Layoffs at Codemasters

F1 series developer reorganizing digital and publishing units; layoffs estimated to total around 80.

Codemasters has laid off as many as 80 developers as part of an internal reorganization, a "strong source" has told GamesIndustry International today. According to an official statement from the company, the layoffs mainly affect the F1 developer's digital and publishing teams.

"As the company realigns its operations to focus on areas of increased strategic importance and decrease resources in areas that are not delivering value for the business, the company has proposed the restructure of certain aspects within its digital development and publishing units in line with future product strategy," Codemasters said in a statement.

The restructuring is not company-wide and is not expected to impact development on core console and PC games like GRID 2 or its yearly Formula One game.

Prior to today's layoffs, Codemasters employed over 500 in development and publishing roles across the company's studios in Warwickshire and Birmingham, United Kingdom and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Written By

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

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29 comments
Fanible
Fanible

I realize this is totally irrelevant to the topic, but every time I see the Codemasters logo, I think it looks like "C3" or "MU".  Drives me crazy.

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Love that word: "reorganization"....

oisbush
oisbush

I remember playing the Celtic Club Football Game, worst soccer game of all time(equal to it's entire Club Football Series)

oisbush
oisbush

Haven't made many decent games since 2002

Teraphan
Teraphan

F1 Series , Dirt Series , Grid Series = Perfect.
"ผมรักCodemaster."

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

My once favorite developer scuttles Operation Flashpoint while alienating and expelling Bohemia Interactive;  abandons the TOCA series;  abandons the Colin McRae name -- then turns the DIRT series into and arcade racer after three games;  sends Stuart Black packing half way through the development of Bodycount and ultimately abandons shooters & action games - the most popular genre of the present day - once and for all in 2011.

21 comments on a front page weekend story about layoffs that'll directly affect it's number one money making series based on the world's most popular form of auto racing.

Anyone see a trend here?

May these folks find prompt employment far, far away from the likes of this company.  Not that it'll be around much longer.



servb0ts
servb0ts

with $4.99 DLC per city track, I can't feel sorry for this company or its people.

fredwv
fredwv

up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, start

pl4yer_f0und
pl4yer_f0und

Too bad I love the F1 series, no other series does the authenticity like codemasters.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I hope the folks at Codemasters find new work in the industry. seems many publishers/developers are going under. hopefully they will find work.

Dasim64
Dasim64

I'm not surprised. The F1 series has been an abysmal mess since it was first released. Follow that up with very poor support after release and you have a lot of unhappy fans. All 3 games are buggy and unfinished with some of the main selling points left completely non-functional. Then for the 2012 release they removed all sorts of fan favorites from the game and put in more pointless additions that added nothing to the series. I bought all 3 games ever hopeful that one of them would get it right, but none of them have unfortunately. It's really a shame but you can't keep releasing half baked products and expect your business to grow.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Its a shame, but as long as they release DiRT4 i'll be very happy.

Gotta love 'Outbreak' : )

AlexFili
AlexFili

Sad to see so many companies getting layoffs

hairday
hairday

I've always thought these guys were great, although I've only played their racing games. I root for them because I really think Forza is an inferior racing experience. But there is always something about Codemaster racing games that makes me want to stop playing: the non-race stuff.

Can I offer some feedback, Codemasters? Your strength is the quality of the racing experience. Forget all that silly story stuff, all those overdone between-race scenes and chatty, overfriendly teammates, etc. Stop trying to turn a racing game into an RPG, and don't listen to the industry nonsense about story. Just keep pumping the racing experience, and you will topple Forza as the rightful heirs. More cars, more tracks, more options. Win.


(Unlocking progressions is fine, but that's as close to development narrative as you need to be. Don't forget we're not all teenage boys. And for god's sake please ignore Forza's shameless copy of your work in Horizon. Two identical bad bets don't make a good one.)

mattcake
mattcake

Been a fan of Codemasters since their days of releasing spectrum games for 1.99 - anyone remember ATV simulator? Or any of the "simulator" series? Good times, sad to see them struggling. Always wanted a job there, but there was no internet in those days :)

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

 I feel bad for those 80 people who are now unemployed. I hope they find work quickly.

phatpantzz
phatpantzz

I hope they can find a way to produce better motor racing games as it is sad to hear about more layoffs in the UK games industry.

Part of the problem is that Codemasters were naive enough to release a FPS to take on the behemoths of COD and Battlefield..and lost.

The official sales figures for Operation Flashpoint Red River was a measly 400,000 units (80% Europe - 20% rest of the world).

Wake up you guys - focus on good market research first and make games of superior quality rather than producing half-assed games for genres you know nothing about and the sales will follow.

woodyfr
woodyfr

It's sad because I love F1 but F1 2011 was terrible and 2012 still full of bugs.

And I don't forget that they didn't want to make a cockpit view in Grid 2. Bad, bad, bad !

I hope Project Cars will be ready for this year.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Megavideogamer Seems like - but isn't.  Game companies staff up when there's a lot to do then shed jobs when there isn't.  The lay-offs make news, the hiring does not.  (Otherwise we would have five articles a day saying "BioWare hires new artist" or "Valve hires new C programmer, part time HR person made full time".)

This one is a "restructure" so it might signal something more interesting but it's hard to tell for sure.

oisbush
oisbush

@Dasim64 that's a bit harsh, I know how much CodeMasters have gone under over the last few years but abysmal is a bit harsh

MoreThot
MoreThot

F1 isn't half baked. No game is perfect and they are trying to reach a median between gamers that play for recreation and those that play for the simulation experience. Its not an easy task to do and very few have done it as well as Codemasters have and few have done it better than Codemasters.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@mattcake

Yep!

I started off with a 48k 'Rubber Keyboard' 'Speccy'.

Ahh, the good old days : )

10 "Print" I Love Codemasters <Enter>

20 Goto 10 <Enter>

Run <Enter>

I Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love CodemastersI Love Codemasters

: )

OrdosAlpha
OrdosAlpha

@mattcake I remember those days of waiting for 7 minutes for Fantasy World Dizzy to load on my ole ZX Speccy +2. Good times. And, I owned a few of the Simulator series, ATV included.

Dasim64
Dasim64

@MoreThot It doesn't have anything to do with who it was programmed for. They made it pretty clear it was never going to be a pure sim and that's just fine. The problem is that basic features of the game don't even work. Some people who play casually never see it so it all seems fine to them. Anyone who puts in some real time will see the issues right away. Just go to their forums and there are many posts regarding these issues.

mattcake
mattcake

@OrdosAlpha Do you also find that nowadays if a console game takes more than 30s to load it's really annoying? Funny when you think we grew up with those damn blue/yellow flashy stripes for 10mins that at any time could drop to the slow red/cyan ones and make you rewind and start over... ;) Are we ever gonna get instant loading games like the Atari 2600 :P Now I am showing my age...