â??New Codemasters IPâ?? gossip raises questions

â??New Codemasters IPâ?? gossip raises questions

By Rob Crossley

February 16th 2010 at 8:10AM

Britsoft publisher linked with new IP, perhaps marking the relaunch of a forgotten project

Codemasters might be on the cusp of launching a fresh recruitment drive to kick-start a project centred on a new IP.

But the various news reports suggesting so may, however, only be indicating something more complicated – that Codemasters has decided to relaunch a project that was announced over two years ago, before falling off the radar.

A CVG report suggests that the Britsoft developer “has a new shooter IP in the works”, adding that the project is being spearheaded by the “mastermind behind Criterion's Black”.

That “mastermind” was cited as former Criterion designer Stuart Black, who unfortunately has not been widely accredited for his work on the game. The director of Black, Alex Ward, remains at Criterion and is working on the latest edition in EA’s Need For Speed series.

Despite claims to the contrary, Mr Black is not a new signing for Codemasters. He joined the company, as game director, back in May 2007 as a new studio in Guildford opened. At the time, Codemasters signed up Adrian Bolton – also a former Criterion developer – to become Guildford’s studio director.

Late in 2007, Codemasters’ confidence in the Guildford unit grew, and the publisher stepped up its ambitions by allowing the group to build a new IP – known at the time as ‘Project Strike Team’.

Project Strike Team bears a conspicuous resemblance to the project revealed in yesterday’s CVG report – both are a New IP action title, built in Guildford, and built using the company’s EGO Engine.

A Codemasters spokesperson said yesterday:

"Codemasters' Guildford Studio is key to our overall development strategy and this year has opened further positions across its design, programming and art teams. With Stuart Black directing the vision for our new IP in production, deployment of EGO and key development figures heading up a highly skilled team, our Guildford facility offers great potential for development talent based in the South East who want to join a growing studio and work on original titles."

Codemasters was recently said to be close to signing a new investment injection with an unnamed third-party.