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Split/Second Developer Black Rock Closing Down

Pure and Split/Second developer Black Rock Studio is set to be closed down by parent company Disney Interactive, months after seeing lay-offs, according to media reports. [UPDATE: Disney confirms closure.]
Pure and Split/Second developer Black Rock Studio is set to be closed down by parent company Disney Interactive, according to media reports. It was revealed a couple of months ago that the Brighton, UK-based developer was facing redundancies, with the aim to see the studio "reduced to a single game team." Now news site Eurogamer is reporting that the development team is being completely shut down, with an anonymous source claiming that Disney handled the studio badly. The source noted that Disney was outsourcing games to other companies rather than giving the work to Black Rock, while allegedly failing to properly advertise the studio's key racing titles Pure and Split/Second. Since the Black Rock layoffs, a couple of new studios have formed from the ex-employees. Roundcube Entertainment, led by Split/Second game director Nick Baynes and former Black Rock senior producer Ian Monaghan, will focus on creating social games. ShortRound Games, revealed a couple of weeks ago, consists of Black Rock game director Andrew Hubbard, technical director Kim Burrows, technical art director Stuart Pharoah and creative and art director Steve Uphill, and is looking to make smartphone and touch-screen games. Gamasutra has contacted Disney for official comment. [UPDATE: GI.biz [registration required] has received the following official statement from Disney, confirming the closure: "Disney Interactive Studios confirms that Black Rock Studios' current project has not been greenlit for further development, consequently the company informed employees yesterday of the intent to enter a consultation process on the proposal to close the studios.”]

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