ games, the team is an incredible group of talented designers, engineers and artists whose contributions are invaluable to Activision,” Suarez said from company headquarters in Santa Monica, California.

[…]

Raven is responsible for 10 to 25 percent of the “Call of Duty” games, he said, a series that has drawn more than $11 billion in worldwide revenue since it launched in 2003. “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” was the No. 1 console game, worldwide, in 2014, Activision said.

“Yeah, we’re part of the success,” Raffel said.

The company that made Jedi Knight, Jedi Academy, Elite Force, Soldier of Fortune, Heretic, Hexen and so many other great games has been reduced to a B-team working on a free-to-play Call of Duty redux, and 10-25 percent of assets and code for other Call of Duty developers at Activision.

Author: Jack Slater

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