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.
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.

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