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Codemasters to close Guildford studio

66 staff begin consultation phase as publisher withdraws from action and strategy genres

Staff at Codemasters Guildford were called to a company meeting at 11am today, where they were told the company was proposing to close down its Guildford operations.

A source told GamesIndustry.biz that Guildford staff were asked to return from holidays to attend the meeting, and many began to receive emails from a recruitment company early this morning.

"The company is proposing to retire from its facility in Guildford, most recently responsible for the shooter Bodycount," confirmed the company in an official statement.

"If progressed, the move will affect 66 Guildford studio personnel; staff are now involved in a consultation period to discuss the proposal."

The company intends to close down its action and strategy teams, and instead focus on its more successful racing brands like Dirt and F1 at its Southam and Birmingham studios. Birmingham will grow to include a second team to work on a new racing IP, opening up new job opportunities.

"In the event that staff working within the Guildford site are affected by the current proposals, they will be encouraged to apply for suitable positions on campus and in the Birmingham studio."

Codemasters Guildford's most recent project Bodycount was poorly received, achieving only a handful of sales and entering the UK chart last week at number 36. It also worked on the Operation Flashpoint series.

Last year the Guildford studio lost Bodycount creative director Stuart Black, quickly followed by general manager Adrian Bolton.

The full statement from Codemasters follows:

"Codemasters' future product development strategy will see additional studio resource invested to extend its world-class racing portfolio. The company is increasing the size of existing development teams at its on-campus studios in Warwickshire (DiRT, GRID, F1 Online, Central Technology/EGO) while forming a further team to work alongside the F1 2011 team at its Birmingham studio on a new racing title.

In line with the strategy, the company is proposing to retire from its facility in Guildford, most recently responsible for the shooter Bodycount. If progressed, the move will affect 66 Guildford studio personnel; staff are now involved in a consultation period to discuss the proposal.

As Codemasters looks to take greater leadership in the racing category, the company is proposing a studio structure that adds resource and strengthens our best-in-class racing teams. The output from the studios on the Warwickshire campus and in Birmingham is on the increase with multiple continuing game series, brand extensions and new racing IPs in production. Both the Warwickshire and Birmingham studios have won BAFTAs for their critically acclaimed, multi-million selling titles and the company is adding resource to ensure they constantly over achieve in this competitive sector.

Codemasters envisages that it will continue to have a number of open positions within the Racing and Online studio teams at Codemasters' campus in Warwickshire working on Dirt, Grid, F1 Online and with the F1 team in Birmingham, which is being expanded to house a full second team working on a new racing IP. In the event that staff working within the Guildford site are affected by the current proposals, they will be encouraged to apply for suitable positions on campus and in the Birmingham studio."

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Rachel Weber avatar

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.

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