Second studio surfaces after THQ UK closure

Second studio surfaces after THQ UK closure

By Rob Crossley

August 30th 2011 at 11:35AM

Alien Apple offers visual design services

Three senior staff recently made redundant at THQ Digital Warrington have together formed a new games company in the North West.

The UK group, called Alien Apple Studios, offers concept design services to various games and entertainment creators.

THQ closed its Digital Warrington studio, formerly known as Juice Games, as part of its arranged global tectonic shift in investments.

The cost-cutting publisher has closed studios in the US and Australia as well as Britain, and is placing its bets on a new Canadian super-studio that benefits from various tax break subsidies.

Digital Warrington’s closure resulted in the loss of around 40 staff, but many have already moved on to form their own companies.

Alien Apple has been founded by Digital Warrington’s senior concept artist Paul Dolan (pictured, left), as well as studio graphic designer Donna Jennett (centre) and Art Director Stuart Jennett (right).

The group says it offers a wide range of design skills from vehicle, character, environment and UI design right through to product branding and identity.

“It’s exciting times for studios like us, in the games industry especially there is a long-term change in the production model starting to emerge with outsourcing becoming the norm,” said Jennett.

“As well as the big publishers there’s also a boom in small independent studios again that hopefully we can provide for. We’ve already had some amazing interest, we’re a strong team with a lot of skills and imagination to offer and I’ve every confidence for Alien Apple Studios future.”

THQ’s cull on its Digital Warrington studio has already triggered at least two other start-up companies.

One, called D3T, a three man team led by Jamie Campbell and Stephen Powell. More on that group can be found here.

Another, established by Don Whiteford and Ric Badger, has yet to be named or made official.

Some remaining THQ staff are still looking for other employment. Sony and Evolution recently offered some local contract work for the studio's programmers.

Studio founder Colin Bell, meanwhile, is choosing to take time out from the games industry.