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Updated: Black Rock Studios closing

Disney confirms closure of Brighton based Split/Second developer

UPDATE: Sources speaking to Eurogamer have revealed more about the studio's last project. It was a browser based game, apparently similar to RTS League of Legends, based in an alternative world and starring a god called Loki.

"The idea was that you had to do PVP and PVE to gain XP to somehow escape," the source told Eurogamer. "The game was intended to be released quite quickly, in beta anyway, in about six months or so," they added.

Brighton developer Black Rock Studios, best known for racing titles Pure and Split/Second, has been told by Disney that it is to close.

Eurogamer broke the news this morning, and Disney gave GI this brief official statement.

“Disney Interactive Studios confirms that Black Rock Studios' current project has not been greenlit for further development, consequently the company informed employees yesterday of the intent to enter a consultation process on the proposal to close the studios.”

Eurogamer heard from an anonymous source that the 40 remaining staff were told the news yesterday, in a meeting at Brighton Town Hall.

The source went on to accuse Disney off handling the developer "clumsily," outsourcing projects that Black Rock was more than capable of dealing with in house. The source also complained about an apparent lack of marketing for the developer's racing games.

Recently Disney cut back on staff numbers at Black Rock, which led to the creation of two new studios led by former employees. Roundcube Entertainment, headed up by Split/Second director Nick Baynes, and ShortRound Games, with game director Andrew Hubbard, creative and art director Steve Uphill, technical director Kim Burrows, technical art director Stuart Pharaoh.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.