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Bad Day at Black Rock

A twice updated story on Eurogamer reports job losses at Black Rock Studio, the Brighton-based, Disney-owned developer of various racing games, including Split/Second and Pure. The unconfirmed parts of the report include that about 100 positions are being cut, leaving a staff of about 40, and that about half the studio has been inactive since the end of last year, as follow ups to both Split/Second and Pure have been abandoned along the way. The confirmed part of the story is this statement from Disney: "Disney Interactive Studios confirms a reduction of its workforce from its Brighton-based internal game development studio, Black Rock Studios. The studio will continue its work on its current project."

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9. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 19:26 Tumbler
 
The new motorstorm game seems to be building on some of the split second concepts, there were some awesome moments in split second, I was pleasantly surprised how impressive the tracks were in that game.  
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8. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 18:23 Luther
 
Very sorry to hear that so many jobs are being lost; that sucks and isn't at all fair, given that these guys made great games. On the positive side, there are games companies in Sussex and Surrey that are hiring right now.  
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7. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 12:27 Prez
 
PURE is a nifty racing game. I really like the double goals of needing to go faster than the other racers AND pull off insane tricks too.  
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6. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 11:59 kanniballl
 
HoSpanky wrote on May 5, 2011, 11:49:
Split Second was an *ok* game. in single player the AI was heavily rubberbanded, so you would lose a race if you didn't save up and use an attack RIGHT at the end, as they other cars would WITHOUT FAIL scoot past you across the finish line at 30 mph faster than their cars are capable of.

I hate that in racing games.

I completely blow the competition away to the point that I'll be 1/2 lap ahead. And then somehow the AI will drive at super-sonic speeds threw buildings and catch up.


Granted I never played Split/Second and never had it to be as bad as HoSpanky states on my others. But just the AI cheating in general really irks me.
 
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5. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 11:56 Verno
 
Sorry for those that lost their jobs, both games were fine in their own right and suffered from timing misfortune more than anything else.  
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4. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 11:49 HoSpanky
 
Split Second was an *ok* game. in single player the AI was heavily rubberbanded, so you would lose a race if you didn't save up and use an attack RIGHT at the end, as they other cars would WITHOUT FAIL scoot past you across the finish line at 30 mph faster than their cars are capable of.

In multiplayer, where the fun IS to blow up your friends, there's no option to turn rubberbanding ON so that the leader doesn't end up almost a lap ahead each time. Apparently they didn't actually playtest their own game.

Also the PC version was sold at a deep discount right out the gate, likely because they KNEW it was a piss-poor port job. You launch the game, and can't change your graphics (hooray, play at 800x600) or controls (hope you can guess what buttons on the keyboard set off attacks!) until you finish the first race. The graphics options are pathetic, giving you 4 presets. the difference between "High" and "very High" is RIDICULOUS, and Very High is the only way to have ANY AA on whatsoever.

The game itself is actually fun in short bursts, and seeing the big set pieces explode is extremely cool. But the port job was awful, and for that....sorry Black Rock, but maybe you should spend more than 2 hours on the PC version kkthanks.
 
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3. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 11:28 Elf Shot The Food
 
That's unfortunate news.

Split Second was very good, but releasing it on the same day as Red Dead Redemption killed any chance it may have had to catch on.
 
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2. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 11:24 Parallax Abstraction
 
I remember reading a while back from some kind of industry insider post that Disney Interactive is refocusing their business on children's games and is basically getting out of hardcore stuff like Black Rock and the now dead Propaganda Games were doing. Still amazes me that companies will spend millions to buy or start these studios just to dump it all a couple years later.  
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1. Re: Bad Day at Black Rock May 5, 2011, 11:24 nin
 

Split/Second wasn't bad. Shame it didn't catch on.
 
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