"Strong talk" surfaced earlier today that Rebellion had pulled the plug on the Derby studio, formerly known as Core Design, which it acquired from SCi in 2006. Founded in 1988, Core Design came to fame in 1996 as the studio behind the hit Tomb Raider and several of its sequels. Success has been elusive in more recent years, however, with both Shellshock 2 and Rogue Warrior bombing badly.
Rebellion is expanding its headquarters in Oxford and also recruiting for its Runcorn studio, the company said in a statement, but the lease at the Derby operation is coming up and its future sounds somewhat less than ironclad. "Growth is sometimes painful, never more so than in the current climate and we have had to take a long hard look at how we operate our studio network," Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said. "Strategically we have decided to review the need for the Derby facilities, and consultation with staff at Derby is ongoing."
In a follow-up comment, however, Kingsley clarified that for the moment, at least, the Derby studio remains open while the review is underway. "No-one has been made redundant by Rebellion in more than a decade, and the Derby studio is very much still open while we conduct the review," he said. "We are currently undergoing a process of consultancy with our staff to get their ideas, and establish the best possible future for the Derby studio."