British development group Climax has announced that its London and Solent divisions are to be rebranded as Climax Action, and has denied rumours that a number of staff have been laid off at the Solent office.
The new "mega-studio" will encompass the both the Solent office and the London office, as well as the firm's handheld division, which is based out of the London studio's offices in Kingston.
However, the merger is a "virtual" one according to Climax' PR and marketing manager Dawn Beasley, who assured gi.biz this afternoon that no jobs had been lost in the change.
"All the locations stay the same, and all the people stay in the same place," Beasley commented this afternoon, responding to industry reports of around 30 job losses at Climax' Solent offices. "It's really a rebranding exercise."
"It's just designed to give the studios their own identities," she explained. "We have so many studios that I think some publishers were getting confused. Now Climax Solent and London are Climax Action, Brighton is Climax Racing, Nottingham is Climax Online and the Los Angeles studio remains Climax LA."
According to today's official statement on the creation of Climax Action, the studio is designed to pioneer "mult-genre-action" titles on the PS3 and Xbox 2, using the combined experience of first-person shooters, role playing games, racing games and wargames represented by the two studios.
"This exciting development is a glowing tribute to the progressive thinking here at Climax," according to Climax Action's new president Simon Gardner. "By bringing together the vast experience, expertise and technology from each division, we've created a mega studio that is better equipped to develop multi-genre-action games than any other in the country."
"With the Solent studio recently completing work on the critically-acclaimed Sudeki, and the London division working on a massive action license, now is the perfect time to bring these respected studios together," he continued. "And by combining one team's experience with first-person shooters with the other team's expertise in third-person and vehicle games, we've created a studio that is geared-up to produce truly outstanding action games."
However, Beasley confirmed that the new studio will not be focusing exclusively on next-generation platforms. "We are working on current generation as well," she informed gi.biz. "They're not wholly skewed towards next-gen - they're also dedicated to working on the PS2 and Xbox, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future."
As well as the new Action studio, Climax also operates a studio specialising in racing games, including the MotoGP franchise, in Brighton, and a studio developing MMORPG title WarHammer Online - which is now being directly funded by Climax, although the firm claims to be near an agreement with a new publishing partner - in Nottingham.
The company's US operation, meanwhile, employs around 50 people in Los Angeles, and is currently working on a PlayStation Portable title as well as a number of other unannounced projects.