Codemasters has expanded, opening a new studio in Guildford.
The move is the latest step in an aggressive expansion push from the Britsoft firm as it aims for an IPO next year.
Last year, the studio opened an outsourcing resource, Codemasters Studios Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, making the Guildford studio its third – the company will continue to run its main studio based at the corporate HQ in Southam, Warwickshire.
To make sure the new studio opening goes smoothly, the company has signed up Adrian Bolton to manage Codemasters Studios Guildford. Bolton moves over from his post as development director at EA Criterion, also based in Guildford.
Designed to attract development talent from the South East, Codemasters Studios Guildford will have an initial staff level of 35, with an emphasis on programming.
The studio size will be upscaled annually: in the first year the team will be supporting Southam’s projects such as Operation Flashpoint 2, Race Driver ONE and also backing the Central Technology Group (which made in-house engine Neon).
It is also expected that the Guildford team will support the on-going activity behind Codemasters’ top secret new IP-based action game, previously given the code-name ‘Project Strike Team’ and revealed by Develop at the start of the year.
Codemasters Southam also plans to start working on another new project in 2008 which the Guildford office will contribute to.
However, developers working at the studio are promised even meatier projects to manage as time goes one – after 12 months it is expected Codemasters Studios Guildford will develop entire projects in-house as its team grows.
Codemasters already employs 255 development staff, with 185 of those at Codemasters Southam and a further 70 at the the art-focused studio in Malaysia.
“Following our investment announcements and recent product successes, it is clear to see that these are very exciting times for everyone with the expanded Codemasters Studios group,” Codemasters Studios VP Gavin Cheshire told Develop.
“With Codemasters Studios in Southam, Kuala Lumpur and now Guildford, we can continue to grow our business and create the products we want to make. We look forward to welcoming a new wave of development talent to Codemasters as we continue to grow our product portfolio and technology with projects such as Neon.”