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Bodycount developer Codemasters Guildford to close

Wednesday, 14th September 2011 11:50 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Codemasters has announced it’s “proposing to retire” its Guildford studio.

The developer recently released shooter Bodycount, as well as working on the Operation Flashpoint series. Bodycount did really badly at reviews, getting as low as 51 from MetaCritic, and only just making it into the UK top 40 in its first week on sale.

The consultation period began today for up to 30 days, with 66 staff being affected. Once the 30 days are finished, the studio will formally close.

Codemasters is instead opting to focus its attention on its racing brands, like DiRT, Formula One and Grid in its studios at Warwickshire and Birmingham, with the Birmingham studio expanding to include a second team for a brand new racing IP.

“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,” the company said in a statement to GI.Biz.

“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.”

The company has encouraged those affected from the Guildford layoffs to apply for posts in Warwickshire and Birmingham.

“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.”

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21 Comments

  1. BraveArse

    It’s a “consultation” period, Johnny. Having gone through it myself just this last week, I can guarantee there is very little consoling going on, at least on a company level.

    edit: ah it’s been fixed I see. Now I look like the gimp I truly am ;)

    #1 3 years ago
  2. viralshag

    Damn. Well, sorry to hear that. I didn’t try the game…

    Reading their full statement, I understand the need for professionalism and stuff, but it didn’t even come across like they were that fussed.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Fin

    Fuckin’ hell, really seems like one bad/underperforming game and you’re gone these days (Realtime – APB; Bizzare – Blur; Blackrock – Split/Second).

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    Always a shame to hear this sorta thing. Having had my company fold under me, I know how gutting it feels. Hope all the dudes at Codemasters are able to find something…

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Blerk

    Indeed, I’ve just been through this too. Best of luck, everyone.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GrimRita

    As soon as the CEO fucks off the better. He is doing nothing but running the company into the ground.

    They spend too much money hiring pointless directors/execs who do fuck all apart from draw a nice salary.

    Aside from racing games, everything Codies have done of late has fallen flat on its face.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Cygnar

    As tragic as this is for the employees losing their jobs, I can understand why their division is on the chopping block.

    Bodycount is a truly abysmal game. There are games with better graphics, better stories, better sound, better gunplay, better controls, more variety, and more engaging scoring systems. Bulletstorm has all of these, and is better than Bodycount in every conceivable way. Bodycount adds literally nothing to the most cutthroat genre of modern gaming. Play the demo and see for yourselves. It really is that bad.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. James Mac

    Wasn’t this coming from the moment Stuart Black left… or possibly, when he signed on?

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Lounds

    They should make TOCA again.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. BraveArse

    @8 definitely when he signed on…

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Quiiick

    Yes, the demo of “Bodycount” is indeed terrible. Played it yesterday and for the first time ever a demo crashed my PS3. :(

    Can’t say much about the story but the graphics and controls are meh …

    #11 3 years ago
  12. xino

    wtf?

    man I f*8king hate this when this happens man!

    everytime a game doesn’t sell well the studio closes down…WTF?

    The demo was ok but needed more work and addressing especially the aiming and feedback support.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. GamezIdiot

    Bad news, imagine if football clubs worked the same way… Your team knocked out of the FA cup? Too bad, shut down the club, fire everyone… Games industry needs to wake up and stop treating people like shit.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. HeavyD-Love

    big surprise. game sucked balls.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    @all that they are surprised this happen

    If I give you 10-30 million for a game that you said you could deliver and then a few years later you create a game that undelivered completely and doesn’t make a profit whatsoever? What do you think would happen? You clearly can’t make a game and you now owe me 10-30million dollars. The obvious choice is to fold. Thats why I am always for just doing DLC type games if a company is not sure about their game.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. strikkebil

    shame that if devs only make one bad game they lose their jobs…

    #16 3 years ago
  17. majicship

    This is sad news indeed. But the demo, fo rme, was pretty unplayable. Codies need to stick to doing what they do best, and they make freakin’ awesome driving games. If only they could pull off another TOCA but without that annoying team manager coming on the radio all the time. And why on earth can’t you turn that crap off?

    #17 3 years ago
  18. manamana

    Sad news and basically what Fin said. And I am probably the only person on this planet who actually enjoyed the slowpaced Operation Flashpoint series. It’s quircky yes, but I love that gameplay. With all those FPSs around, its the only series (on consoles) which has slow paced modern warfare gameplay and I actually like that. No other tries that. Everyone is willing to jump on the COD bandwaggon and wonders why they don’t sell the same amount. Diversification anyone?

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Ireland Michael

    This is the price of technological advancement.

    While there’s no denying that Bodycount is not a particularly good game, this is not the case with every game that performs badly at retail.

    And we have only ourselves to blame in those instances. With every hardware generation comes better graphics, and increasingly more expensive production costs. But we all want those better, shinier game, so we follow technological growth like rabid ants after food.

    The industry simply can’t maintain itself. I fear to think how bad its going to get in the next hardware cycle.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DSB

    @19 Outsourcing is the next step, I reckon.

    Get a few superbly competent people to manage the project, maybe a few consultants, get a few cherrypicked artists, and then leave all the code to some friendly folks somewhere far away. With the right project management and infrastructure, people will never know the difference.

    Perhaps the cutting edge technological aspect of videogames means that you still need the cream of the crop, of the kind that you might only find in the west at the moment, but with places like India and Brazil getting better and better educations, I think it’s only a question of time before they’ll provide the same quality at lower cost.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Phoenixblight

    @20

    The industry already outsources especially with the 3D modeling and animation department. If you need a shit load of props made you go to these companies and get them done in fact Virgil is using them for Darksiders 2 they said they end up sending half the crap back or redoing them entirely. Activision,Blizzard, I know for a fact does it too and if the two top companies do it you can bet you’re bottom dollar majority of the industry already does. The only people they keep in house are coders, scripters and designers and some artists that are worth their salt.

    #21 3 years ago

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