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Redundancies confirmed at Black Rock

Update: Around 100 positions to go at Split/Second studio according to source

UPDATE: Sources speaking to Eurogamer have now indicated that as many as 100 jobs are at risk at Brighton developer Black Rock.

UPDATE 2: Disney has now confirmed job losses at the studio, although would not be drawn on the number of staff let go.

"Disney Interactive Studios confirms a reduction of its workforce from its Brighton-based internal game development studio, Black Rock Studios. The studio will continue its work on its current project," said the publisher.

Original story: Sources at Split/Second studio Black Rock have indicated that around 40 members of staff are due to be made redundant today.

Speaking to our sister site Eurogamer.net, the source said "it's rumoured at Black Rock that there will be voluntary redundancies tomorrow - roughly 40, with the aim of reducing the studio to a single game team," and suggested that the studio has been unable to successfully pitch new projects to owner Disney.

"It seems Disney have been unable to provide us with a project to work on, and our concept pitches clearly haven't gone down well (despite there being many of them)."

Sequels to racers Pure and Split/Second have apparently been aborted, as Disney refocuses it's games business on digital, social and mobile projects.

"The inactive portion of the studio has been expecting redundancies for months, so this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's sad that it's come to this of course, but for many people they'll be quite happy to take the money and go, as they've been sitting around doing nothing for months," said the source.

The remaining team is at work on a "promising" title, according to the report, although it's also labelled as "new and risky".

At the start of this year Disney Interactive axed around 200 jobs including positions at Junction Point, putting Wideload Games founder Alex Seropian in charge of all remaining development teams.

In March Disney Media Group also suffered a round of layoffs. The long-term plan is to shift away from the costly console business and make the games division profitable by 2013.

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Latest comments (23)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D5 years ago
Best of luck to all involved - they're a great studio who pay and treat their people very well. Hopefully those affected will find new roles, or begin the next wave of start ups down there.
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Simon Miles Senior Talent Acquisition Manager, Jagex Games Studio5 years ago
All the very best. Great Team
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Greg Michael Programmer 5 years ago
The best people I have ever had the pleasure and privilege of working with....time for Plan B guys !
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Show all comments (23)
Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis5 years ago
Shame really. Split/Second was a lot of fun and if the DLC had churned out quicker it would have had a longer console life for me. I would have definitely bought a sequel.

Good luck to all those affected.
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Andy Bastable Lead Programmer, Microsoft / Rare5 years ago
Thoughts & prayers go out to everyone affected. We know a little of what you guys are going through.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 5 years ago
Good luck guys. :(
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Jordan Woodward Level Designer, Codemasters Birmingham5 years ago
Sucks to hear this. Good luck to everyone affected.
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Gutted.
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Tommy Thompson Studying Artificial Intelligence (PhD), University of Strathclyde5 years ago
I only just completed Split/Second a week ago, and really enjoyed the time I invested in it. It's a great game. It's just a shame we'll not be seeing more. Good luck to all affected, and I hope you guys find something new shortly.
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I think Blackrock could do well as a independent, harking back to the pre disney years as Climax Racing.
Disney may be hell bent on digital non AAA titles, but that should stop pedigree like Blackrock from doing so.
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Matt Hill Software Eng., Rare Ltd.5 years ago
Best of luck to all affected, I really enjoyed my time working with them in the Climax Racing days, very talented and pleasant bunch to work with.
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Francesco Genovese Recruitment Manager, Jagex Games Studio5 years ago
Sad news :-(
Best of luck guys!
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All the best for everyone there. That studio has one of the highest density of talented developers anywhere in the world. Shame it's turned out the way it has.
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Richard Wilson , TIGA5 years ago
Best of luck to all those affected.
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Sorry to hear this guys! Wish all those effected the best of luck!
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Lol Scragg Co-Founder & Director, Binary Pumpkin5 years ago
Very sad news. Best of luck to all those affected.
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Ben Furneaux Designer, Turbulenz Limited5 years ago
So many great people there, good luck to everyone. Can's say I'm surprised, Black Rock's current output doesn't seem to match the Mouse House's new online focus.

Here's hoping we'll see some awesome new indie studios ready to take over the mobile/web space :)
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Greg Michael Programmer 5 years ago
@Gaz - so much hard work down the toilet...sheesh !
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Bjarne Rene Managing Director, Vostopia.com5 years ago
Good luck to all those affected.
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Hugo Trepanier Senior UI Designer, Hibernum5 years ago
Such a shame, I was really looking forward to more releases from Black Rock. I have thoroughly enjoyed both Pure and Split/Second, there's no doubt they had a great team in place building quality products.

Good luck to all!
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Rich Sturgess Business Development Director - EMEA, Marmalade5 years ago
The amount of love that is out there for you guys and your games makes this news really hard to hear.

All the best to those affected, I'm sure you'll be snapped up soon.
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Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design5 years ago
Best of luck to all affected. Hopefully you'll all land on your feet sooner rather than later. Nothing worse than the promise of Jeremy Kyle. *shudder*
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Frankie Kang Producer / Consultant, First Post LLC5 years ago
Pure and Split/Second was a great alternative to racing sims like GT and Forza. Damn good games made by a damn good team.

Good luck to those affected.
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