Ubisoft London, previously known as Future Games of London and the creators of hit mobile title Hungry Shark, is set close as development of the IP moves to mainland Europe. Staff are currently “in consultation”.
Ubisoft plans to move further development of the Hungry Shark IP - which cracked 1bn lifetime downloads earlier this year - to Ubisoft Barcelona. The studio has previously done work on the franchise - Ubisoft's biggest on mobile - alongside Ubisoft London. The move would put a total of 54 positions at risk at Ubisoft London, which has overseen the franchise since its inception and was bought by French gaming giant Ubisoft in 2013.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and reduce costs, we are proposing the consolidation of the ongoing management of the Hungry Shark franchise at our Ubisoft Barcelona Mobile studio, which already oversees a portion of it,” Ubisoft said in a statement to VGC.
“In this context and following UK regulations, we are engaging in consultations with our Ubisoft London (formerly Future Games of London) team regarding the proposed closure of the studio, which would impact 54 positions.
“We are sincerely grateful to our colleagues in London for all their passionate contributions to making the franchise what it is today, and we are committed to supporting them throughout the process with the utmost consideration.”
Loss for London, gain for Spain
The shift of focus to Spain follows a period of rising interest in the dev community around Barcelona. A number of high profile studios and branches have been founded in the city over the past year, most notably NetEase’s veteran-led studio Anchor Point which was opened in April.
While the move could indicate a rethink of Ubisoft’s mobile division at the recent unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 15, Ubisoft were out in force, showing off The Division Resurgence on mobile and making the promise that their upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Mirage, will be the same game across consoles, PC and mobile for the first time.