FreeStyleGames saved from closure [updated]

FreeStyleGames saved from closure [updated]

By Rob Crossley

May 31st 2011 at 11:34AM

Studio to cut portion of staff; New project with Activision signed

Popular British outfit FreeStyleGames has survived Activision’s studio-wide cost-cutting operation, Develop understands.

The DJ Hero developer is thought to have signed a new project with its owning publisher, after months of negotiating its survival.

However, about thirty jobs are to go.

[Update 1: The studio has confirmed the details]

"Over the past three months we have examined a number of options for our studio's future with Activision,” said creative director Jamie Jackson.

“Today we are excited to share with our fans and community the news that we will continue our strong partnership with Activision, with work starting on a new, innovative project,” he added.

“While we are still in a consultation process we cannot release details about the project we will be working on but we look forward to sharing more information in the coming months. 

“We'd like to thank the team, our fans, the media and the video game industry at large for their support during this period."

Activision had acquired the Leamington Spa-based outfit in 2008, and enjoyed huge critical success, and some commercial victory, with the DJ Hero projects.

Yet in February the group was on the precipice of total closure as Activision announced it was embarking on a punishing cost-cutting operation.

The Guitar Hero business was dissolved, a True Crime project was cancelled and about 500 jobs were targeted for redundancy.

But the UK group held out, exploring “several options” with Activision.

David Osbourn, design director at Freestyle Games, said today that around 35 staff will be made redundant.

“We are consulting with the studio to offer tools and resources, including outplacement counselling services and career fairs etc to those employees affected,” he said.

“Although we will be really sorry to lose members of the Freestyle Games family we have no doubt that their talents will be in high demand throughout the industry.”