Over the past decade, Guitar Hero has become a household name across the U.S., though what many don’t know is that the company behind one of hottest video games once resided in Iowa.
Founded in 2001 by the video game designers Jason Andersen and Isaac Burns, Budcat Creations called Iowa City home. The company helped produce the Guitar Hero game series along with a number of Madden NFL games, NASCAR Thunder and many others.
Activision Blizzard acquired Budcat in 2008 in what seemed like a promising partnership between the two companies. Though only two years later, Activision would close the small company with almost no warning.
Public affairs journalism site IowaWatch.org recently published a four-part series about the company’s closing and what members of the Budcat team have been working on since. Here are links to that series:
- “Gone in a Flash: How the Iowa Company that Made Guitar Hero Crashed so Quickly“
- “Dream Jobs Reward Work and Play in the Gaming Industry“
- “The Day They Pulled the Plug at Budcat Creations“
- “Opportunities Abundant in Gaming Industry, if You Watch Out for Yourself“