Bizarre Devs Took A Chance, May Get Closed

Three years after purchasing the developer behind Project Gotham Racing and Geometry Wars, Activision appears to be in the process of deciding how to ditch the studio.

"Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations," an Activision spokesperson told Kotaku today, "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."

Another option would be the studio's closure.

Rumors of the Liverpool-based development studio's imminent closure about this afternoon, with Twitter in particular abuzz with word that Bizarre Creations' owner, Activision, is planning to shut the studio down. Sources close to the studio have informed Develop that some 200 members of the Bizarre Creations staff have been put on three months notice.

Activision purchased Bizarre Creations in 2007. Since the purchase Bizarre has created two titles for the publisher: The well-received racing combat game Blur and it's most recent release, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, which has received mostly average reviews thus far.

The loss of Bizarre Creations could have a profound effect on the already shrinking racing genre. Though this month sees the release of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit from EA and Sony's Gran Turismo 5, the racing genre is nowhere near as prolific as it once was.


Comments

    Maybe it would've helped if Blur didn't come out at like, the exact same time as Split/Second, which was, you know, basically identical (at least it appeared to be- I haven't bothered trying S/S since I already own Blur)...

    Oh, and Blur having a singleplayer mode that lasted more than about 2 hours would've been nice, too.

      Try upping the dificulty, brother. And aim to get all lights on all events. It took me a good week of heavy playing to finish it (and that wasn't even on the hardest setting).

    Pity Activision are probably keeping the Geometry Wars IP.

    I'd say racing games are in rude health right now:

    Out now and great:
    Forza 3 - still growing with DLC
    NFS:Shift - underrated racer with the best career progression ever implemented
    Dirt 2 - so many modes!
    F1 2010 - finally an F1 game, which although buggy in terms of AI is a great drive
    NFS:HP - rating well (although I see it as a re-skinned Burnout Paradise City)
    Blur - a fun take on Mario Kart
    Split/Second - an even more fun take on Mario Kart
    Real Racing - great portable racing game
    PGR4 - still the most style orientated racing game
    rFactor - a great indie alternative with a huge fanbase and lots of mods
    Race 07/Race On/GTR Evo - also huge number of mods and a solid and tunable driving model
    GT Legends - THE place to race historic cars

    Coming soon:
    GT5, NFS:Shift2, Dirt3, Real Racing 2, Test Drive Unlimited 2

    And the G27 wheel is out, meaning the G25 is cheaper.

    I can't think of a better time to be playing racing games.

    Has anybody above actually played Split/Second? It's not at all like Blur, and even less like Mario Kart.

    Biggest point of difference is you don't have weapons, only location-based events, like a bridge exploding, or a ship sliding off the pier.

      Yeah, I bought Split/Second because everybody said it's so similiar to MK. It's nothing like it!

      Anyway, that's really disappointing news, because geometry wars is an awesome game and it'll be sad to see bizzare creations (probably) lose the IP to activision.

      My reference to it being like Mario Kart is in terms of it being an over the top parody of racing.

      Obviously the mechanics of earning and spending rewards and the nature of those rewards is different, but basically you drive in a certain way to get the ability to boost your own performance or hinder that of your opponents. In Blur, Mario Kart and Split Second.

      Split Second is really different to Mario Kart; it's all about track memorisation and driving skill, which I think limits its pick-up-and-play qualities.
      Although, there's one thing they have in common:
      The incredibly frustrating rubber-banding AI.

    Microsoft really needs to buy Bizarre. They're rumoured to be searching for a new developer for PGR5 so why not get the original creators back? Sounds like the perfect opportunity to me.

    Bizarre has been one of the most consistent developers over the last decade so hopefully they don't disappear, it would be a sad day for me and the millions of PGR/Blur/GeoWars fans.

      I'd really like Microsoft Game Studios to get back into motion.

      MS spent the past few years shedding studios, and now Sony is making a point of showing their in house games.

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