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Rebellion confirms Derby closure, cuts at Oxford studio

Outsourcing favoured over local jobs, but company busy on projects in 2010

UK developer Rebellion has confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that it has finally closed its studio in Derby and has also let a number of junior positions go at its main team in Oxford.

The company said in January that it was reviewing the Derby business, originally Eidos' Core Design team, responsible for titles in the Tomb Raider series.

"Sadly we didn’t find any solution other than closure for the Derby studio," offered CEO Jason Kingsley. "At the same time as we were considering the options for the Derby studio, we were also looking at our staff needs in Oxford, given shifting business models and opportunities.

"We've have good results over the last year working with outsourcing partners and this has resulted in a small handful of junior roles in the Oxford office no longer being needed."

Kingsley confirmed the company is working on two unannounced projects for publishing partners, continued support for the recently released Aliens Vs Predator game and the development of its own intellectual properties.

"We’ve been keeping a close eye on the fan forums and on feedback from players and have been busy working on patches and improvements for the game as well as DLC, but we’re also thinking about the potential for a sequel and how we can make it an even better game," said Kingsley of Aliens Vs Predator.

"We have two unannounced titles at different stages of development with publishers, and we're working on our own IPs. We hope to be making announcements about these soon."

Kingsley also said the company may pursue opportunities in the digital space with smaller titles, after success selling back-catalogue titles through services such as Steam.

It is an exciting time for independent developers as there are so many new avenues opening up to get your games released. We've had great results with a number of back catalogue titles, including Sniper Elite, the original Aliens Vs Predator and others available with various digital partners, and we're keen to explore this space further in the future, though working with major traditional partners is our main focus. 

"Digital distribution might be a space that we can explore with some smaller, more indie type game ideas."

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Latest comments (4)

Chris Hayward6 years ago
"Digital distribution might be a space that we can explore with some smaller, more indie type game ideas."

Just don't do a LucasArts - Lucidity was probably one of the biggest let down of last year. I adored its graphical art style and its story but it played like a jumbled mess of Tetris and Lemmings, ultimately more frustrating than fun.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
This is a shame; although Rebellion Derby never again hit the highs they scored with the early TR games (the first is still my favourite), I thought Free Running was enjoyable and underrated, and although I haven't played Rogue Warrior, they did take over the project so can't be held fully accountable.

Bit of a sad day really when the studio who made the biggest export in British gaming ever is closed down. I hope they go on to form another development team, or at least most of them find work elsewhere.
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Pierre Vandenbroucke Assistant de production, Gorgone Productions6 years ago
So many studios are acquired by big publishers, then their IP are taken from them, and finally the studio is closed.
Think Westwood, Ensemble, now what used to be Core Design, Infinity Ward (well, not closed yet).
Too bad.
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Alex Wright-Manning Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist, Datascope6 years ago
My thoughts go out to all involved. A truly sad day to see yet another studio bite the dust; particularly one which had such a defining impact on the games industry not just in Britain but on the world. Let's hope it's the last of 2010.
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