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

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

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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Ben Ward

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