Activision Shutters Guitar Hero Creators, GH: Van Halen Developers [Update]

In addition to sackings at Neversoft and Luxoflux, Kotaku has learned today that publisher Activision has also laid off employees at RedOctane and internal studio Underground Development.

We've heard that RedOctane, the publisher of the original Guitar Hero and creator of the franchise's plastic instruments, has been completely shut down. Those responsible directly for the series' hardware will now report straight to Activision, while those remaining - around 30-40 people - have been shown the door.

The closure comes less than two week's after the Guitar Hero group's boss, Dan Rosensweig, walked away from the job, and his replacement was not given the COO title of his predecessor. Which was as sure a sign as any of today's actions.

Also reportedly affected is Underground Development, an Activision studio responsible for games like Guitar Hero: Van Halen and...BMX XXX. We've heard that, as of today, the entire studio has been shut down.

We've reached out to Activision for confirmation on these, and will update if we hear anything back.

UPDATE - Activision has confirmed both moves, telling us "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."