Karl Jeffery, CEO of Climax, has revealed what lies in store during the studio's 'fourth age', with the focus on a "boutique studio" approach led by new IP-based projects such as The Fixer.Speaking in an exclusive interview published in the November issue of Develop, he explained what the plan is for the 16-year-old independent UK studio following the sale of its Brighton-based racing office to Buena Vista in September.
Said Jeffery: "The perception of Climax over the next year is going to change from it being one of those companies on the old model of British development – such as Argonaut, Kaboom, and… let’s call it Old Climax – where it was all about multisite development and who has the most studios, the most teams, the most staff with the most projects.
"Look at the hot boutique studios – that’s the model we are persuing now."
The approach is partly aspirational - the studio has over 250 staff and that won't change - and partly operational; Climax recently announced that it planned to restructure the entire operation following the sell-off of the racing division.
In the short-term, the focus is on "rediscovering UK talent" as the company plans to add 70 people to its Southampton and Kingston, London teams, while the company works on pushing The Fixer, a new PS3 and Xbox 360 game, to the center of its slate. The title has been in the works for 18 months and will be ready in a year or so's time.
Jeffery added: "As a company – and a lot of publishers have done this too – we’ve taken the US for granted, thinking that we can go to Shanghai for cheaper development or that going to the US gives us the right creative talent. But take stock of what we’ve got in the UK and it’s incredible. If you look at the head count of developers in the UK it’s higher than California – I’d say UK development was a far more important development location than all of California."
More from Jeffery, including information on how Climax's MiG project management software can 'halve the cost of next-gen', why designers are the undervalued link in games production, and why the studio has survived and thrived in the UK and global development landscape, can be found in the latest issue of Develop - the print edition of which is with subscribers today, while the digital version can be downloaded here.