Earlier this year, Bizarre Creations closed its doors for the last time much to the dismay of the company's many fans. It was the second company to see closure at the hands of Activision following the at-the-time-recent announcement that Guitar Hero and DJ Hero developer 7 Studios had been shut down. All of this bad news was also following massive layoffs at Vicarious Visions and Freestyle Games.
While Activision was not keen on keeping the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises going as they continued into the future, they were a little kinder to Bizarre Creations. Perhaps in a bid to deter the negative publicity stemming from shutting down the studio that brought the world Project Gotham Racing and Geometry Wars, Activision shopped the developer out to other publishers. Unfortunately, no buyers stepped forward and Activision was forced to issue a recommendation of closure to the studio.
Following the closure of the studio (who also brought us Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone), a large number of ex-Bizzare Creations employees created Lucid Games with the goal of keeping high quality game development in Liverpool. The new studio said they hoped that Lucid would be able to employ as many as 50 former staff members, a sizeable chunk of the 200 employee workforce that Bizarre Creations was home to.
Of course, this leaves a large number of talented developers unaccounted for, so it may have only been a matter of time before more news would come of other newly unemployed and intrepid staffers forming their own studio as well.
Enter Hogrocket Games. Spawned from the minds of three former Bizarre Creations staff members, Hogrocket games is another Liverpool-based game developer with an intended focus on creating indie games for multiple platforms. Currently they're working on their first, but so far they've been tight-lipped about what that project is about or what platforms it will be heading to.
So far, the only confirmed staff in the new developer are Pete Collier, Ben Ward and Stephen Cakebread. What their duties in the company are also remain a mystery at this time. If this is the entire staff currently employed at Hogrocket, perhaps their first game will be a simpler title aimed at facebook or the iOS platform.
The company's logo and site design might also imply that Hogrocket's focus will be more child-friendly games and an overall younger demographic. It may be that only time will tell what Hogrocket is going to be all about, but we've contacted Hogrocket and will be sure you keep you up to date with any news we come across regarding the fledgling developer.
[Update: We chatted with Pete about the new studio so be sure to read our full Hogrocket Games interview]
Are you happy to hear that more Bizarre Creations staff have decided to stay in Liverpool and help keep game development in the community?