Codemasters speeds in to save Sega's UK Racing Studio?

Codemasters speeds in to save Sega's UK Racing Studio?
Michael French

By Michael French

April 23rd 2008 at 4:55PM

Sources say Britsoft firm will rescue Solihull team from redundancy via acquisition - but company remains tight-lipped

After we broke the news two weeks ago that Sega was planning to close its UK Racing Studio development team, Develop now understands that nearby Codemasters could save some – or all – of the team's staff from redundancy by acquiring the studio.

A number of reports have circulated amongst studio insiders for the past week that Sega was looking to sell the outfit to another company.

Now several sources – including some reputedly from inside the Racing Studio itself - are naming Codemasters as the suitor, with speculation mounting that the company is close to signing a deal, meaning it might be able to offer former Sega employees roles at its HQ in Southam, near to the Solihull base.

Codemasters declined to comment on the reports when quizzed by Develop - although that may well be due to a respect for employment law ahead of any deal being signed and the news being officially communicated to the Sega Racing Studio staff.

If the rumours are true, and Codemasters is able to offer some of the Sega Racing Studio staff new jobs, then the move could represent a bit of a homecoming for some of those employees. Sega Racing Studio was founded by Codemasters' former Colin McRae producer Guy Wilday and staffed by other developers that had worked on the firm's racing games, as well as at other racing studios in the UK.

The Solihull team had released one game - Sega Rally (called Sega Rally Revo in the US) - which was built on its proprietary tech. Codemasters itself has made a significant investment in internal technology in the past 24 months, building its proprietary engine called EGO.

More news on this story as we get it.