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Report: Razorworks closing down

<em>Develop</em> magazine says the Empire Interactive-owned UK developer behind Ford Racing: Off Road, Pipemania revival has told staffers to start packing up.


The last remaining internal development studio of Empire Interactive is set to close, reports Develop magazine. According to sources, 30 staff members were told yesterday that, due to financial reasons, the studio would be shuttering in the near future.

Razorworks was founded in 1996, and Empire Interactive acquired the company in 2000. Games that have come from the Oxford, UK-based studio include Ford Racing Off Road, the Xbox Live version of Double Dragon, and Enemy Engaged: Apache Havoc. Most recently, it announced that it would be resurrecting puzzle game Pipemania onto a variety of modern platforms, and that a "major new IP Wii title" had been green-lit and was currently in preproduction.

Ironically, the company's Web site currently proclaims it is looking for extra staff for "key positions for this game and future titles." Empire Interactive was taken over by Silverstar Holdings in November 2006.

A spokesperson for Empire Interactive gave the following statement to GameSpot: "Empire Interactive can today confirm that it has begun consultation regarding the future of internal development studio, Razorworks. At this time we can only confirm that we are currently talking to a number of studios regarding the future of Razorworks, with the aim of finding the best solution for the studio and its staff. In the meantime Razorworks will continue to work towards delivering their current product range. Empire Interactive would like to stress that there will be no other changes within the company."

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