Bizarre Creations Dies on Friday

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Bizarre Creations Dies on Friday


Bizarre Creations [http://www.bizarrecreations.com/], the studio that created the Project Gotham Racing series, will officially cease to exist on February 18.

Word that Bizarre would close its doors first slipped out in Project Gotham Racing [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/107066-Studio-Behind-Blur-Faces-Closure-By-Activision] franchise. The game sold only 31,000 copies in its first week of release for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and went downhill from there, leading Activision, which had acquired the studio in 2007, to put it up for sale. But there were no takers and on January 19 Activision Worldwide Studios Chief Operating Officer Coddy Johnson recommended pulling the plug.

Despite its hard-nosed reputation, Activision reportedly put considerable effort into trying to sell the studio but ran into a wall as potential buyers decided it would be more cost-effective to let the studio collapse and pick up individual employees [http://www.develop-online.net/news/36803/Bizarre-bidders-waiting-on-closure-to-pick-at-talent] than to acquire the whole thing. "We heard this from a lot of them, they were asking; 'should we buy the studio, or should we wait it out and pick off talent after it closes?'" Johnson said following the original closure announcement. "Pretty much all of them, explicitly or implicitly, are thinking of the latter option."

Develop [http://www.develop-online.net/news/37017/Obituary-Bizarre-Creations] revealed today that February 18 would be Bizarre's final day of existence. The site claimed in an "obituary" that Bizarre staff has spoken about the closure with "balance, open-mindedness and grace," and even complimented Activision's treatment of employees as things wind down. One commenter who claimed to be an ex-Bizarre employee seemed somewhat less-than-sanguine about the situation, although he pointed the finger of blame for the studio's failure not at Activision but at Bizarre itself.

"When Activision took us over we did have creative control. When they shut us down we still had that creative control," he wrote. "The problem was that we made Blur; real cars in realistic cities with power ups. Who were we selling that game to? Marketing had no chance, we didn't even know how to sell it or who it was aimed at."

"Then we made Uncharted 2 [http://www.amazon.com/James-Bond-007-Blood-Playstation-3/dp/B003VKLAAU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1297719452&sr=8-2], but in half the time and with James Bond in it'," he continued. "Along with engine changes half way through and ignored warnings from external reports the entire way it was never going to hit the 85+ bar we'd had set for us by Activision. Like a kid in a sweet shop we had no idea what to do and we ended up doing the wrong thing for nearly 4 years."

Whatever the details that forced the closure, it's always sad to see a game studio shut down and especially so when it's been around as long and done as much great work as Bizarre. We wish the best to everyone affected by the closure.


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Harbinger_

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There seems to be alot of video game companies closing their doors in the news lately, hope it doesn't continue.
 

PixelKing

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It is insane how many companies are closing there doors due to people not buying there games cause of the big huge realses.
Sad for anyone who is losing a job.
Sad for a company like this to close down.
 

tlozoot

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Blur and Bond may have been below expectations, but Geometry Wars 2 was pure arcade excellence. Perhaps Bizzare were just unable to find their niche quick enough.
 

emeraldrafael

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I'm really worried. I mean... what if we get a monopoly? All these companies closing, it could happen.
 

JUMBO PALACE

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RIP Bizarre. I enjoyed PGR3 and I had a lot of fun with Bloodstone. You guys deserve better. I hope most if not all of the employees find new jobs soon.
 

IamQ

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No matter how bad a studio is, they should never be forced to shut their doors...
 

Smooth Operator

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It's really odd Blur did so badly because it was an awesome game, maybe they shouldn't have put it out there with NSF and Split Second out aswell.
And Geometry Wars was pure gold.

Too bad really, but I'm sure someone will buy them EA or Activision, sooner or later those will be the only names out there.
 

random_bars

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"The problem was that we made Blur; real cars in realistic cities with power ups. Who were we selling that game to? Marketing had no chance, we didn't even know how to sell it or who it was aimed at."

I don't understand this. Arcade racer is a well-established genre: Blur to me seemed very much like Burnout, but with Mario Kart style powerups. What's difficult to market about that?
 

Cursed Frogurt

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Blur was a really cool idea and the beta was pretty fun.

It's Geometry Wars 2 and Colonies that really impressed me. I will play them in honor of BC.
 

vivster

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IamQ said:
No matter how bad a studio is, they should never be forced to shut their doors...
and where is the logic in that?

such things happen all the time and not only in the video game industry... so no big deal there
normal in this fast living world with short attention spans

capitalism hooooooooo
 

IamQ

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vivster said:
IamQ said:
No matter how bad a studio is, they should never be forced to shut their doors...
and where is the logic in that?

such things happen all the time and not only in the video game industry... so no big deal there
normal in this fast living world with short attention spans

capitalism hooooooooo
If a studio makes a game that is really horrible, should they not get a second chance at making a better one?

Or did you think I meant that the studio itself i bad, as in, treating their employees bad?
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
sucks, I was still hoping for another fur fighters game
 

Woodsey

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IamQ said:
No matter how bad a studio is, they should never be forced to shut their doors...
It's business, not a charity. What do you expect them to do if they're not making good games or any money?

Whilst I think Activision is not exactly innocent in all of this, and they'd have fared much better elsewhere, there's no logic to what you're saying.