Ignition closes US studio [Update]

Ignition closes US studio [Update]

By Rob Crossley

January 12th 2011 at 11:51AM

As many as 70 developers out of work; Reich project cancelled

[Update: Ignition CEO Vijay Chadha has joined The Visionaire Group, a digital marketing agency based in LA. His silent and sudden exit from ignition was not explained.

It is also rumoured that the Reich project is back in operation in some capacity.

Original story, published November 2nd, follows:]

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The seventy-odd staff at Ignition’s Florida studio will have to relocate to Texas or find themselves without a job, Develop understands.

Official sources have confirmed that one of Ignition’s two US development studios is to close down.

Staff have been given the opportunity to relocate some 1,300 miles away to join the company’s Texas based outfit – a studio which, for now, has escaped Ignition’s recent flurry of cutbacks.

Some seventy developers and resource staff worked at Ignition in Florida.

An announcement will arrive in the next couple of days.

The news was confirmed through official sources after an anonymous tip-off appeared on news site Spong. The forum post read:

“At 4.30 pm on November 1st, 2010, Ignition Entertainment management came in with the police and closed down its entire operations in Florida.

“All 70 employees including executive management was told to collect their personal stuff and vacate the premises.”

Ignition Florida was working on a largely unknown, though reportedly expensive title, known as ‘Reich’.

The forum post suggested: “The studio has spent $23m on Reich and it is a flop. Of the 9 levels only levels 1 and 2 are completed. It would be difficult to outsource the rest of the game since the other stages are partially completed. Past management staff has mismanaged the funds. There was no corporate monitoring on spending.”

The apparent cancellation of Reich comes shortly after Ignition’s UK studio cancelled the WarDevil project – another multi-year project that became a white elephant for the company.

The breadth of changes underway at Ignition is, the group recently said, part of its new plan to reform as a digitally-focused game development outfit.

Announcements will be made soon of a revived company with a new focus.

The firm recently told Develop its London development studio, despite around thirty staff going, arm will fight on.

“Ignition’s London office is very much up and running and will serve as the global headquarters for the company’s recently announced investment into digital distribution and publishing,” read a statement.

Develop has heard that the group’s CEO, Vijay Chadha, has been absent for around three months with many staff, possibly all of them, unaware of his whereabouts.

Ignition was acquired by India media giant UTV in 2007.