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Genepool looks for a way forward following cancellation

Troubled times for another UK developer.

UK development studio Genepool is seeking new finance and publishing deals after the project it had been working on was cancelled, and hopes to be able to continue operating despite laying off all of its staff yesterday.

Speaking to gi.biz on Tuesday, Genepool MD Dave Anthony denied internet rumours which suggested that the company had gone into liquidation, and said that although the entire staff has been laid off, they have all been paid up until the end of the month and the company continues to operate as a business.

"The team really wants to stick together," he said, and told us that the redundancies were made as soon as it became clear that the company might be unable to pay staff in December. "We're being totally honest with the staff and keeping them informed about the situation rather than waiting until the last minute to tell everyone," Anthony explained.

The cancelled project was one of a batch of titles which were dropped by Activision when it announced its most recent set of results this week. Several other development studios are expected to have been affected by the mass-cancellation of projects by the publisher. Genepool's previous title was Wolverine's Revenge, which was released just ahead of the blockbuster movie X-Men 2 in the UK last spring.

According to Anthony, this cancellation is especially frustrating for the team because it was a decision based on the weakness of the licensed property, rather than having anything to do with the quality of the work produced by the studio. "About three weeks previously, we'd had a green light phase and passed it with flying colours," he explained. "The publisher actually planned to use the disc we'd produced as a benchmark for other developers."

Anthony is now hoping that the company will be able to find a way out of its current situation within the coming weeks, and says that it is already pursuing a number of possibilities - but actively welcomes any other options which people may have to offer. Interested parties can contact Dave Anthony on +44 (0) 161 6030299.

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