EXCLUSIVE: Climax Racing unveils its new identity

Disney unearths Black Rock

Disney Interactive Studios has finally relaunched the Brighton, UK-based racing studio it acquired from independent developer Climax last year as Black Rock Studio.

The relaunch for the studio is another step in severing the ties from its former owner – one of its teams recently finished work on MotoGP 07, fulfilling Climax’s prior contract for THQ – and helps the outfit stand and be counted as part of the Disney empire.

Black Rock is Disney’s only European studio so far, taking its place alongside Vancouver-based Propaganda Games and Avalanche Software and Fall Line Studios, both based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Last month, Disney restated its intentions to agressively fund its Interactive Studios’ plans by spending up to $350m a year on games development by 2010.

Commenting on the studio’s place in the DIS family, co-founder and general manager of Black Rock, Tony Beckwith, said that “working within the creative aspects of Disney Interactive Studios and having access to the Walt Disney Company’s deep resources will continue to heighten award-winning titles that inspire and challenge gamers around the world.”

With regards the new name, chosen by the team and named after part of Brighton’s seafront, Beckwith added: “The launch of Black Rock symbolises the next chapter in our development of outstanding games for the next generation and beyond.”

“Black Rock has distinguished itself as one of the world’s premier racing studios and among our centres of creative excellence,” added Graham Hopper, executive vice president and general manager of Disney Interactive Studios.

“The studio has proven to be a perfect partner for us and with the re-naming to Black Rock starts the next phase of our journey together.”

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