Black Rock hit by layoffs

[UPDATE] Disney confirms staffers are to be let go from Split/Second, Pure developer in Brighton today; UK reports estimate 100 reductions.

In the past year, the Disney Interactive Media Group has shut down Propaganda Games and laid off hundreds across its internal developers, including Epic Mickey-maker Junction Point. Now it appears additional cuts are being made at another Disney shop, Black Rock Studios.

The Brighton, UK-based studio, whose most recent release was warmly received racing game Split/Second, will let go 100 staffers today, according to Eurogamer.

Black Rock Studios rocked with layoffs.

Eurogamer's report cites an anonymous source inside Black Rock who said Disney has been unable to give half of the studio any work since mid-December. "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)," said the source.

Additionally, the source said that sequels to quad racing game Pure and Split/Second were shelved following Disney's restructuring. Further, the source said a "good proportion" of the remaining staff at Black Rock is working on a "promising" game described as "new and risky."

[UPDATE] When queried by GameSpot, Disney offered the following statement: "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."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

7 comments
jarofdirt882
jarofdirt882

I'm a big Disney fan and they may have done a lot of horrible things (High School Musical and the like), but I truely believe that the recent attitude towards gaming (the shifting to "social" gaming and away from "proper", including the layoffs and closures) is something that would make Walt turn in his grave. He was always looking to the future.. and I think he would've loved gaming, it's both interactive and artistic, and it's always being pushed graphically, innovative controls etc... Anyway, on topic. Loss of jobs is always a shame. But it's no surpirse, UK government have taken back the promises of tax breaks etc. And developers can't wait to get out of here now... but to be fair some are fighting the corner and trying to get them to change their minds.

KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Any game industry related closures / layoffs is sad news for me. I just so love gaming and these news articles only dampen my spirits to one day being able to work in the gaming industry in some way or the other !!!

farrlinn
farrlinn

It's sad when a good game doesn't sell enough to hold a dev team together. :(

lewuz
lewuz

I found it sad news too. Split/Second was the biggest surprise (as much as Blur was the biggest disapointment) of last years racers and I loved it.

lamprey263
lamprey263

that's a shame, Split/Second was actually really good, I liked it better than any other racer that came out in 2010, I was looking forward to a sequel too, it's too bad Disney won't let that happen

Kiaininja
Kiaininja

Oh-oh, Disney should probably step up their server security before a raged ex-employee hacks them in revenge.