Codemasters have just announced that their Guildford (UK) studio is going to be closed as part of their future plans. The studio’s most recent work was Bodycount which received generally poor reviews (you can see our own review here). One can only assume that the poor reception (Bodycount has a metacritic score of 53 on the Xbox 360) is a reason for this move.
This move signals Codemasters will invest more heavily in their racing studios, which are currently working on the DIRT, GRID, and F1 franchises which are produced from Birmingham and Warwickshire.
The Guildford studio currently houses 66 staff members whose futures are being discussed currently. Alongside this, Codemasters hint that a new team will work alongside the F1 2011 team on a new title, which was not named.
“Codemasters’ future product development strategy will see additional studio resource invested to extend its world-class racing portfolio. 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. If progressed, the move will affect 66 Guildford studio personnel; staff are now involved in a consultation period to discuss the proposal.
As Codemasters looks to take greater leadership in the racing category, the company is proposing a studio structure that adds resource and strengthens our best-in-class racing teams. The output from the studios on the Warwickshire campus and in Birmingham is on the increase with multiple continuing game series, brand extensions and new racing IPs in production. Both the Warwickshire and Birmingham studios have won BAFTAs for their critically acclaimed, multi-million selling titles and the company is adding resource to ensure they constantly over achieve in this competitive sector.
Codemasters envisages that it will continue to have a number of open positions within the Racing and Online studio teams at Codemasters’ campus in Warwickshire working on Dirt, Grid, F1 Online and with the F1 team in Birmingham, which is being expanded to house a full second team working on a new racing IP. In the event that staff working within the Guildford site are affected by the current proposals, they will be encouraged to apply for suitable positions on campus and in the Birmingham studio.”