It seems like every day there’s news of employees in the video game industry getting the axe. Today’s news comes from Black Rock Studio, makers of the racer Split/Second. An unidentified source has claimed “it’s rumoured at Black Rock that there will be voluntary redundancies tomorrow – roughly 40, with the aim of reducing the studio to a single game team.”. According to the same source, roughly half the studio has had nothing to work on since mid December.
“It seems 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). After SS wrapped, we started work on SS2 pre-prod which was cancelled last December due to DIS’s new management and their changing priorities (the push towards freemium etc) – SS2 didn’t really fit in with that (despite some efforts to shoehorn it in).”.
“We had a concept week (everyone in the studio working on small teams) to try to come up with new ideas, but nothing really stuck. We had a freemium week sometime later with similar goals too.”.
“The inactive portion of the studio has been expecting redundancies for months, so this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. 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.”
Our source did reveal that a “good proportion” of the studio was actively employed on a “promising” title. He explained that the project was “new and risky, so I imagine [Disney] don’t want to risk putting two teams on it.”
This comes after Disney, Black Rock’s owner, cut over 700 jobs last year.