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Bizarre was “too ambitious” under Activision, says ex-staffer

Tuesday, 29th March 2011 16:15 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Ex Bizarre team member, and now founder of recently-opened iOS studio Hogrocket, Ben Ward, has said the PGR and Blur developer was “too ambitious” whilst it was under the control of Activision.

“It’s not enough to point the finger at one little factor and say, ‘that’s it’” he told EG.

“Creatively you could say that the studio was too ambitious, with one team tackling multi-platform development for the first time as well as building a brand new racing IP, and the other team creating an action/adventure game for one of the most iconic characters in history.

“However, both games were generally rated well critically so I don’t think that argument holds too much water.”

Ward admitted it was an adjustment to become an internal studio for a massive publisher rather than stay independent, admitting it was difficult. He doesn’t blame Activision for what happened, though.

“Some of us (myself included) found it difficult working under a huge publisher; moving from proudly independent to an internal team took a lot of getting used to. We lost that ability to say what we want, do what we want, and (most importantly) make what we want.

“I don’t blame Activision for that – it’s just the way things work when you become internalised. It certainly affected the atmosphere at the studio; for better or worse Bizarre became more ‘corporate’.”

Bizarre Creations closed last month after 17 years following poor sales of new IP Blur and James Bond: Blood Stone. But raised from its ashes was Hogrocket and fellow studio Lucid Games.

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9 Comments

  1. UuBuU

    I loved PGR4. It’s a shame the series has sort of fallen apart, it made a nice alternative to Forza and GT.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Maximum Payne

    Is actually Activision presure them to work on 2 project? I mean Blood Stone had potential but it was average in every way.Blur was actually solid racing game but release on same day as Split Second, which reduce sales approximately by double.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Hunam

    @2 But Split/Second tanked too. No body really wanted either game.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    “Some of us (myself included) found it difficult working under a huge publisher; moving from proudly independent to an internal team took a lot of getting used to. We lost that ability to say what we want, do what we want, and (most importantly) make what we want”.

    Very polite thing for you to say but of course you are blaming activision and rightly so, you dont have free will with activision, and thats why the games always stay the same on yearly basis, theres not what you say in activision, rather is do as i say.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Maxey

    Anything that is not Call of Duty is too ambitious for Activision these days.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Hunam

    Except for Prototype 2, the seemingly only other game Acti makes outside of CoD.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    Split Second sold almost 1 million copies without PC version included(both retail and digital).

    #7 4 years ago
  8. YoungZer0

    @6: Absolutely. Still pissed about the cancellation of the new True Crime game.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Zana

    Blur was much more ambitious at first.

    Activision is making many more games than Call of Duty, but most of them are crappy licensed titles such as Rapala (fishing), Cabela (hunting), Zhuzhu and Squinkies (kids games). Yet they cancelled True Crime and music games because they wanted to focus on “higher quality titles”? Yeah right.

    #9 4 years ago

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