The Disney Interactive subsidiary will soon experience a drastic “reduction of its workforce.”
Disney has confirmed there will soon be a round of layoffs at Black Rock Studios, the Disney Interactive subsidiary that developed last year’s Split/Second. The news was first reported by an anonymous source at Black Rock, who says that there will be “around 100” layoffs and that only 40 jobs will remain safe. According to this source, the cuts are expected because half the studio has been twiddling its thumbs since mid-December.
“It seems Disney have been unable to provide us with a project to work on, and our concept pitches clearly haven’t gone down well (despite there being many of them),” the source said.
Sequels to 2008’s Pure and Split/Second were among the rejected projects.
“After SS wrapped, we started work on SS2 pre-prod which was cancelled last December due to DIS’s new management and their changing priorities (the push towards freemium etc) – SS2 didn’t really fit in with that (despite some efforts to shoehorn it in),” he said. “We had a concept week (everyone in the studio working on small teams) to try to come up with new ideas, but nothing really stuck. We had a freemium week sometime later with similar goals too.
“The inactive portion of the studio has been expecting redundancies for months, so this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s sad that it’s come to this of course, but for many people they’ll be quite happy to take the money and go, as they’ve been sitting around doing nothing for months.”
However, a “good proportion” of Black Rock has been busy. According to the source, some people are already working on a “promising” title, but the project is “new and risky” so “[Disney] [won’t] want to risk putting two teams on it.”
The story originally broke on Wednesday night and certain portions of it have since been confirmed by Disney Interactive.
“Disney Interactive Studios confirms a reduction of its workforce from its Brighton-based internal game development studio, Black Rock Studios. The studio will continue its work on its current project,” a representative from the publisher said.
As sad as the news may be, this isn’t the first time that Disney Interactive has been forced to let go of some of its staff. Back in January, the publisher went through a “restructuring process” that resulted in the loss of approximately 700 jobs.