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Kuju: "We will not continue to own Vatra"

Silent Hill: Downpour studio had single project canned by publisher, admits new CEO

UK developer Kuju has admitted that it will no longer own Vatra, the studio responsible for the recently released Silent Hill: Downpour game from Konami.

Speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry International, new CEO Dominic Wheatley said it would never run a studio in that manner again, where the development team were left without work following a cancelled project by an unnamed publisher.

"I would not put a studio in a situation like this again. It was one team, one studio, in a different country where it's very hard to manage"

"There are several options and it's going to take another two weeks before we finalise that. But one way or the other we will not continue to own Vatra," said Wheatley of the studio's future.

"I would not put a studio in a situation like this again," he added. "It was one team, one studio, in a different country where it's very hard to manage and very hard to get people to go out there and manage."

The studio was established in 2009 in the Czech Republic and headed up by Matthew Seymour, previously of 2K Czech. He left in August last year. The studio was placed under review last month.

"We had a succession of studio managers which is never a good thing," said Wheatley, who only took on the CEO position at Kuju in June this year.

"We basically had a project from an unnamed publisher which was viewed on vertical slice after vertical slice. When they decided not to go with the full project, in normal circumstances if it was at one of the other studios, we'd have been able to swing the team onto something else or put them into other teams. With this team there was absolutely no other option, we couldn't rush out and get them something else.

"That's the simple truth, I would never set up something like the way that was done. If you're going to do a studio you've got to have a pipeline. We were caught between a rock and a hard place."

Although Kuju will no longer running the business, and would not comment on whether the studio would be closed down or sold, Wheatley said there were still options left on the table.

"We haven't actually made a decision. Basically there is more than one option and we haven't been able to say one way or the other. However, it's a very talented team and there are options available to us in to how we pass on that team."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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