Copyright 2001

[ September 26th 2001 ]

Derbyshire based software house Core Design have released plans to recruit a further 20-25 people during the next year to expand product development at its new Pride Park headquarters, according to a report in todays Derby Evening Telegraph. The company and its parent, the entertainment software developer Eidos Interactive, are spending 42m on research and development and aim eventually to produce 80 per cent of their products in-house.

Core plans to release more new games in September or October, including the eagerly awaited Herdy Gerdy. This was recently voted one of the 10 most anticipated PlayStation 2 games. Other titles planned include the rust encrusted adventure Project Eden and Race Nation.

Mr Heath-Smith, operations director for Core Deisgn and also director of development for Eidos, said: "We are very busy at Pride Park, I can tell you." and said as long as the gaming phenomenon continued, "...Core will carry on producing it." His creative team are currently embroiled in the firms sixth Lara Croft adventure, codenamed Tomb Raider Next Generation which is scheduled to release November 2002.

The expansion at Core comes despite a wide-ranging, cost-reduction programme initiated by Eidos, which it anticipated "would lead to further fixed cost reductions in the current financial year." The firm yesterday blamed tough market conditions for a sharp fall in turnover.

Overall sales slid to 152.9m compared with 203.2m in the year to March 31, 2001, because of a "cyclical downturn" in its markets. The fall came despite a strong performance by its Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? game, which became the fastest-selling product in UK games chart history.

Although the financial outlook for Eidos remains positive after a grim period earlier this year when a 55m share-issue package was accepted by shareholders, Chairman Ian Livingston warned that the recent tragedy in the U.S. could impair the companies turnaround: "Consumer confidence in the USA and the rest of the world may be affected by the tragic events of last week."

London based Eidos Interactive have also confirmed it will press ahead with plans to release its aerial combat game Thunderhawk which simulates a virtual war against terrorism. New versions of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Championship Manager are also slated for a forth quarter 2001 release.

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