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UPDATE: Split/Second 2 Canceled, Layoffs At Black Rock Studio

by Phil Kollar on May 05, 2011 at 07:20 AM

UPDATE: Disney has confirmed layoffs at Black Rock Studio to Joystiq, saying: "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." Good luck to both those left at Black Rock Studio and those exiting the team today.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Amidst a year of high quality, under-performing racing titles, Split/Second was probably my favorite (and certainly one of the best-reviewed). Sadly, it looks like the wished-for sequel is not in the books, as developer Black Rock Studios is rumored to be cutting its staff considerably.

Eurogamer reports from an anonymous source inside Black Rock Studio that tomorrow the studio will begin a round of voluntary layoffs meant to cut the staff by approximately 40 people. The studio will reportedly stick around but with a new focus on creating a single game at a time.

The anonymous source also revealed that they had been working on a sequel to Split/Second, but it was canceled in December. Since that time, most of the studio has had nothing to work on as "Disney have been unable to provide us with a project to work on, and our concept pitches clearly haven't gone down well (despite there being many of them)." A follow-up to 2008 release Pure is mentioned as another project that was dropped.

The staff that remains at Black Rock Studios are hard at work on a new title described as both "promising" and "new and risky." Hopefully these layoffs are not the beginning of the end for this incredibly talented and terribly under-rated studio.