Black Rock Studio has officially closed its doors. We knew back in July that this was coming, but it doesn’t make taking the loss of such a good studio any better. Black Rock was known for their racing titles, most notably Pure and Split/Second. Nick Baynes, studio director of Black Rock, made the announcement via his Twitter this weekend, but all is not lost as two new studios have spawned from the closing.
The former staff of Black Rock refuse to let this get them down, and have already established two new development studios: RoundCube Entertainment and ShortRound Games – I sense a theme here. ShortRound will focus on iPad and PS Vita titles, while RoundCube’s focus has yet to be revealed. If their past history is any indication, then we should expect good things from their future projects.
Speaking of future projects, word has it that before the closure of Black Rock Studio they were planning on making sequels to Pure, their hit ATV racing title, and Split/Second. Two sequels gamers would’ve welcomed with open arms. Pure wasn’t just a blast to play but offered a deep yet accessible customization system, allowing gamers to create multiple vehicles for various situations. Split/Second changed the way we view car combat by making the environment the weapons instead of having players fire projectiles at each other. This unique gameplay was expanded in the many DLC packs for the title.
Disney Interactive’s decision to close the studio came after Black Rock’s recent pitch for a free-to-play DOTA-style game called Champion’s Alliance. While the title may sound generic one can only imagine the quality Black Rock would’ve put into the game. Unfortunately we may never know. It sounds as if Disney wasn’t feeling the idea of free-to-play and makes you wonder what would’ve happened if they had just went ahead with making sequels.
With their more recent titles, Black Rock Studio brought a unique style to the racing genre which set them apart from other racing games. More importantly their racing games were a ton of fun (see our review of Split/Second). Black Rock will be sorely missed and we look forward to the future projects of RoundCube Entertainment and ShortRound Games.