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Bodycount developer to close, Codemasters confirms

Yet another UK studio looks set to shut doors

The Codemasters studio behind troubled first-person shooter Bodycount looks set to close, after the publisher confirmed it's proposed to retire the Guildford development facility.

The company said the move will affect 66 personnel at the developer as it moves to strengthen its core racing portfolio, which includes DiRT, GRID and F1 titles, and focus resources on teams in Birmingham and at its Warwickshire HQ.

The news comes after flagship shooter Bodycount released to mixed reviews, debuting at a disappointing 36th place in the UK Charts.

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The last UK studio to close its doors happened just two weeks ago, when Disney Interactive shut Split/Second developer Black Rock in Brighton.

We of course wish the best of luck to all affected Codemasters Guildford employees in their future careers.

The publisher said in a statement:

Codemasters' future product development strategy will see additional studio resource invested to extend its world-class racing portfolio. The company is increasing the size of existing development teams at its on-campus studios in Warwickshire (DiRT, GRID, F1 Online, Central Technology/EGO) while forming a further team to work alongside the F1 2011 team at its Birmingham studio on a new racing title.

In line with the strategy, the company is proposing to retire from its facility in Guildford, most recently responsible for the shooter Bodycount. If progressed, the move will affect 66 Guildford studio personnel; staff are now involved in a consultation period to discuss the proposal.

"As Codemasters looks to take greater leadership in the racing category, the company is proposing a studio structure that adds resource and strengthens our best-in-class racing teams," said a Codemasters spokesperson.

"The output from the studios on the Warwickshire campus and in Birmingham is on the increase with multiple continuing game series, brand extensions and new racing IPs in production. Both the Warwickshire and Birmingham studios have won BAFTAs for their critically acclaimed, multi-million selling titles and the company is adding resource to ensure they constantly over achieve in this competitive sector."

Codemasters envisages that it will continue to have a number of open positions within the Racing and Online studio teams at Codemasters' campus in Warwickshire working on DiRT, GRID, F1 Online and with the F1 team in Birmingham, which is being expanded to house a full second team working on a new racing IP. In the event that staff working within the Guildford site are affected by the current proposals, they will be encouraged to apply for suitable positions on campus and in the Birmingham studio.

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