Cohort to cease business

Cohort to cease business

By Rob Crossley

April 21st 2011 at 2:06PM

25 staff to be emptied from The Shoot studio

Dundee outfit Cohort Studios will cease operations, the company has announced.

The studio, which opened in 2006, said it is closing down after experiencing “difficulties of being a console developer in a declining console marketplace”.

Around 25 people have been issued their redundancy notice.

"It really is with great sadness that we have been left with no alternative but to start winding down,” studio CEO Lol Scragg said.

“Making all 25 employees redundant is genuinely heartbreaking.”

Cohort spread its bets in the final two years of operations. The Dundee outfit had built its own engine, Praetorian, and recently was said to have enough funds to develop and release its first self-published games.

This was despite evident money problems at the studio. In August 2010 the outfit made 27 staff redundant.

At the start of the year, Cohort hired Grant Alexander as marketing manager to promote its new projects.

In January, Alexander said the studio “has been developing a couple of high quality games that are due for release in the next few months”.

Yet the studio could not deliver on that promise. Only one of these titles will be released, Cohort said.

“As we entered 2011, we have looked to change the direction of our business but unfortunately we ran out of time,” Scragg explained.

Cohort was one of the first to develop for Sony’s Move controller. That game generated encouraging levels of buzz, though critics had a lukewarm response to the title.

That game was Cohort’s first attempt at building its own IP, following many months of contract work for titles such as Buzz, Burnout Paradise, and Motorstorm.

Cohort said it would be helping those laid off find new work.

Its last game is a PlayStation Minis title called ‘Me Monstar: Hear Me Roar’. It will be released in May.