This year started out with the cancellation of a promising Platinum Games title and it seems another bit of bad news hit today; the studio behind Killzone Mercenary and RIGS Gurerrila Cambridge got shut down.
Sony is closing the Cambridge branch of Guerrilla Games, GamesIndustry.biz has learned. All employees will be laid off.
Sony has confirmed the impending shutdown to us, saying that the compulsory redundancies are “regrettable”. The decision to close the studio comes from a review of all current PlayStation projects and resources, with the platform holder concluding that “in order to deliver on our strategic objectives, it is necessary to make some changes to the European studios structure”.
Guerrilla Games Amsterdam, developer of Horizon: Zero Dawn and the Killzone series, will not be affected.
My understanding is that due to the possible low sales of RIGS, the studio faced closure when Sony wanted to invest in other studio’s ventures. As someone who owns a Vita, I loved GC’s work on the Killzone series. Mercenary is one of the Vita’s best games and pushed the hardware to it’s limit. But it was also a great game, having stronger gameplay compared to the console Killzone games at points. One good thing to come from this news is that they will find more work.
PlayStation has pledged to “where possible… try to reallocate people onto other projects” and assist staff by speaking to local developers about recruitment prospects. Fortunately, Cambridge is something of a hotbed of UK developers, with the likes of Frontier, Ninja Theory, Jagex and more based nearby.
It’s good to hear that the talented staff will find work. But it is a shame to see such a great studio shuttered when they could have worked on other projects within Sony. I could have easily seen them take the mantel for the next console Killzone game while main team at Guerrila releases the upcoming Horizon Zero Dawn. This closure does not take away from the amazing work they accomplished over the years.
Producing a game where you are an undead knight on a quest, a shooter that pushes the boundaries of what a handheld FPS can accomplish, and making one of the few VR games that feels like a complete retail game experience; Guerrila Cambridge will always be remembered for the great work they accomplished.
Source: Game Industry.biz