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The creative process is delicate and often incredibly arduous; for most industries, of course, it’s costly as well. Thus, the continued distribution of one’s creativity becomes a means of profit. Franchises exist for this very reason. Naturally, then, the reliance upon a creative endeavor’s profitability can either beget further progress or outright stifle it. Such was the case with Radical Entertainment’s superhero series, Prototype.
The short-lived action franchise initially hit the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 with Prototype’s release in the summer of 2009. Radical Entertainment and publisher Activision Blizzard believed they had an instant success on their hands. Both parties needed it to succeed at least, especially given the risk involved in developing a new intellectual property—not to mention its arrival at the tail end of America’s Great Recession. In an effort to mitigate said risk, Prototype’s protagonist Alex Mercer and the conspiratorial world of intrigue in which he operated were designed with sequels in mind. And one sequel it did indeed receive in the form of Prototype 2, which launched in April of 2012. Interestingly, a fleeting comic book series published by DC’s WildStorm imprint spawned from Radical’s brainchild, too.
Still, none of the studio’s efforts, no matter how inventive, were enough to attract the interest of a mass audience and secure Activision’s approval for a third Prototype installment. Unfortunately, the future of these super-powered adventures were not all that suffered from the franchise’s inability to pick up steam. The resulting demise of Radical Entertainment proved equally devastating for a studio that had long produced quality experiences.
This is the history of Prototype.