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Diversity vital to independent success, warns Blitz

Broad portfolio is essential to tackle changes in a fickle market, says CEO

Having a diverse business model which allows a company to absorb market shifts is an essential factor in long-term business survival, Blitz Games CEO Philip Oliver has told GamesIndustry.biz.

Speaking as part of a larger interview, Oliver said that studios which overspecialise leave themselves vulnerable to the vicissitudes of a changing market, citing the company mantra of 'to diversify is to stabilise'.

"It's very important - and I think Bizarre Creations are probably thinking that right now. The market's always changing. To not be diverse would be a huge mistake right now. We're a huge company - we're 230 people. If we said, we're going to focus only on shooters or only racers, or only a particular area - then you can get a good few years, but you only need one year for the market to shift," Oliver explained.

"The market can shift for a lot of reasons, the product's not in vogue, or a competitor comes out with a better product or whatever, that's it. You're out and there's no going back. Having a diverse portfolio and the mentality within the studio to keep changing and addressing new challenges, it's vibrant and fun and challenging and interesting, but actually, it's safer to be that way.

"As one area starts to drop off, another area starts to pick up. We kind of have this motto: To diversify is to stabilise. That's what it's all about."

Oliver's comments have particular relevance in a week which saw the unfolding of a potential collapse at Bizarre Creations - the Activision-owned specialist racing studio which had recently released the poorly received James Bond title, 007: Bloodstone.

Alongside its mainstay of licensed development work, Blitz also creates middleware IP with its Blitz Tech division, supports indie content and casual gaming with Blitz 1Up and Blitz Arcade, creates educational and training software via the Trusim arm and is also the owner of Volatile Games - the developer behind Dead to Rights: Retribution.

Read the full interview with Phillip Oliver, CEO of Blitz Games, on the front page now.

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Latest comments (1)

Jason Sartor Copy editor/Videographer, Florida Today9 years ago
This point has some validity, but a number of studios which are not very diverse have had and continue to have success.

id is an FPS house and it was worked well for them. The same can be said of Bethesda churning out first person RPGs. Which also can show that BioWare and SquareEnix have a focus and success in RPGs.

I will not disagree that being able to be like Blizzard and have MMO, RTS and RPG powerhouse franchises is the most ideal and best possible business practice. I also think it is better to have a strong focus turning out great games in your focus rather than having a diverse studio that churns out a bunch of poor quality games across a broad spectrum of genres.
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