Climax tweaks operations

Company details staff cuts in Santa Monica; says it will move more development to remaining UK studios.

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Last month the seldom-volatile Climax made headlines when it sold one of its four studios to the Disney Company's game division, Buena Vista Games. Today, Climax reps confirmed that additional changes were happening at the UK-based development studio.

Topping the list of changes was a confirmation that there had been a reduction in headcount at Climax's Santa Monica studio. Fourteen staffers at the location have been laid off, according to Climax reps. As well, the US studio will lose a bit of independence as it transitions to answering directly to Climax head of development UK-based Simon Gardner rather than reporting to an on-site studio head.

"All three studios will be integrated into a single management structure," the rep told GameSpot. The West Coast operation has been without a studio head for one month now.

Commenting on the changes, Climax CEO and founder Karl Jeffrey said, "New-gen game development requires incredible focus and the removal of all barriers to your teams [in the areas of] creating and communicating effectively. Integrating our management structure in this [new] way and doing more of our development in the UK will allow us to control the production process better."

Part of that reallocation of workload will include adding to UK staff--Jeffrey is planning to hire an additional 70 developers over the next 12 months in both the London and Hampshire locations. "The sale of our Brighton studio has provided the capital needed to become a real player in new-gen and original game development," Jeffrey said in a statement.

Company reps said that the remaining staffers in Santa Monica are working on two remaining games, with a third in concept development. The properties are said to have roots in Hollywood intellectual property, but no further details were revealed.

The company's marquee titles currently in development include a PSP version of Oblivion and Ghost Rider for multiple platforms.

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