The future of Derby-based developer CiRCLE Studio looks unclear today after several sources told GamesIndustry.biz that the company is to close - a report which has been disputed by CEO Jeremy Heath-Smith.
According to one of the sources, Heath-Smith informed staff of the closure at lunchtime today. They were told that CiRCLE has gone into liquidation and will cease operations with immediate effect.
Other sources came forward independently with news of the shutdown - but when contacted by GI.biz, both Heath-Smith and PR manager Suzie Hamilton denied that CiRCLE is to close.
The studio was established in October 2003 by Heath-Smith together with his brother Adrian Smith. The pair also co-founded the original Tomb Raider developer, Core Design, in 1988.
CiRCLE's PS2 and Xbox shooter Without Warning was published by Capcom in October 2005, but since then the company has focused on producing interactive DVD games.
In May 2006 CiRCLE secured a seven-figure investment from the Royal Bank of Scotland, and November saw the release of four DVD games - Blockbusters, The Price is Right, No. 1 Hits and Now Magazine Ultimate Celeb Quiz.