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Developers look to Bizarre Creations on recruitment hunt

Sumo, Jagex, Codemasters hoping to offer lifeline to talent as studio future hangs in the balance

UK development studios are looking to recruit the best talent from Bizarre Creations, as the fate of the Liverpool studio hangs in the balance.

Activision has said it is considering the future of the business - which last year had a turnover of more than 12 million - with staff on 90 days notice. Options range from closure to a sale of the studio.

Racing studio Codemasters will be out in force next week, hiring out a local hotel and with representatives from its Birmingham, Ego engine and art teams in attendance as it looks to fill around 100 positions.

"The UK talent pool is amongst the best in the world and although this is a tough time in the industry, there are still great examples of UK achievements," said Simon Miles, talent acquisitions manager. "Codemasters is one of the companies in a fantastic position to expand and build the AAA games for the future."

Head of Sumo Digital, Paul Porter, said he empathised with the situation at Bizarre, as his own studio was borne from the closure of a local team by the hands of a bigger company.

"I'm always disappointed when any developer in the North struggles with the commercial realities of the industry at this difficult time," he told GamesIndustry.biz. "I hope that a solution can be found to maintain Bizarre as a going concern, after all, Sumo was launched following the closure of Infogrames Sheffield."

Porter said Sumo will be at next week's Develop Liverpool event, and he's open to talking to any developers who might see opportunities in moving on.

"As other developers are being public about their intentions to hire staff, we are also looking to build upon the success we have had in 2010 and are looking to grow and recruit a number of talented individuals to complement our current team and work on some amazing projects with us."

Cambridge-based RuneScape developer Jagex is also moving up to Liverpool next week, with recruitment and senior management hiring out a venue the day before Codemasters' event.

"It is always sad to see UK developers in trouble and we are keen to help where we can" offered Peter Lovell, Jagex's talent acquisition specialist. "We currently have a large number of vacancies across multiple projects and are keen to meet the team from Bizarre to show them what Jagex has to offer."

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Latest comments (11)

Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D6 years ago
Sumo and Codies. Two of the most underrated studios we have.

Good luck to all concerned, but you could DEFINITELY do a lot worse than these two.
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Ben Furneaux Designer, Turbulenz Limited6 years ago
Quick, shameless (but on topic) plug here: if you're looking to be apart of an awesome new online social gaming platform, Turbulenz is hiring! http://www.turbulenz.com/biz/careers
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Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design6 years ago
It saddens me that Bizarre could be broken up as a team - I'm sure they've evolved to be an extremely close-knit and productive studio. Carving it up into pieces isn't very deserving of them, not at all. Microsoft should really consider buying them for their intended PGR plans, they really should. PGR needs to come back into the limelight, and Bizarre are the only studio who can do it justice.
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Show all comments (11)
Pierre Vandenbroucke Assistant de production, Gorgone Productions6 years ago
What Steven said.
Codies is also a great racing games studios, and I'm sure some of the MSR/PGR/Blur team members would fit perfectly in Codemasters Racing team.
But Bizarre should stay Bizarre and continue their IPs.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Pierre Vandenbroucke on 19th November 2010 3:56pm

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Peter Lovell Head of Talent Acquisition, NaturalMotion6 years ago
Here is some added information about the Jagex event.

We have hired a private bar in the Crowne Plaza Hotel nr the John Lennon Airport and will be in attendance from 5pm onwards on Tuesday 23rd. It is a very informal, meet and greet type event.

In attendance will be the Jagex CEO, CTO, 2 Art Directors, a Producer, 2 Senior Modellers, a Lead Animator a Senior Concept Artist and myself. We are extremely keen to meet Bizarre staff and let them know about options available to them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Peter Lovell on 19th November 2010 4:30pm

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
It would be a shame if the Bizarre team were split up, but I think they would find relatively secure positions with companies like Codies, Sumo and Jagex. I would rather see them integrated into other studios than the development talent make its way over to Canada or the like.
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Surely the Blur team would do well at folks down at Blackrock?
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Again it is a real shame. Bizarre are a great bunch of people. Remember there are studios in the north too that are successful and hiring... Let's keep some of these people in the UK!
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but of course :)
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Dave Knudson Sr. Technology Manager, Electronic Arts6 years ago
Sad to see these guys broken up, PGR was always ace.
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Paul McGill Functionality Tester 6 years ago
Always a shame to see such a talented group of people be put out of a job! I would of loved to work at bizarre but its so hard to break into the industry now. Any companies in need of a level designer give me a shout :)
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