Kai and Charles Huang will stick with the publisher, group confirms to Develop

RedOctane founders to remain at Activision

RedOctane founders Kai and Charles Huang will not leave their owner Activision, the publisher has told Develop, despite the Guitar Hero group effectively closing its operations this month.

Last week Activision revealed the brutality of its latest cost-cutting operation after implementing substantial layoffs and studio closures. The measure could hit as many as 300 staff.

As part of that operation, Guitar Hero group RedOctane was shut down, with the business relocated to Activision’s Santa Monica headquarters. As many as 40 staff were axed, though the allegation has not been confirmed.

The studio closure marked a significant change in fortunes for RedOctane – a pioneering publisher that integrated tightly with developer Harmonix and sparked off the whole Guitar Hero franchise.

Founded in 1999 by brothers Kai and Charles Huang, the group was synonymous with the music game genre. Seven years later, as RedOctane drove that genre to new heights, Activision bought the company in a $100 million deal.

With RedOctane’s closure it was understood that both the Huang brothers had considered leaving. However, Maryanne Lataif – Activision’s vice president of corporate communications – denied the suggestions, confirming that both Kai and Charles Huang will remain at Activision.

The news adds to existing suggestions that the RedOctane brand will remain intact. What capacity Kai and Charles Huang will work in is however unknown.

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