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UK studio Blitz Games to close after 23 years

At least 125 jobs go; new company will form as management hopes to save 50 positions

UK studio Blitz Games is to cease trading after 23 years in business.

However, management has said that it will continue with two projects under development and hopes to keep 50 of the 175 staff at the business in work by forming a new company.

"Frustrations with clients, the global economic crisis, and more than our fair share of simple bad luck have all conspired against us and we are no longer able to continue trading"

"We have managed to weather numerous storms over the last two decades that have sadly seen the demise of many of our friends and colleagues across the industry, but the run of problems we've had to face over the last year is unlike any we've seen before. Frustrations with clients, the global economic crisis, and more than our fair share of simple bad luck have all conspired against us and we are no longer able to continue trading," said founders Philip and Andrew Oliver in a statement.

"It has been an absolute honour to lead such an extraordinary group of highly talented people who have consistently pushed boundaries and created amazing games that we've been hugely proud of. We've been humbled by the loyalty and commitment that they've all shown over the last 23 years and we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of our staff, past and present, for their years of loyalty, their creative drive and their commitment to Blitz and to us.

"We have done all that we can to make Blitz a success, and we have come frustratingly close in recent months. Major clients have felt unable to commit to investment in significant projects, others have changed strategy whilst appearing committed, and others have been slow to commit at all - all of these things have continued to hurt our finances. We have also sustained the business for some time with our personal savings but even those reserves have now been exhausted.

In addition, Oxford-based Rebellion is in talks with management to potentially hire Blitz staff.

"We'd like to publicly thank Chris and Jason Kingsley from Rebellion for their support and friendship during this time - they are acting incredibly honourably and helping us to find new roles for as many of our staff as possible. They began their careers in games at around the same time we did and epitomise the positive and supportive culture of long-standing game developers in the UK.

"We wish the very best of luck to all the staff who are sadly leaving us today and thank them again for their drive, creativity and enthusiasm. They, like us, are passionate about games, and we call on the rest of the industry to capture their passion and continue the careers of some of the most talented young creatives in the country."

Blitz Games worked on a number of work-for-hire and licensed properties over its 23 years, and more recently kicked off its 1UP and IndieCity initiatives. It also has it's own internal BlitzTech suite of tools and serious games division, TruSim.

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Matt Martin

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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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