Bizarre Creations, a subsidiary of Activision, plans to close its doors for good upon recommendation from Activision.
After disappointing sales of its arcade racing game Blur, the studio's standing with Activision was brought into question. The game was suppose to be the first of many iterations, and even in the face of lackluster sales, Bizarre Creations continued to show confidence in the title and its franchise potential. Unfortunately, Activision no longer shares the same enthusiasm about the game or the studio's future. Despite positive reviews upon release, Blur contributed to the downfall of the Liverpool video game developer.
Coddy Johnson, Activision Worldwide Studios’ chief operating officer, expressed that Activision's first priority was to keep the group together through a sale to an interested buyer. However, Bizarre Creations was unable to attract a buyer, even after multiple attempts.
"I want to be clear, our first choice was to try and keep this group together and find a buyer for the studio. This decision comes after a few months of exhausted examination of a number of different options across the board. We of course care about this team. We’re offering the studio as many resources as possible, including counseling, external placement services and external career fairs."
Although it is good to see Activision helping the members of the group, it is always a shame to see a video game developer close. In the current economic landscape, finding out about a game studio closing is all too common. Even though it was rumored that multiple companies were interested in purchasing Bizarre Creations, nothing came from Activision's attempts to salvage the studio.
Last November, a 90 day consultation period started which gave Activision the right to sell the studio or recommend closure. Johnson remarked:
"...unfortunately, so far we’ve not been able to find any interested parties. So we’ve made as a last resort, a recommendation to the team for closure."
Founded in 1994, Bizarre Creations made its mark with Metropolis Street Racing on the Sega Dreamcast. That game would eventually morph into the company's most famous series, the Project Gotham Racing games developed with Microsoft Game Studios.
It is a real shame that the studio will be closing its doors, and Game Rant would like to extend our best wishes for the future to all of Bizarre Creation's employees and their families.