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Activision considering closing The Blast Furnace

Activision considering closing The Blast Furnace

Fri 31 Jan 2014 8:43pm GMT / 3:43pm EST / 12:43pm PST
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The UK mobile studio behind Call of Duty: Strike Team is currently being evaluated by the publisher

Activision Blizzard

Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a worldwide pure-play online...

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The Blast Furnace could be on the chopping block, according to a statement released by Activision Blizzard today. A spokesperson for Activision told Polygon that it's currently evaluating what to do with the Leeds-based mobile studio behind Pitfall! and Call of Duty: Strike Team.

"As we focus on our 2014 operating plan, we are aligning our resources against our anticipated business requirements," Activision said in a statement. "As part of this review, we have started a consultation at Blast Furnace based in Leeds in the U.K. Blast Furnace is a very talented studio and has been a great partner to Activision. As part of this consultation exercise we are exploring all our options regarding the studio."

At this point, it's unclear if Activision will reassign some of the employees at the studio, sell the developer or ultimately just shut it down. The Blast Furnace was founded back in 2011 (as Activision Leeds) and is just shy of 50 employees. Per UK law, if Activision does intend to lay off the bulk of the staff, the group is entitled to a consultation period at least 30 days before being made redundant (when there are 20 or more employees involved).

3 Comments

"As we focus on our 2014 operating plan, we are aligning our resources against our anticipated business requirements. As part of this review, we have started a consultation at Blast Furnace based in Leeds in the U.K. Blast Furnace is a very talented studio and has been a great partner to Activision. As part of this consultation exercise we are exploring all our options regarding the studio"

Coo, what a lot of words. I wonder what it means? Looks like Activision loves Blast Furnace though which is cool.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Barry Meade on 3rd February 2014 1:16pm

Posted:2 months ago

#1

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
Very ambivalent.
Blast Furnace recruited a fairly elite team.
But Leeds is a very strange base to run a game company.
They could be victims of Activision's laser like commercial focus.
A sale is possible. They sold off Swordfish. That worked well didn't it?
And what does this augur for FreeStyle?

Whatever happens I wish the guys at Blast Furnace the best. It can't be nice having your future up in the air.
The good news is that they have skills that are very much in demand.

Posted:2 months ago

#2

Matthew Hill
Head of Recruitment

76 26 0.3
Sad news if the worst happens I'm pretty confident the team there will secure new roles - they have many excellent people there.

Personally I think Leeds made a lot of sense for Activision - they attracted significant numbers of staff from Rockstar Leeds a leading mobile/handheld studio working on AAA IP. An obvious fit with Activision's ambitions

Good luck to all affected

Posted:2 months ago

#3

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