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Codemasters chief insists that no-one was laid off from OnRush team, staff left of own accord

Codemasters chief insists that no-one was laid off from OnRush team, staff left of own accord

Following OnRush's lower-than-anticipated commercial performance, it was reported that a number of developers that made the game had been laid off - but Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier (pictured) says this was not the case.

Speaking to at GDC, the top bod said that this was simply people leaving the project after the game shipped.

Eurogamer had the story - and we're not for a second questioning the site's stellar reporting - but Codemasters saying at the time that these job changes were part of the "normal course of business" in the games industry.

If Codemasters was trying to communicate that these were people leaving of their own will and not being laid off, this statement woefully failed to control the message.

Furthermore, Sagnier said that the team behind OnRush is now bigger than ever before thanks to a hiring round. 

"There were no layoffs," Sagnier told

"There were a number of people who decided to leave. Some people left following that of their own accord. We didn't lay off anyone. Not one single person, I believe, has been laid off. The problem is that once the story is in the press, it's too late. It's like the stock market; you say something on the stock market and by the time you get round to clarifying, it's too late. We didn't lay off these people, these people left.

"I'm pleased to say that the studio now is bigger than it was before these people left because we've hired more staff. It's not at all a layoff thing. At the end of every project, you've got people leaving anywhere because they're fed up and they want to do something else. It's a natural attrition. It's the games industry. We had a bit more of that than usual, but it's also because the product was probably disappointing to some people as well. It wasn't as successful and we had to make some changes. But we didn't have those layoffs. I wanted to establish that."

In the same interview at GDC, Sagnier said that Codemasters is focusing on racing for its acquisition strategy and might be looking to make some purchases to bolster its mobile business.

You can hear more about Codemasters life after its IPO and what the racing specialist's strategy is moving forwards

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.