Codemasters closing Bodycount studio; strengthening racing dev teams

Codemasters is "proposing to retire" its internal studio which developed the recently-released destruction-happy FPS Bodycount. It's part of a shift to strengthen its racing game offerings, the English developer and publisher has said.

"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."

Codemasters has informed the Guildford studio's 66 staff of its plans, but cannot go ahead with the closure before a statutory consultation period of thirty days, which began today. Codies told Eurogamer that they will be "encouraged to apply for suitable positions" at its Warwickshire headquarters and Birmingham studio.

Bodycount had a troubled gestation, suffering a delay and facing the departure of creator Stuart Black and studio general manager Adrian Bolton leaving during development. It launched for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to a poor critical reception and failed to make an impact on the month's sales charts.

Codies already has a respectable racing lineup between Grid, Dirt and F1, but it plans to expand further, with multiple new racing properties in the works. A new Grid is known to be in development for a 2012 launch, but hasn't been formally announced yet.

"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."