Codemasters planning Bodycount studio closure

British publisher says increased emphasis on racing IP may result in shuttering of 66-man Guildford outfit.

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Codemasters Guildford hit a rocky patch late last year, what with creative director Stuart Black and general manager Adrian Bolton jumping ship prior to the release of Bodycount. That instability was reflected in the final product, as the sci-fi shooter suffered a tepid critical reception upon its eventual release two weeks ago.

Bodycount developer Codemasters Guildford is showing few signs of life.
Bodycount developer Codemasters Guildford is showing few signs of life.

Following that disappointing release, Codemasters has indicated that it plans to close the studio, a move that could impact up to 66 jobs. In a statement provided to CVG, Codemasters said that it has proposed closing its Guildford outfit and reallocating the resources to other internal, racing-focused studios.

"Codemasters' future product development strategy will see additional studio resource invested to extend its world-class racing portfolio," Codemasters said in its statement. "The company is increasing the size of existing development teams at its on-campus studios in Warwickshire (DiRT, GRID, F1 Online, Central Technology/EGO) while forming a further team to work alongside the F1 2011 team at its Birmingham studio on a new racing title."

"In line with the strategy, the company is proposing to retire from its facility in Guildford, most recently responsible for the shooter Bodycount," the statement continued. "If progressed, the move will affect 66 Guildford studio personnel; staff are now involved in a consultation period to discuss the proposal."

Codemasters went on to note that if it does decide to close its Guildford studio, it will encourage those impacted by the move to apply for positions at its campus in Birmingham. That studio is currently at work on a new installment in the F1 racing series and will soon be expanded to house a second team to develop a new racing IP.

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