Dirt and F1 publisher Codemasters have put 66 staff members at their Guildford office into a consultation period as they proceed with plans to close the studio.
The move comes as Codemasters makes the decision to focus more on their core racing titles and stop operations on their action and strategy titles. They will also expand their Birmingham studio to develop a new racing IP, which will open up job opportunities at that office.
A statement from Codemasters notes that affected personnel would be encouraged to apply for positions in Birmingham.
Guildford Studio’s last game was the poorly received Bodycount.
Analysis: From a business perspective, this is probably the best move that Codemasters can do. They can do little wrong from a racing game perspective and almost nothing right from any other perspective, both critically and commercially. Their racing games have come from seemingly nowhere to reinvent the genre, blowing away other established franchises such as Gran Turismo, and they’re reaping the rewards in sales.
I don’t think Codemasters is the AAA publisher they think they are—Dirt 3, with its online pass and constant, never-ending upsell of DLC is almost everything I hate about gaming in 2011. However, they have found a niche in the market, and they’re hitting it hard. As for the affected jobs, here’s hoping they can find a place in Birmingham because it’s becoming harder and harder to find a job in the UK with so many companies jumping ship.