Black Rock senior staff 'form new studio'

Black Rock senior staff 'form new studio'

By Rob Crossley

May 31st 2011 at 12:55PM

Baynes and Monaghan thought to have launched Roundcube Entertainment

Two senior staff made redundant at Disney studio Black Rock have returned with their own independent outfit, according to reports.

Nick Baynes and Ian Monaghan have co-founded new group Roundcube Entertainment, and industry professionals have already sent their congratulations across Twitter.

Baynes, who worked as game director on Split/Second, will step in as studio head, according to GamesIndustry.biz

Monaghan, senior producer at the studio, is said will step in as development director.

Black Rock recently was hit by a redundancy operation thought to have affected about 40 staff – many of which had worked on the debut Split/Second project.

Its owning firm Disney is in a transitional period. The entertainment conglomorate opened 2011 with a flurry of redundancies across its entire interactive entertainment division.

Jobs were cut from Epic Mickey studio Junction Point, while Vancouver-based Propaganda Games closed completely.

A subsequent division-wide layoff operation was thought to have hit some 200 staff, though Disney never confirmed nor denied the claim.

Some reports claimed the final redundancy count was as high as 700, with Disney repositioning its interactive business to focus on building social games.

Black Rock was not, at least initially, affected by the layoff spree.