Published on November 16th, 2010 | by Cameron Woolsey
Bizarre Creations is in Trouble
In what will become the biggest news of the day–possibly of the week–is that Bizarre Creations, makers of such fine works as the Project Gotham Series and Geometry Wars, may be shutting down pretty soon.
The news stems from early morning reports of the possible layoff of approximately 200 employees from the Liverpool-based company. It goes without saying that many fans of the company have been Raising Hell over the possibility that Bizarre will soon be closed and we never see another PGR title again. However, new light has been shed on the situation. Thanks to game developer news website, Gamasutra, we now know the situation in full.
Quote from Activision press release at Gamasutra.com:
“Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly,” an Activision rep said in a statement. “Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience.”
Here is a simple translation for you non-business types: “We paid Bizarre to create Blur, a game we felt would succeed in the changing racing genre. It did not.”
The press release continues by saying that employees of Bizarre have all been given a 90 day notice explaining that the studio may go through a process of restructuring or the complete closure or sale of the studio:
“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.”
Gamers everywhere have spoken their opinions. Most of them revolving around the fact that this whole thing just sucks. While I was never a fan of PGR I still recall the many hours I wasted away playing Geometry Wars during the initial slump of the Xbox 360 launch. But the video game business is a business; nostalgia doesn’t pay the bills (unless you’re Nintendo). When a subsidiary of a company is costing said company money, things have to change.
It’s just a damn shame that the economy is so bad that a talented team like Bizarre–which has been in the game for over 20 years–is now on the cutting block after a career of really great titles because of a slow-selling game and the poorly received Blood Stone which has only been out for a week. But to be realistic, Blood Stone is on the path of selling worse than Blur–at least Blur was good. One can only hope that the company can be picked up by another producer soon (maybe Microsoft?).
Though things may now be quiet for a little while, GAMINGtruth will continue to follow the story and update as it develops.