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Ignition loses US offices in UTV consolidation

By Alec Meer

Wed 12 Jan 2011 9:39am GMT / 4:39am EST / 1:39am PST

UPDATE: Ignition CEO has position terminated as East and West coast operations moved to Texas

Update: CEO of Ignition, Vijhay Chadha, had his position at the company terminated last week, according to documents filed at Companies House.

Original story: Troubled studio UTV Ignition has confirmed the long-rumoured closure of its existing US offices. Its operations have been consolidated into a new headquarters in Texas in order to "become more efficient and streamlined."

Parent company UTV will also merge Ignition with UTV True, a team working on free to play and mobile titles. Ignition loses both its Florida studio and its Californian offices, effectively immediately.

The number of staff affected by the closures (whether laid off or relocating 1300 miles to Texas) is unknown at present, although its 70-strong Florida office was reported to be facing closure last November. Anonymous internal sources alleged at the time that the studio's managers had "misspent" $23 million.

The former Florida studio's upcoming FPS Reich will remain in development at the new Austin office, which is currently seeking staff.

Said Hassan Sadiq, group chairman of UTV Ignition, "In the last few years Ignition Entertainment's Operations have grown and spread out to the East and West Coast so we decided it was time to bring them under one roof.

"With our publishing and development all now being handled in Austin we will be able to enhance team work and efficiency to create a stronger and more focused vision. With publishing and development under one roof, we will also continue strategic outsourcing options in order to ensure flexibility and broader expertise to ensure titles of true excellence."

Last year, it was revealed that part of this outsourcing plan involves hiring external assistance for the remnants of Ignition's London studio, with the intention of completing long-delayed title War Devil (now known as Project Kane).

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