Despite the news in January that jobs were safe at Disney-owned Blackrock Studios, the restructuring at Disney Interactive has reached Blackrock Studios. Sources tell us that between 60 and 100 jobs were at risk; and Disney Interactive will only confirm that reduction in workforce has taken place at Blackrock with no specifics on how many were affected.
Whispers that we have been hearing over the past couple of weeks suggest that a large amount of the studio had little to do with the cancellation of Split/Second 2. Sources tell us that much like the decision not to move forward with a sequel to Pure, Disney Interactive killed Split/Second 2 while the title was in pre-production.
A good number of folks within the studio are working on a new title that, while risky. apparently does have a significant amount of potential; but Disney does not apparently want to put two teams on this project. It is still unknown what this new IP is, but we are told that it be announced by Disney Interactive at E3 in June.
With the change in management at Disney Interactive and a move toward “freemium” projects at Disney Interactive, it actually isn’t a surprise that layoffs hit Blackrock. What really is a shame is that once again a studio that has a track record and heritage of producing quality titles is being dismantled. For fans who liked Pure and Split/Second there will be no sequel. Once again, both titles had excellent reviews and failed to sell: which makes us question Disney’s ability to market titles like these.