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Ignition closes Ealing studio

No more UK development as UTV-owned firm looks to external studios instead

Developer Ignition is to close the doors of its London studio, GamesIndustry.biz has learned.

The company is in the process of laying off an undisclosed number of staff, and has wound up internal development on upcoming titles Wardevil (already much-delayed) and Project Kane.

However, both games have apparently passed proof of concept stage, with Ignition hinting that their future - if they have one - may lie in outsourcing.

Ignition was acquired by India media giant UTV in 2007, and also has studios in Florida, China, Austin and Tokyo.

The company will retain a corporate headquarters in London, but now seeks to work primarily with external developers in more of a publishing role. GameIndustry.biz understands the Ealing-based studio is to close on October 31.

Said Hassan Sadiq, Group Chairman at Ignition Entertainment in a statement, "Throughout the last year Ignition has gone through a number of changes, including bringing in a strong new management team with a core focus of working with the world's best external developers to bring AAA content to emerging downloadable platforms.

"This week saw the pre-scheduled completion of a six month proof of concept project on the War Devil / Project Kane titles internally, which the board and studio management are currently evaluating as to whether the required quality will be achieved by completing internally or with an external partner.

"The London office will continue to operate as the global headquarters for Ignition's corporate and fast growing publishing business. Development is ramping up at Ignition's free-to-play studios based in Austin and Beijing, as well as at internal console development studios in Florida ('Reich') and Tokyo ('El Shaddai' – winner of CESA's most anticipated title at TGS 2010).

"These combined with a number of new publishing acquisitions for release in calendar 2011 will ensure we meet the challenge of transforming into a next-generation publishing powerhouse head on."

Ignition's last title was XBLA and PC multiplayer shooter Blacklight: Tango Down, which was met with a mixed critical response.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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