The Halifax division of HB Studios, the Canadian group of developers behind numerous sports video games, is closing, an HB rep confirmed to Kotaku today. The studio is responsible for this fall's NBA Baller Beats, an unusual and innovative Kinect game that teaches you to dribble with a real basketball (we tried it at E3).
The company said the timing was due to the expiration of the Halifax studio's lease. According to HB's official website, that studio's first games were NBA Live '09 for the Wii, PS2 and PSP and NHL '09 for PS2 and PC.
Here's the statement about the closure that we received from HB's director of operations Melanie Williams:
"HB Studios is closing its satellite studio in Halifax and consolidating at its Lunenburg HQ. The Halifax Studio has been in operation for almost 5 years. With the lease on its Barrington Street location coming to an end, the Company has made a decision to not renew. There are 24 full time development staff at the Halifax Studio; the Company is working to transfer as many as possible to its 15,000 sq ft HQ. The final two projects that the satellite studio worked on – Olympic-based iPhone game Medal Bound and NBA Baller Beats for the Kinect – were co-developments between Lunenburg and Halifax and have been completed. Post launch support for both will be handled in Lunenburg."
A PR rep working on behalf of NBA Baller Beats publisher Majesco was not able to comment in time, but if we hear back, specifically about how this might have any effect on the release or post-launch support of the game, we'll let you know. But with confirmation that the game was completed by the Halifax and Lunenburg teams at HB, a delay seems unlikely.
Update: A rep for the game's publisher Majesco says: "the HB Studios' HQ office will continue to support NBA Baller Beats in the future, therefore not affecting the game's release."