Disney has announced that there will be significant layoffs at Black Rock Studios, its Brighton-based outfit responsible for the Spit/Second and Pure racing games.
Speculation over staff cuts at Black Rock began yesterday when an unidentified source told Eurogamer that as many as 100 jobs were "at risk." Today, Disney said it was moving forward with the cuts, announcing, "Disney Interactive Studios confirms a reduction of its workforce from its Brighton-based internal game development studio, Black Rock Studios. The studio will continue its work on its current project."
According to Eurogamer's source, Disney's cuts will only affect those at Black Rock who were sidelined after their work on a Split/Second sequel was halted at the behest of Disney back in December. Though smaller brainstorming teams were later formed to develop new projects for these displaced employees, none of the resulting game pitches managed to pique Disney's interest. This left the unassigned employees to twiddle their thumbs while co-workers plugged away at the aforementioned 'current project.'
"The inactive portion of the studio has been expecting redundancies for months, so this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone," the source explained. "It's sad that it's come to this of course, but for many people they'll be quite happy to take the money and go, as they've been sitting around doing nothing for months."
Remaining Black Rock employees will continue working on a “new and risky” game which has yet to be announced.
May 5, 2011