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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 "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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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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