Disney looking to close Black Rock

Split/Second shop's future looks dim as Disney informs Black Rock Studios staff of its proposal to close the development house.

Two months ago, it became clear that Black Rock Studios was in trouble when Disney Interactive, the outfit's parent company, said it was letting 100 of the staff there go due to lack of work for them. While a number of those who left have set up their own handheld studio, Shortround Games, the future is looking somewhat bleaker for those left behind.

Split/Second was not quite as well received as its predecessor, Pure.

Disney Interactive today confirmed to GameSpot UK that it was entering "a consultation process on the proposal to close the studios." When news of the layoffs broke in May, it was indicated that sequels to the studio's two racing games--which both launched to generally positive reviews--had been shelved and many of the studio's other ideas had been rejected by Disney.

Black Rock was reportedly working on a "promising" game described as "new and risky." However, it seems that that risk may have been too great for Disney, which said that the studio's current project "has not been greenlit for further development." The decision to end that project has led directly to the decision to start the process of shutting the studio down.

The racing studio, based in Brighton, was founded in 1998 as Pixel Planet. It has produced 13 different racing games across the PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. It had also been known as Climax Brighton and Climax Racing before its acquisition by Buena Vista Games--itself later rebranded as Disney Interactive--in 2006.

Written By

Want the latest news about Split/Second?

Split/Second

Split/Second

Follow

Discussion

67 comments
BradHummr
BradHummr

I'm with you guys on this, Pure and Split/Second are both amazing racing games, both very unique and with excellent controls. If you're going BlackRock, I will miss you.

contentxcontext
contentxcontext

i hate the way oarent companys seem to be just tossing developers about like rag dolls of late. I give anything to hear some good news now.

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Doesn't surprise me to see disney shutting down those two studios. Disney has been sliding down a slippy slope for a very long time with their movies and cable channel. Some big wig probably thought they could open up a gaming divison and make a killing on developing video games... Short sighted like always disney will most likely suffer even more losses in the years to come...

smoke_dog_4ever
smoke_dog_4ever

Gotta love when big name studios buy smaller studios and then close them two years later :-/

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

thing happen. when studios shut down, the members of those make new studios. so what?

Galm-one
Galm-one

To bad to hear that. I really liked Split Second, much more than Pure. A really sad news.

Fady117
Fady117

Stick to movies and TV shows, Disney. Stop insulting creative talent. Oh and, by the looks of the article, they seem excited about shutting down Black Rock.... yea well, I'm excited to see you going bankrupt very soon, cutting precious talent like that.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Split Second rocked and Multiplayer was fun. This is disappointing to say the least.

spoonybard-hahs
spoonybard-hahs

@ Agent-M LOL wut? Pixar has always been owned by another company since it was founded back in 1979. First, it was owned by Lucasfilm, then Apple, then Disney. To suggest it was some glamorous indy company is a bitter irony. As for Marvel, yes, Disney owns the comics publisher but has agreed to stay out of its day-to-day business. Frankly, it's good another company owns Marvel since Marvel can never keep its financials straight and has kissed Chapter 11 on more than one occasion. And finally: WTF are you yammering about? All of those shows have been released on DVD. Even Darkwing Duck.

0zscar
0zscar

I like split/second. it have a lot of potencial if they make de second part with better graphics and new ideas it will be great.

King_Gamer19
King_Gamer19

Split/Second wasn't great but wit more time wit the sequel it could.ve something special like Burnout

GabrielOnuris
GabrielOnuris

@LordRaymond Lol, it's funny to see Jack Sparrow show his opinions about Disney!! Oh sorry... CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow...!

LordRaymond
LordRaymond

Disney always should have stick to making movies.

demonic_85
demonic_85

I was never really a fan of Split/Second but it definitely had a lot of potential. I hate to see them go.

Pete5506
Pete5506

Hate to see a studio go, best of luck to the people that get let go

Dam505
Dam505

That Sucks Split Second was a good Game would have like to have seen Split Second 2

XboxGuy1537
XboxGuy1537

Just shows how stupid Disney is. Shutting down a company that made some gems like Split Second and Pure is not a good idea.

Spacerac
Spacerac

Wow. You already shut down Propaganda after they gave you an awesome Tron game. Really Disney?

Agent-M
Agent-M

I HATE Disneys owners. They control Marvel which is bad enough. They now control one its strongest competitors - Pixar which sucks. Disney also does not respect any of its original TV shows that helped the company during a time when its movies usually sold very poorly, shows such as Aladdin, Duck Tales and Chip N Dales, etc. Yet they refuse to release DVDs or any video games of these shows, or even reboot them after 10-15 years of them being off air. Disney, YOU SUCK.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

I actually liked Spilit Second. I hope some studio hires them, they are very talented.

GamingBoy2009
GamingBoy2009

Dang. I really like Split Second and I was surprised to see Disneys logo on that game. Disney does not realize that when you enter the gaming world, you have to commit yourself. If a game, like Split Second, does not sell well, then take your losses and try again. Dont just suddenly bail out when it has potential. Its understandable if a small publishing company had to do this, but Disney is a mega corporation and Im sure they have plenty of money to keep their development studios going. But I guess they would rather blow their money on their pop artists.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I don't play many arcade style racers, I'm more into the simulation racers like Forza Motorsport but seeing that Black Rock has had 2 major hits on their hands it makes no sense for Disney to axe the developer.

hush404
hush404

*shakes head. I think it silly to sell your company to a big company like disney, as they just end up shutting you down. Look at Pandemic studios and EA.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Disney are morons. The only good games they've put out are from Black Rock and Propaganda. Who do they shut down? Those two! I hope Disney's entire game division goes bankrupt.

Levi221
Levi221

So pretty much Disneys game division is dead. I think the only one that is really left is Junction Point.

steve_fox_fm3
steve_fox_fm3

whyyyyyyyyyyy ??????????? i'm looking 4 new split/second WTF

hella_epic
hella_epic

split/second was a solid racer,this is very sad news..............

Caffiene_free
Caffiene_free

I thought split second was a fantastic game...good alternative to burnout for me :/

firedrakes
firedrakes

it was a good game. i hope some company picks up the staff

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Probably the only decent game to ever come from a Disney studio, someone should snap these guys up.

Alvaro_20
Alvaro_20

first it was blur's studio (bizarre creations) ... and now this studio? damn :|

RAGEofSTUNTS
RAGEofSTUNTS

Like disney doesn't have the money to do a risky project.

Merex760
Merex760

Split/Second was a solid game. So sad.

dre256x
dre256x

i liked Split/Second also, but enjoyed Pure more.. It was baffled as to why they didn't make pure 2 and grew there fan base.. People are more likely than not to buy games from reputable dev's and seeing a pure was sucessful, some might see it as a one hit wonder, it would have been awesome to release pure 2 next and blow the first pure out of the water, Maybe then people would have want to look what the studio has lined up next... Also someone tell Disney to get out of videogame stuff, if you are not prepared to take a few losses then get out, not every game is goona be a break out hit..

SLAMT1LT
SLAMT1LT

Breaking up a talented and successful team doesn't make good business sense to me. But I'm a gamer, not a businessman.

StaticPenguin
StaticPenguin

That would be disappointing. Split/Second was an amazingly fun game.

Fightingfan
Fightingfan

Sony hurry buy them! Have you seen their explosions? They're like right outta a Michael Bay movie! Buy them and make theme help Jaffe!

KaBo0m
KaBo0m

and here I thought they were talking about a ride at disney world

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

disney does that. sucks that happened though. total sad face.

SadPSPAddict
SadPSPAddict

It's a shame. Would have loved to see a Pure 2 or Split/Second 2 :(

brok
brok

Bleack? Bleack!? Come on now Alex, that's just downright shoddy!

Marasca2
Marasca2

Cool, they made the best Disney game ever and they are going to close. I can see why Disney has no success on gaming.