Last week's news from Activision that Bizarre Creations was going to be closing its doors for the last time was some of the saddest news to come to gaming in the last little while. Known for creating the memorable Project Gotham Racing and Geometry Wars franchises, it's closure was a big loss to the game development world.
Fret not hopeful reader! Not all is lost. Word has surfaced that while the name of Bizarre Creations may have been done in, its spirit is currently striving to live on. The Liverpool Daily Post reports that a team of employees who worked for Bizarre Creations are now forming their own game development company: Lucid Games.
One of Bizarre Creation's senior managers, Pete Wallace, opened up Lucid Games with a few other team members in the hopes that they can help keep some of Bizarre Creation's talent in the area. Wallace thinks that the studio may be able to employ as many as 50 former staff members if its able to score some contracts developing games for studios around the world.
This doesn't match the 200 employees laid off with the closure of Bizarre Creations, but it should keep the migration of developers from being a mass exodus. It's no wonder they formed a new studio so quickly since a number of them have been getting offers from North American developers, most notably from inside Canada. Could it be that Ubisoft has taken a special interest in the talented individuals now looking for work? They do have to expand their new Toronto office to 800 people.
Wallace, who worked at Bizarre Creations for 11 years, claimed that the closure was not something anyone expected. The employees at Bizarre Creations expected there to be cuts, likely as a result of the poor performance of their last two games, Blur and James Bond: Blood Stone but not a full closure. A real shame since Blur showed the potential to be a very competitive franchise.
With the opening of Lucid games comes a promise from Lucid's commercial director, Andy Davidson:
“We want to get back to the levels of innovation and creativity at Bizarre that made Activision so keen to acquire it.”
This is a bold statement and good news as the new upstart is expected to make an appearance at the Game Developer Conference which starts in less than 3 days. This should help it secure those additional contracts which it will need if its plans to keep local talent in the area are to be successful.
I think it would be nice if Microsoft made amends for not purchasing Bizarre Creations from Activision and contracted Lucid Games to develop a new Project Gotham Racing game, but maybe I'm being too hopeful.
Are you happy to hear that the spirit of Bizarre Creations will live on in newly formed Lucid Games?
Source: Liverpool Daily Post