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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

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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Dan Pearson