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Redundancies confirmed at Black Rock

Update: Around 100 positions to go at Split/Second studio according to source

UPDATE: Sources speaking to Eurogamer have now indicated that as many as 100 jobs are at risk at Brighton developer Black Rock.

UPDATE 2: Disney has now confirmed job losses at the studio, although would not be drawn on the number of staff let go.

"Disney Interactive Studios confirms a reduction of its workforce from its Brighton-based internal game development studio, Black Rock Studios. The studio will continue its work on its current project," said the publisher.

Original story: Sources at Split/Second studio Black Rock have indicated that around 40 members of staff are due to be made redundant today.

Speaking to our sister site, the source said "it's rumoured at Black Rock that there will be voluntary redundancies tomorrow - roughly 40, with the aim of reducing the studio to a single game team," and suggested that the studio has been unable to successfully pitch new projects to owner Disney.

"It seems Disney have been unable to provide us with a project to work on, and our concept pitches clearly haven't gone down well (despite there being many of them)."

Sequels to racers Pure and Split/Second have apparently been aborted, as Disney refocuses it's games business on digital, social and mobile projects.

"The inactive portion of the studio has been expecting redundancies for months, so this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. It's sad that it's come to this of course, but for many people they'll be quite happy to take the money and go, as they've been sitting around doing nothing for months," said the source.

The remaining team is at work on a "promising" title, according to the report, although it's also labelled as "new and risky".

At the start of this year Disney Interactive axed around 200 jobs including positions at Junction Point, putting Wideload Games founder Alex Seropian in charge of all remaining development teams.

In March Disney Media Group also suffered a round of layoffs. The long-term plan is to shift away from the costly console business and make the games division profitable by 2013.

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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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