Climax Closes Santa Monica Studio

A U.S. representative from the Climax Group (Sudeki, MotoGP) has informed Gamasutra that the company has closed down its U.S. development studio in Santa Monica. [UPDATE: Official statement added, company keeping small business presence in N
While details are currently scarce, a representative from UK-headquartered Climax Group (Sudeki) has informed Gamasutra that the company has closed down its U.S. development operations in Santa Monica for unspecified reasons. The closure marks the most recent in a string of restructuring moves by the independent game studio, which sold its racing studio in Brighton, best known for the MotoGP and ATV Offroad Fury series, to Buena Vista Games in September. The company also incurred a significant reduction in headcount late last year within its LA studio, a move that reportedly resulted in development of Silent Hill Origins to be moved to Climax's Solent studio in the UK. Calls to the LA studio today confirmed that the studio was closing down and referred reporters to the UK office for further comment. Interestingly, in speaking with Climax's CEO Karl Jeffrey late last year, the executive seemed enthusiastic about the company's prospects following the deal, noting at the time that the move to establish a foothold in the U.S. was “a learning experience." Following the shutting down of the development artm of the Santa Monica branch, the company will no longer have a base of development operations within the U.S., though it is believed to be continuing a small base of business operations in the territory. Climax currently operates handheld studio in London, as well as its headquarters in Portsmouth. [UPDATE - 02/26/07, 10.00am PST: Gamasutra has now received an official statement from Climax's UK offices: "Climax today confirmed that it is has completed its last game development project in it's Santa Monica studio and will now complete the conversion of that operation into a small, dedicated business development hub as part of its strategy to reorganise the group into a single studio / single location operation." "Karl Jeffery, CEO said that he was very pleased with the way the management in Santa Monica had handled the transition and was looking forward to having a more streamlined company where games are the focus, rather than spending so much time & effort running a far-flung group of studios."]

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