THQ will likely close its Digital Warrington studio in the UK, Develop has been told.
46 staff at the studio, formerly known as Juice Games, have been put on notice a source tells us.[Update: THQ has confirmed the UK studio is in a closing down process. The publisher will also shut down its New York-basd Homefront studio Kaos]
They have the standard 30 days’ consultation period as THQ works out which team members it will keep, but it is looking likely the team will shut down.
THQ rebranded the studio from Juice to THQ Digital Warrington in February last year as part of a reorganisation around digital content.
Since then the Warrington outfit has completed its first full game, the XBLA PSN game Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, which was warmly received at E3 in Los Angeles last week. (It also finished up off the Red Factions XBLA spin-off for THQ.)
Develop understands that the studio will be hosting open days for publishers and developers looking to hire those left without a job.
And perhaps there may even be a core of staff left who want to remain in the region and start their own studio.
That’s just speculation on our part, but certainly the team at the studio have shown fighting spirit in the face of business adversity – Juice was formed eight and a half years ago in 2003, and managed to move its Juiced racer project from Acclaim, when that publisher imploded, to THQ. The game went on to sell 5m units. Develop awarded it the Best New Studio prize in 2005; THQ bought the team in 2006.