It’s always a shame to see a game development studio close its doors, but the news is especially sad when the group being disbanded is such a talented one. We all mourned when Okami and Viewtiful Joe creator Clover Studio went away, and we should similarly raise a glass today for Black Rock Studio. The Brighton, UK-based developer of Pure and Split/Second has been shedding employees for a few months now, but it seems that those cost-saving measures weren’t enough. Parent company Disney has decided to shut down operations, Eurogamer reports.
An official statement has been released which reads, “Disney Interactive confirms that Black Rock Studios’ current project has not been greenlit for further development, consequently the company informed employees yesterday of the intent to enter a consultation process on the proposal to close the studios.”
An unnamed source suggested to Eurogamer that Disney could have done a better job in leveraging the talent it had at on hand at Black Rock. Planned games were reportedly outsourced to external companies, projects that the Split/Second developer could have taken on. The same source also criticized Disney for not putting enough of an advertising game behind either of the studio’s games.
Whether or not the information offered by the anonymous source is accurate, this much is certain: Pure and Split/Second are not bad games, not by any stretch. They perhaps didn’t sell as well as they could have, but both games deserved the high marks they earned from critics. That’s the great shame of the Black Rock closure. Whatever Disney did or didn’t do with the studio, there’s no denying the talent there that could have been better leveraged.