Publisher shuts team after consultation period - but at least three firms form from its ashes

Farewell to THQ’s UK studio

The closure consultancy period for THQ’s UK development team has come to an end, and the publisher has indeed decided to shut the studio down, Develop has been told.

Close to 36 will be made redundant effective immediately, with a transition team of 10 left to see the studio’s current project, Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team, through to release on PSN. The game hit XBLA today.

But out of that sad news comes hope for at least three start-ups.

Two of them are studios. One is D3T, a three man team led by Jamie Campbell and Stephen Powell.

The other will be established by Don Whiteford and Ric Badger, but won’t be named or made official yet until the transition team has completed its work.

A concept team, called Alien Apple Studios, is also being being formed by Stu and Donna Jennett.

Other staff are looking for other employment – although Sony and Evolution have offered some local contract work for the studio’s programmers.

Studio founder Colin Bell, meanwhile, is choosing to take time out from the games industry.

"THQ have done all they can through the consultancy period and have treated staff with respect," he told Develop this afternoon.

"I’ve definitely been proud to have been involved in setting up and running the studio and have no regrets. I’ve also been proud to work for THQ. We’ve provided around 400 man years of employment over the last eight years and that is no mean feat.

"However it’s game sales that count! Juiced franchise has sold over 5m and I’m hoping that Warhammer 40k Kill Team, which is launched today, will be a great parting product for the studio."

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