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Report:  Split/Second  Developer Black Rock Facing Redundancies

Report: Split/Second Developer Black Rock Facing Redundancies

May 5, 2011 | By Mike Rose

Pure and Split/Second developer Black Rock Studio is facing redundancies, with around 100 jobs at risk, according to media reports.

News site Eurogamer is reporting that the Brighton, UK-based developer will see redundancies tomorrow morning, with an anonymous source from Black Rock suggesting that the aim is for the studio to be "reduced to a single game team."

The source noted that parent company Disney hasn't given the studio any work since mid-December, saying, "Disney has 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)."

Reports emerged early this year that Disney Interactive Studios would see substantial layoffs across its entire network of development houses, with layoffs affecting up to half of 700 people employed at the time. A later report said around 200 had been laid off.

The new Eurogamer report also revealed that both a sequel to open-world racer Pure and a sequel to last year's Split/Second were at one point in the works, but both were cancelled.

Disney has been shifting its resources away from packaged console development and towards online and social gaming markets.

"After SS wrapped, we started work on SS2 pre-prod which was cancelled last December due to DIS's new management and their changing priorities (the push towards freemium, etc.) - SS2 didn't really fit in with that (despite some efforts to shoehorn it in)," said the source.

However, it was also noted that a "good proportion" of the studio are working on a "new and risky" title.

It was originally suggested that around 40 jobs are facing the cut, however the source clarified later that it was in fact around 100 jobs that are at risk, and there are instead 40 jobs that will be kept.

Disney confirmed with Eurogamer that there will indeed be a "reduction in its workforce" at the studio, although no specific details were given.

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