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Friday sees closure of Bizarre Creations

Liverpool studio winding down this week

Bizarre Studios, the Liverpool developer which was announced to be closing by Activsion last month, is finally terminating business on Friday 18 February.

The studio, which turned out titles like Geometry Wars, Project Gotham and Blur over the course of its history, was recommended for closure by Activision in January following unsuccessful attempts to find a buyer.

At one point, the developer had employed around 200 staff, but layoffs and rumours of closure began to surface in November, 2010 following poor sales of Blur and the James Bond licence 007: Bloodstone.

Whilst other studios have been looking at Bizarre staff for recruitment, so far no new studios have been formed by former employees of the company.

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Latest comments (30)

James Prendergast Research Chemist 5 years ago
A sad day. I never played any of their racing games except for a demo-kiosk for PGR3 (which i could not get used to) but geometry wars was very fun.
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Dominic Brittain Games Programmer, Strawdog Studios5 years ago
A very sad day indeed.
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Steve Ball Software Engineer, Ubisoft Montreal5 years ago
Such a shame!
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Show all comments (30)
Thomas Palpant Writer/editor for Gamebible.biz, a french industry videogames website 5 years ago
I'm sorry and sad for this very talented team... Il loved PGR and Blur, which deserved a lot more recognition... I think Activision is making a mistake, focusing his activites on too few franchises, especially Call of Duty et WoW, which are more than ever under the threat of Battlefield and The Old Republic. Whatever, we'll see.
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Jonathan Greaves Studying Psychology, University of St Andrews5 years ago
For a game with a licence as big as the "007" one itís surprising it didnít have a bigger marketing campaign. I was quite interested in the development of this game but constantly had to search for info on it. Then all of a sudden it was on the self of stores, almost silently. This is worrying news for this to happen to such a talented development team.
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Nick Burcombe CEO & Co Founder, Playrise Digital Ltd.5 years ago
Good luck to everyone involved.
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Daniel Vardy Studying HND IT, De Montfort University5 years ago
good luck to everyone in finding new employment
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Mike Wells Writer 5 years ago
Having played Bloodstone I'm not surprised it wasn't promoted very heavily - it simply isn't very good. I do wonder though how much of that was down to BC and how much down to Activision calling time on the project. The PGR series, on the other hand, shows there were some talented people there. I wish them well in finding new positions, but it's a buyer's market at the moment with so many closures. As for Activision's strategy, the economic meltdown of the past couple of years has really sorted the men out from the boys, across every industry. It's amazing how many household names simply lacked robust business models and finances. Look at MGM for example...
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Peter Johnson CEO, Soluble5 years ago
Sad day, I've loved each of their games from MSR through various Gothams and on to Blur. They'll be sorely missed.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Peter Johnson on 15th February 2011 3:47pm

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Graeme Quantrill Mobile App Developer 5 years ago
Bad times. Geometry Wars is still my number 1 xbox game :(
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Phil Morris Audio Producer 5 years ago
Good luck to everyone concerned, I hope I can help.
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Jan Graber Editor/Journalist, Graber Texte5 years ago
What a pity! I loved PGR and it's a shame, the franchise wasn't brought further.
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Charles Maynes sound designer 5 years ago
it shows ultimately that mergers do not guarantee safety for a developer...
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Greg Sewart Associate Producer, HB Studios5 years ago
A true shame. Bizarre has been one of my fave developers going all the way back to their fantastic Formula 1 games on the PlayStation 1. Good luck to everyone affected.
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Private Industry 5 years ago
Good luck to all of them hope they find rather fast something new, will always remember Metropolis Street Racer.
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Feargus Carroll Producer 5 years ago
My best wishes to to all of you at Bizarre, both former colleagues and those I've yet to meet. (It's a small industry). Good luck!
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Ben Board Developer Account Manager, Microsoft5 years ago
It's been a huge pleasure and privilege working with the teams at Bizarre - top individuals all, and a studio that has made a huge contribution not merely on the UK stage but with some of the world's best-loved racing games. On behalf of everyone at Xbox UK, thanks for that contribution, good luck getting settled in the next thing, and here's to the great work you'll all do again.
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Chris Wise Game Developer / Entrepreneur 5 years ago
My best to everyone at Bizarre, a great team and a privilege to have been a partner over the past decade.
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Sean Noonan Lead Level Designer, Ruffian Games5 years ago
Damn shame.
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Sam Spain Studying computer Science (Games Development), The University of Hull5 years ago
As long as the talent goes to good use I guess it isn't too bad. Goodnight, sweet Prince.
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Dibyendu Das Engineering Lead, Shoonya Game Technology Pvt Ltd5 years ago
Best of luck guys. Its sad indeed. Geometry wars rules !
Fie on thee damn hit driven industry!
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Jithin Rao Associate Producer, Ubisoft Reflections5 years ago
Another sad news for the day :(.
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Adam Hay Design Engineer, Imagination Technologies5 years ago
So long and thanks for everything.

Back on the megadrive Wiz 'n' Liz, despite supposedly being aimed at children, was a 2-player obscenity-yelling fest for a pair of teenagers as you realised that you'd just been stuffed by player 2 and you had 10 agonisingly short seconds to save your skin and get back into the game. Geometry wars also tended to turn the air a bit blue - it can be relentless and harsh, but never unfair. Most games ended with 'I .... hate this ... game! no more! ahh fine. one more!' (you can fill in the gaps yourself there).

But mostly I think Metropolis Street Racer is the game that did it for me - I spent a lot of my first degree sat around in a friends loft space drinking beer and playing that on the Dreamcast. This time there were less outbursts of anger and obscenity and more of a chilled-out zen type experience. In the short term that was probably a bad idea as that degree didn't go so well, but looking over the long term I did manage to chalk it down to 'product experience' in an interview (and I got the job, as you can see over to the left there), so I suppose the game helped me on my way. :)

Let's hope those folks land on their feet and things work out for them.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Hay on 16th February 2011 9:22am

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 5 years ago
Jonathan Greaves - "For a game with a licence as big as the "007" one itís surprising it didnít have a bigger marketing campaign."

Launching it four days before COD: Black Ops probably didn't help either - talk about crucifying your own product before it even had a chance(!). Blur's sales were probably scuppered by launching just after RDR - although I don't think many expected that to sell so amazingly well whilst most new IPs in 2010 failed to shift significant numbers. I also think its marketing was very poor - if you look at this advert which was fairly prominent on British TV, only about 5 seconds of its total 31 seconds are actually in-game footage, which seems like a terrible waste of a game as attractive and seemingly marketable as Blur was (apparently they were more interested in mocking Mario Kart than trying to sell their own game).

In short, I think Activision hammered the nails into Bizarre's coffin with some terrible marketing decisions, and instead of investing in the company and trying to play to its strengths they decided to close it down. It's a travesty for the British development community, and I wish all the staff well.
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D5 years ago
Best wishes all.
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Richard Westmoreland Game Desginer, Exient Ltd5 years ago
A crying shame. I've enjoyed many of their games over the years. I wish the employees all the best for the future.
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A sad day indeed for us in the North West to lose such a great studio. A powerhouse of talented people who I am sure will emerge stronger. I wish you all the best for the future.
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Sanjay Jagmohan Project Monitor (Functionality Team Lead), SEGA Europe5 years ago
Very sorry to hear this. I once worked with the guys too...
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A sad day indeed. We worked with them on PGR3 and PGR4. They were a fun lot, I still remember Brian Woodhouse taking me to the Beatles museum in Liverpool.

All the best for the future!
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Joel Fagerlund Development Director, EA DICE5 years ago
Best of luck to everyone.
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