Another British developer closes down, with the studio behind PS Move launch title The Shoot the latest casualty.
The demise of British development studios is becoming an all-too-frequent occurrence following Realtime Worlds closure in September 2010, Bizarre Creations in February 2011, and a host of others in between. Now Cohort Studios' staff has joined the ranks of the unemployed, as it has announced immediate closure, ceasing of development operations and the redundancy of 25 employees.
Cohort Studios was a small business, most famous for its involvement with MotorStorm, Burnout Paradise and PlayStation Move launch title The Shoot. Lol Scragg, CEO of Cohort, stated that, "It really is with great sadness that we have been left with no alternative but to start winding down." The studio's final game was set for release this week as a PlayStation Mini title--Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar!. Due to continued problems surrounding the PlayStation Network, however, this release is likely to be delayed.
TIGA--one of the two trade associations representing the UK games industry and historically the voice of UK developers--stated that the closure of Cohort Studios was part of a wider problem. TIGA voiced its disappointment regarding the government's failure to undertake in a comprehensive assessment to determine the benefits of games tax relief. Talking to GameSpot UK, TIGA's CEO, Dr. Richard Wilson, emphasized that while there were no guarantees Cohort Studios could have been saved, certain measures could have been put in place to try to avoid such unfortunate circumstances.
Dr. Wilson urged the government to consider setting up a Creative Content Fund, which would help smaller studios gain access to finance by splitting the budget and costs. He also pointed out the importance for greater support in investment for skills and training in specialist areas, such as the video game industry.
These sorts of small studios are a great place for people to start their careers, and it's sad that they're seemingly all closing down. After all the pushing of games-related university courses a few years ago, lots of people are coming out of education and finding the job market a lot smaller than when they began. The tax breaks certainly would help, but the government don't seem to have any plans of helping the industry. It's hard enough to find employment nowadays, but when already niche roles are being reduced by the dozen almost every week it's a very bad state of affairs.
meh crappy companies going out of business are never sad. i do feel for the employees though but thats the way the video game industry is.
"TIGA voiced...Government's failure to undertake in a comprehensive assessment to determine the benefits of games tax relief. ...Wilson, emphasised...no guarantees Cohort Studios could have been saved...measures could...avoid such unfortunate circumstances." I admit he's trying to get some sympathy or show the media that something could have been done, which is part of his job at TIGA, I'm sure. I can easily understand that any government has BETTER things to do than provide assessments and identitfy benefits to save one little "drop-in-the-bucket" company -- video games are of low importance to the general public health/welfare. It wouldn't have saved them anyway; a TAX RELIEF would somehow tip the scales. They were obviously already in the hole or at least heading that way and their closure was most likely inevitable unless they starting making some good profit. Speaking of which, I have played Burnout Paradise for PC (a terrible port, by the way) and its just an awful game. I don't understand why it's rated so highly. I have played past Burnout games and they had their place/time. I've also tried the demo for "The Shoot" after getting my Move -- hardly interesting or entertaining. I'm all for TIGA trying to do their part, but you can't support every company. Some just need to die off so quality stays high.
@MXVIII It doesn't say that at all. In fact it states they don't even know if tax relief would have helped at all. "there were no guarantees Cohort Studios could have been saved". The PSN outage is partly to blame, game can't be released so the company can't make money.
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