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Activision “exploring options” over Bizarre Creations’ future

Tuesday, 16th November 2010 19:27 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Activision has released a statement saying it is “exploring our options regarding the future” of UK developer Bizarre Creations.

Said the firm: “Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience. Bizarre is a very talented team of developers, however, because of the broader economic factors impacting the market, we are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business.”

VG247 was told earlier by multiple sources that Bizarre Creations has shut with the loss of 200 staff.

UK development sources corroborated the news.

GiantBomb has gone live with a quote from a source saying, “Bizarre Creations will be going through a ’90-day consultation period, statutory redundancy.’”

Multiple tweets and forum threads added weight to the story before Activision made its official statement.

An editor at wethegamerz.com has supposedly spoken to Bizarre staff, just tweeting, “I have just gotten off the phone with a representative of Bizarre Creations. He noted there was some truth to the lay-offs. When i asked of the closing he stated there was some truth in it all but he wasn’t allowed to expand.”

Bizarre Creations, the developer of the highly acclaimed Project Gotham Racing series, was bought by Activision in 2007.

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67 Comments

  1. Razor

    As deeply unfortunate as it is, I…I can’t say I’m surprised.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Freek

    Come to Activission…makes us billions or you’ll be the next studio pumping out CoD:Map Packs.
    Oh, can’t do action game content? Well, fuck you then!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Pysk

    That’s our Activision.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    Of course… Creating shitty games like Blood Stone, The Club and Blur.

    I hope this gaming division will be closed for forever.

    Too much turd from them. Last solid game was Project Gotham Racing 4

    #4 4 years ago
  5. onlineatron

    WHAT THE FUCK?!

    Activision needs to cull the tens of thousands studios it has working on CoD maps rather than closing a studio that makes great games.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. M2Kx

    Oh what the hell? More details plz! I was actually counting on Blur 2 :(

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    Trying to get official line on it. I really hope it’s Chinese Whispers.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Tallon 4

    That’s very sad :(
    Was hoping that BLUR was doing well.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Freek

    The Club wasn’t made for Activision, Blur wasn’t terrible at all, just diden’t sell mega numbers.
    Blood Stone, yeah, that was a waste of money.
    But that’s one bad game made for Acti. ONE.
    Boom. You’re gone. Over one bad game?

    #9 4 years ago
  10. SplatteredHouse

    Fuck. As a player and fan of the majority of the studios games, I just find this news, sad, and gutting. To think that Bizarre are gone, just feels really bad.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. onlineatron

    @Pat

    Chinese Whispers: [2004] ‘Lionhead’s B.C. for XBOX has been cancelled’ [6 years later] ‘Original XBOX dev Bizarre Creations shut down’.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. AHA-Lambda

    it was only a matter of time =(

    its amazing to see how self destructive this industry has become this gen when the stakes are so high that so many studios just cant compete.

    This is the dark side of the blockbuster attitude of the industry and change is needed quickly.

    my condolences to those affected. And shame on activision, they sent that james bond game to die just like every game they’ve released this year except CoD. Heck did you even know tony hawk shred came out!?! Where are the reviews for it?!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. M2Kx

    “I really hope it’s Chinese Whispers.”

    m2 :/

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    “its amazing to see how self destructive this industry has become”

    It’s amazing to see people defending “turd makers”. Gaming industry was always like that and will be always like that.

    If you are creating good games you will survive, if not… Than thats it.

    Bizzare Creations since 2007 created only TURD and nothing more.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. M2Kx

    “Bizzare Creations since 2007 created only TURD and nothing more.”

    http://yeah-hi.com/files/cool-story-bro.jpg

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Zurtech

    Sad news, but can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Think Bungie will be next?

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Johnny Cullen

    :( if true

    #17 4 years ago
  18. DJ Deathstar

    Woah didn’t expect this! Project Gotham and Geometry Wars are awesome series, i know a few people who have Blur and they say its really good, been thinking about picking it up since you can get it for £10 from a few places, also Geometry Wars 2 came out in 2008 and is regarded by many to be the best xbla so that comment about only making turd games since 07 is bullshit isn’t it

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Patrick Garratt

    Updated. Looks as though it’s true.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    what the hell…..

    #20 4 years ago
  21. David Sarkisjan

    If this is real I can forget about a placement there =(

    #21 4 years ago
  22. OrbitMonkey

    @14 Harsh dude, you need more cuddles in your life…

    #22 4 years ago
  23. BillyBatts

    No confirmation yet but there’s a hell of a lot of smoke on teh Twitters. Jeez, Acti really are a lovely company eh?

    #23 4 years ago
  24. AHA-Lambda

    “If you are creating good games you will survive, if not… Than thats it.”

    *points at vanquish sales*

    it died for your sins! Anyone who didnt buy it should be ashamed! >:(

    you know yourself that there are times where good games just dont sell

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Stephany Nunneley

    @14 Well, if “turd” games are released, it’s just as much the owner, a.k.a.’s Activision’s fault for allowing it to be released in “turd” form first and secondly – this is people’s livelihood you’re talking about here. Most just do what they are told in order to keep food on the family table just like the rest of the world.

    I feel horrible for anyone who loses their job unless they were stealing, slagging off, or doing something to massively deserve it.

    Working 10-12 hours a day on a game and then even more during crunch time and being exhausted, away from your LIFE only to be chucked out this close to “present buying season” is just plain awful. Nothing “pleasing” about it at all.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Gekidami

    That Project Gotham reboot isnt looking to likely then.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Patrick Garratt

    Updated again.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. onlineatron

    @Geki

    Microsoft is in charge of that, not Activision.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. BrokenSymmetry

    @26: In fact, this news makes a new PGR game more likely, as Microsoft (the IP owner) can now hire Bizarre people to make a new game.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Old MacDonald

    Ok, this sucks. :-(

    I hope this is not the last we’ll see of the talented people who used to work there. Hopefully some of them will form indie studios.

    Still… I don’t get it. How much did Activision spend on them again?

    Edit: 4: Blur was not shitty at all. Quite good fun, actually. I liked it.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Erthazus

    @Stephany,
    “it’s just as much the owner, a.k.a.’s Activision’s fault for allowing it to be released in “turd” form first and secondly – this is people’s livelihood you’re talking about here.”

    There is no Activision fault. Activision is one of the MAJOR publishers out there with huge franchises like Call Of duty, Guitar heroes and Blizzard games.

    I don’t think so that Activision wanted from them a bad game and i think they spent enough budget for a good game.

    Blood Stone for example had Bruce Feirstein as a writer. Blood Stone features the voices and likenesses of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone.

    You know how much budget they spent for this game? It’s HUGE. Activision did everything what it’s supposed to do. Give them enough resources to create GREAT Games.

    What Bizzare creations did? They created very bad games and what Activision need to do then? Give them another chance to spent millions on nothing? NO. Bizzare deserved it. their problems and you don’t need to defend people who DON’T want to WORK.

    “Working 10-12 hours a day on a game and then even more during crunch time and being exhausted, away from your LIFE only to be chucked out this close to “present buying season” is just plain awful. Nothing “pleasing” about it at all.”

    Judging by latest games i’m not sure that they worked at all. You don’t know how much they worked.
    Last games showed that they did a very poor job. Who don’t want to work will lose a job. This is our society. If you are lazy, you are going home. Thats it. End of story.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. DJ Deathstar

    Yeah i’m hoping that MS might try and hire some of the axed staff for the PGR reboot, as well as a new Geometry Wars

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Gekidami

    @28
    And? Bizarre Creations were the guys that made the PGR games. They’re closing down, it dosnt matter who the publisher was.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. SplatteredHouse

    Erthazus, you’re really ignorant if you believe what you just posted. The ones who aren’t at fault is Bizarre, the developer. You’re also incredibly tactless.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. onlineatron

    @Geki

    Microsoft own the IP.

    They wouldn’t have used Bizarre to reboot the franchise as Bizarre Creations were owned by Activision.

    Microsoft will reboot it regardless, if they want to.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. M2Kx

    @34: Maybe he has some insider infos :D

    “Microsoft will reboot it regardless, if they want to.”

    I thought MS is already searching for some devs to make a new PGR or a reboot.

    #36 4 years ago
  37. Gekidami

    @35
    Actually, you’re right, i thought that MS were in talks with Bizarre, the reason them being in talks at all rather then just making the game being that Bizarre are owned by Acti, so they had to strike a deal.
    Looking back at the story though i see that they’re actually in talks with other “third party devs”.

    #37 4 years ago
  38. Razor

    Maybe MS will swoop and pick them up for PGR5.

    #38 4 years ago
  39. M2Kx

    @38: I guess not. I wont do it, if they’d leave me and go to Acti :’(

    #39 4 years ago
  40. Gekidami

    @38
    If they were willing to start a new studio to make PGR5, wouldnt they have just done that rather then look for a third party dev to make the game for them?

    #40 4 years ago
  41. M2Kx

    Hm… actually I didn’t think about this. Could also be this way, who knows?

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Tricky

    Stop giving erthazus the oxygen for his bullshit to thrive. If you follow the comments on VG247 in any way then you should know he’s an ignorant troll who spouts shite all the time. Just ignore him.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Erthazus

    @34, SplatteredHouse, “The ones who aren’t at fault is Bizarre, the developer. You’re also incredibly tactless.”

    So the developers who made BAD games in the last three years… Deserve to make another one turd?

    Whats Activision fault?

    #43 4 years ago
  44. Patrick Garratt

    Updated again. Still waiting on official line.

    #44 4 years ago
  45. M2Kx

    Ok it’s getting even worse :(

    #45 4 years ago
  46. Suikoden Fan

    http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/66490

    budcat creations may be closing down too

    #46 4 years ago
  47. Old MacDonald

    “Judging by latest games i’m not sure that they worked at all. You don’t know how much they worked.”

    Dude, seriously… that’s so unfair. You don’t know the budget they had, you don’t know how many creative limitations they got due to the license, you don’t know how much time they got, you don’t know anything…

    Also, again, Blur was a very good game. So it’s simply not true that they only made shit the past three years.

    #47 4 years ago
  48. EscoBlades

    Blur might have been crap, but this is a major loss for the British Games Industry.

    #48 4 years ago
  49. Patrick Garratt

    Updated. It’s true.

    #49 4 years ago
  50. Freek

    If they are selling the studio rather then an all out closure the staff and franchises could potentially find a new home.

    #50 4 years ago
  51. Stephany Nunneley

    Updated again.

    #51 4 years ago
  52. M2Kx

    There’s to much update in it!

    #52 4 years ago
  53. Stephany Nunneley

    Well, all I have to say on the matter is you would genuinely have to be a heartless person to find pleasure in someone’s misfortune. I will leave it at that.

    #53 4 years ago
  54. Freek

    Moral of the story: studio owners, look to THQ, Zenimax and EA instead, or face a risky couple of years at Acti.

    #54 4 years ago
  55. Erthazus

    @47, “Dude, seriously… that’s so unfair. You don’t know the budget they had, you don’t know how many creative limitations they got due to the license, you don’t know how much time they got, you don’t know anything… ”

    budget? they had for the last game Bruce Feirstein as a writer. Blood Stone features the voices and likenesses of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone. Bad budget?

    Creative limitations? Activision wanted to kill them from the start but others have a freedom?

    How much time they got? You think Activision that stupid?

    Gosh, how naive you are. You think that Activision don’t want to make a profit?

    #55 4 years ago
  56. Gadzooks!

    Blur is a superb game. It was just a victim of bad timing. BC shouldnt have to pay for the publishers mistakes.

    #56 4 years ago
  57. OwningXylophone

    @55

    “Blood Stone features the voices and likenesses of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone. Bad budget?”

    Can you say contractual obligation? This will have had nothing to do with the games budget. They just spent all that time and effort rebooting the Bond franchise, it would seem stupid to let a video game developer come along and change fundamental characters wouldn’t it…

    #57 4 years ago
  58. manamana

    Erthazus, you really are a Twat.

    #58 4 years ago
  59. DSB

    Blur was an average racing game, but I think the room for those today is very limited, especially after the Need For Speed tidalwave. And who’s satisfied with an average racer from the studio that made Gotham?

    What puzzles me is why Bizarre is first in line to get the axe, when Activision has a number of far less convincing studios to choose from.

    #59 4 years ago
  60. Freek

    Indeed. We get another stupid skate board game with a silly plastic atachment that nobody wanted or even remotly worked but they kill of Blur.
    Makes perfect sense!

    #60 4 years ago
  61. EscoBlades

    Blur was average. Even Split Second was a superior game. That is all besides the point.

    It still sucks when anyone has to (potentially) lose their job. It ain’t like the British Games Industry has a glut of developers or studios like their American counterparts.

    #61 4 years ago
  62. DSB

    @61 EU businesses generally don’t stand a chance in multinational corporations today, since you save far more by shutting down an EU business, than you do shutting down a tax incentivized business anywhere else. The same thing recently happened to IO Interactive in Denmark.

    It seems that Activisions other mediocre studios are either in California or Canada. That pretty much clears it up.

    #62 4 years ago
  63. The_Red

    Their games came out at really REALLY bad times. Blur came out really close to Split Second and it hurt both of them. Blood Stone came out along with GoldenEye remake which while on a different platform than BS, had most of the hype and anticipation among fans.

    #63 4 years ago
  64. triggerhappy686

    Activision are shits. Erthazus is a loser who has no idea whats shes talking about.

    #64 4 years ago
  65. KingCancer

    there going to kill bungie next. finally!

    #65 4 years ago
  66. Old MacDonald

    “budget? they had for the last game Bruce Feirstein as a writer. Blood Stone features the voices and likenesses of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone. Bad budget?”

    Yeah, if anything I’d expect all those expenses to have a negative impact on the game’s actual development budget. You think Bizarre were the ones who came up with the idea of spending money to get Bruce Feirstein as a writer? Not likely. You think Bruce Feirstein made the game better? Not likely.

    #66 4 years ago
  67. Blerk

    For shame. Perhaps if Activision had actually bothered to do some publicity for Blood Stone and not just quietly thrown it out to die alongside Call of Duty it might’ve even sold a few copies.

    I wonder if Microsoft will dig into their wallets, given the PGR-reboot rumours of late?

    #67 4 years ago

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