Codemasters' Guildford Studio recently celebrated the launch of Bodycount, a fast-moving first-person shooter that offered some cool ideas but failed to resonate with the majority of the gaming audience. The game's publisher, Codemasters, is now moving to shut the studio down, shedding 66 employees as it embraces a newly narrowed focus on racing games.
DiRT, GRID and the F1 series are all Codies joints, so there's a pretty good base of strong franchises for the publisher to fall back on. There's a statement from the company (via CVG), but you've already gotten the main points: Guildford Studio is being shut down so the publisher can more effectively work to dominate the world of virtual racing.
There's no word on how this new business plan might affect the Operation Flashpoint series. Red River, the latest in the realism-oriented line of military FPS games, came out in early June. It wasn't perfect, but it got some things really right regardless. Beyond that, is a long-running franchise for Codies with a small but vocal fanbase. An extra year or two of development for the next one could be the difference between a decent shooter and a great one.
For now, the Guildford closing is the only announced change for the publisher. I've reached out to Codemasters for comment on the narrowed focus and what it means for the company's other, non-racing franchises.