Activision dropping Bizarre Creations

[UPDATE] After reports that British development house behind PGR, Blur had been shuttered, publisher says it is "exploring options," including selling the studio.

by

Source: See below.

What we heard: Leading off the month, reports emerged that Microsoft was on the lookout for a new studio to take up the reins of its Project Gotham Racing franchise. The Xbox 360-exclusive series has lain dormant since 2007, when its developer, Bizarre Creations, was acquired by Activision. Now, it appears as if one possible option for Microsoft would be to simply set up a new studio and stock it with what may be more than 200 soon-to-be-unemployed Bizarre Creations employees.

The first rumblings of upheaval at Bizarre Creations occurred last night, when a NeoGAF message board user posted word that Activision had decided to close Bizarre Creations. According to the user, all 200 employees at the British studio had been put on 90-day notice. Shortly thereafter, UK gaming site Develop stated that it had confirmed with sources at the studio the same information found in the NeoGAF report.

One of Bizarre Creations more bizarre creations was Geometry Wars.

Word of the closure has also begun to spread overseas. Reporting on its own source, Giant Bomb said that the studio has begun a "90-day consultation period" and "statutory redundancy." The source also told Giant Bomb that Activision plans to issue a press release regarding the studio closure soon.

Having made its name on the PGR series, Bizarre failed to find success with its first racing game for Activision, Blur. Though Activision has not announced official sales figures for the title, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said the game "had a very weak launch" in May, despite achieving solid review scores.

The timing on the reported closure also makes sense, considering Bizarre just shipped its latest title, James Bond 007: Blood Stone. Released on November 2, the shooter scored a positive critical reception, though it has yet to be seen how the game performed at retail.

The official story: "No comment yet."--A UK Activision rep.

Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus.

[UPDATE]: Activision has since provided a statement on the news.

"Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly," the company statement reads. "Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience. Bizarre is a very talented team of developers, however, because of the broader economic factors impacting the market, we are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business."

Discussion

244 comments
dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

@Sparticus1013: I don't care what people buy with their money, nothing of what i said even INSINUATED that. What i was stating was how people jump all over activision for it's pricing schemes, but when blizzard does it its okay... I don't know where you got that i cared if people bought it. I think they are both(the mw2 maps and the $25 wow mounts) pointless and overpriced, I dont care if other people buy it. I just hate how people say "when activision charges $15 for a 5 map pack its a rip off. But when blizzard charges $25 for a mount in a game, that's okay." I don't care either way, ignorance was my problem. The map pack AND the mount are NOTHING anyone needs. People WANT it, they buy it, that's fine, but both companies are doing the same thing, overcharging because they know people want it. saying one is worse than the other for doing it is ignorant. "cry and stamp my feet"??? i don't even understand what you're talking about. (people need to read AND understand comments before responding)

blakeney
blakeney

The dawn of the DLC/download titles age, it will change the way we see games! they told us............... Smaller dev teams will create games for a low price, breathing life back into the gameing world! They told us.............. Games will be released filling a disk, then we can shower you with extra content that was too big for the disk! they told us............... And what do we get?? DLC thats already on the disk, unlocked for a price, and these "smaller" dev teams getting crushed and pushed out the game..... nice....thanks...... lol.

gideonkain
gideonkain

Publish a studio's game, dissolve the studio a week after launch. This is becoming an old story.

npo123
npo123

Sad to see a Dev being sold pity. But its not Bizarres fault I believe Kotick's team didn't fund the Dev's with much Marketing/Bona-fide networking tools for the game. If these were implemented and on point then maybe it would of found success. Also as Patcher has said in the past consumers are scared of buying into new unestablished I.P's now sense the recession. Yet only a few new I.P's have found success Red Dead, Split Second, Assassins Creed, DJ hero etc. All these games had one thing in common were good marketing, good networking infrastructure and good gameplay. I would not be surprised MS wants to buy them again sense rumors are spreading that PGR IP may be recreated. Problem is that MS may not give Bizarre free reign to create multi-platform games such as Club like they did in a co-partnership with Sega. Back to square one for Bizzare Creations i feel very sorry for them lets hope this is not their downfall.

lover001
lover001

hahaha ... some members kidding ,being awesome ?! ... my opinion cannot be changed by that way .

bigg_p
bigg_p

@lover001: Thanks for being so awesome...

DaBigTickett
DaBigTickett

Had Bizarre had made PGR5 instead of Blur and added an online component for Geometry Wars 2 this would not be happening right now.

OaklandRaiderz
OaklandRaiderz

"it did not find a commercial audience." meaning Blur didnt sell 4 billion copies, so we're going to drop Bizarre and stick to making a "new" call duty every year.

lover001
lover001

I will not write more .. you are not my friend to write special messages for you ... for your opinion about this BRITISH company . as you wish .. this is not my problem , I dont care.. only one britsih very bad luck for britain loss against france.please please .. british members stop sending me messages .. you are really make me hate you more and more and more ............... I wrote much more about that silly topic .. i wasted time for this .... report abuse as usual .. oh .. you cant ignore me british I know

unreal_master
unreal_master

@lover001 i want to see what you wrote :] and i hope bizarre doesnt disappear.

lover001
lover001

gamespot ... laughs at me.. yesterday it deleted all my comments although the members have readed them . once i wrote it ... ok , please gamespot , dont make me laugh at you. . all members know these comments well. I have alot of messages after any comment i wrote ...

lover001
lover001

ok ... gamespot warns me.. and new members sent me some messages about my opinion.. so gamespot has a strong database in britain... ok , but gamespot has broken the terms of violation not me. it gave me a small area to express my point of view.. I am sure ,,, alot of british members pressed on website members to inform me ... ok .. I am still at my opinion, the problem is why are they thinking by that way. every time I comment . they are immidiately delete it. it is horrible .. may be some members dont care. but i am sure british members have their all ears. ok they reported abuse my comment.. I become now the bad boy to the british .. and no one wants me , it is the fact of matter. somebody commented me about british. he told me by his role . it is the best kind country .. is the most important country ever created in the world........ok if gamespot wants to kick me out .. so do it....

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

I't quite sad to see a great dev going down the hill through the years... The guys from Metropolis Street Racer, the PGR series are going to shut down :/ Yeah, Blur had poor sales, but it's hard to believe that a single miss have to cost em that much. I hope another publisher give 'em a chance.

Henninger
Henninger

Good now they can go 2 another company & prosper over there.

mardinn
mardinn

Activision "dropping" Bizarre Creations.. It's as if BC is a thing.

RacerLegend64
RacerLegend64

It'd be a really huge shame to see Bizarre Creations gone. They are a really good studio and one of my favorite developers. Blur was such a good, but underated game. I really hope they don't get closed down, we'd lose such a great studio. They still haven't taken in all the feedback on their forums for Blur for future DLC. Does anyone know really if the servers will stay up no matter what happens to Bizarre Creations?

lordinuyasha21
lordinuyasha21

fu activision......why do you constantly close down great studios?

KuRf
KuRf

@lover001 I love that you gave your opinions mate but the time for racist thing should be buried and ignored, don't really care whether it made by china or even aliens but aslong as a game is fun to play with and have its own originality then its fine by me. But by that comment about british developer sucks hurt me not because I live in the U.K but because not all games studios are rubbish. Have you played Enslaved : Odyssey of the West, Heavenly Sword and Little Big Planet? Cause they're all English based company. And drop the colonial country thing please, cause if British didn't found the 13 Colonies in America then there won't be U.S.A probably there is but ppl there will be talking French/Latin. We know our past wasn't filled with good stuff but we try to makes it better now. So please drop the racial comment because I'm here to play games with anyone whether they're tall,bold,skinny,fat,brown,dark or white don't really care.

bigspike43
bigspike43

sorry i was one of the few that bought this game,it was fun for about a week!!!

lover001
lover001

I am so sorry.. I have to speak these words .. I really got it.. most of gamespot members are very busy of gaming only ..they dont respect opinions , frankly . they are false.....................

lover001
lover001

ok .... why british people attack me ,, as I said the truth. it is not my problem they didnot learn that how to make a conversation with people . they are always thinking they are beautiful, best boys , have anything... somebody commented me about GTA is made by scottish. ok . the fact is that scotland really hates england .. as england is Colonial country, those boys have learnt in schooles is that britain is kind country and is a devolopped country by those extraodrinary people.. ok .anyone british want to comment . he should be conceived by his words firstly ... I will not send messages to those people...

KuRf
KuRf

Again with the commercial stuff. There are alot of games that aren't commercial enough. If you only concentrate on commercial stuff then trust me you won't develop any fanbase at all. CoD is huge because it got a big fanbase but when you see when it was beginning nobody heard about it at all till it got a sizeable amount of fanbase and it grows and grows. I don't know what Activision is thinking but if you keep doing the same series every single year the quality will fall thus the fanbase will fall. You could say Activision is digging its own grave. I said it now, I like CoD but if you keep making a new one every single year I will be ending up not buying it because there wont be any improvement at all and there will be more and more lacking in quality and uniqueness of it plus it somewhat felt like Madden,FIFA,NHL or NBA games.

bluespire1
bluespire1

What does anybody think what Activision will do with Bungie? Hmm...

Sparticus1013
Sparticus1013

@dRuGGeRnaUt You really should relax. I was just offering a different point of veiw. I think the $25 mounts are stupid too, which is why I don't buy them. But if the only way you can prove your point is to cry and stamp your feet, and call people names, by all means, continue. Why are you so worked up anyway? You don't like buying the content, then don't. Why are you so concerned with what other people choose to do with their money?

bluespire1
bluespire1

Looks like Activision isn't gonna win any popularity contests any time soon...

tko6070
tko6070

@Skakruk capitalistic Stalin is a complete oxymoron, he was a communist dictator!

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@dRuGGeRnaUt PGR just feels better to some, including me. I love the PGR games. Forza is boring and GT is stuck in 1997. Spend more time wit PGR3 before you judge it. I know it's probably hard to play a racing game without the coloured line on the track, showing you when to break and accelerate (that's really realistic isn't it?), but stick at it and you might start to like it. Just remember, the faster you're traveling, the earlier you have to brake.

iamnessie
iamnessie

Bizarre has made more games than just PGR and Bloodstone. They made The Club (that's all i remember). Blur is a fun racer but it's only filling time until the next Burnout.

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

@santinegrete I really liked you phase: "Mostly here we hate the sin, not the sinner (Activision)". I don't have the felling of rage for the publisher, they did some things wrong and these things must be pointed out. Indeed, the right path to get the things right is to put on table the wrong moves and work around to avoid it. Well said

Skakruk
Skakruk

the only activision game i currently play and will play for years to come is cod4 mw THE first one! trully great game. as for now i hope actiass will rot starting from koticrap!

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

to all the PGR lovers, i really don't understand why people like this series. After playing GT and Forza 2-3 it feels like a homemade arcade racer. The bikes handle like cars and the cars like bikes. I honestly am asking what made that series so great. I recently got PGR3, played it for an hour, and thought it was disgusting. Absolutely no physics, or realism whatsoever.. didn't even feel properly "arcade".

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

@kris9031998: Im sorry, but no acti didn't. It's blizzards show, blizzard still owns themselves. and if this "$40 pay per view clips" existed, it was only because blizz agreed to it. Wake up. Just because blizzard makes awesome games, doesn't mean they aren't greedy as hell. You don't all have to be sheep, you can play WOW and say that $25 mounts are rediculous, or $10 pets, or AGAIN $40 blizzcon clips.. or $150 tickets to blizzcon... no other game conventions cost money like this... an blizzcon doesn't do anything more, they just know people want to go, so they charge $150. It's fine if you can't admit these things people, but seriously wake up. I love blizzard to death, and own EVERY GAME THEY HAVE RELEASED SINCE warcraft 1. Doesnt mean I don't smell b*** **** when i see them over charging like this... (or the $20-$40 dollar transfer fees for changing you race/faction/class/server)

Skakruk
Skakruk

kotick is like capitalistic stalin. who else thinks so?

dRuGGeRnaUt
dRuGGeRnaUt

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

lock445
lock445

Activision should die. They are killing this industry.

Shardz7
Shardz7

More broken dreams from the master of disaster; Activision.

smwat
smwat

I love activision " If It dosn't make us a bunch of Money Then we dont want them" They Buy developers destroy them and once theres nothing left they toss them asside like a worn out hooker. I wish That Money sucking Kotick jerk would get a life, atleast avctivison gamers should DONT BUY ACTIVISON GAMES NEW BY USED less money to actifail the better! DOn't buy games for titles Buy them for what you like not OMG MULTIPLAYER only games like call of now failduty.

calum1984
calum1984

Well with any luck ms will snap them up for the new project gotham game rumoured to be thrown around at different devs.

Spybreak
Spybreak

Them releasing Blur next to Split Second was really stupid. I grabbed Split Second because it was mainly something new to racing, (blowing up the environment to take out racers). All the best to Bizarre Creations, I've played almost all of their games as each of them have been quality stuff.

carllfc
carllfc

Disgusting, Kotick destroying jobs for the british.

ronnet
ronnet

They should have seen this comming. Going from Microsoft to Activision is like picking the greater evil out of two evils. I'm sure some of them will find their way to Microsoft's new development team.

nejixx
nejixx

blur was the best racing game since Forza, sad to read this.

helldude90
helldude90

I hope bizarre find their way out this.

sambob530
sambob530

Blur was great, especially on split-screen, so it's a pity not many people bought it.

F-14-D_TOMCAT
F-14-D_TOMCAT

A very bizarre move by activision, cutting a good studio like bizarre does not make sense at all. I bet that idiot Kottick had something to do with this.

HaLoMaStErJT
HaLoMaStErJT

Bizarre made great games i enjoyed project gotham and blur was fun. Its a shame that it has to be closed down.

Smashemsmurf
Smashemsmurf

this has been going on for a while not new news this is y were not gettting dlc for blur and its a great game and by doing this they create a good game then scrap the support for it when the units sold alot and the consumer wants more out of the game Activision f'd up ill hang up blur on the shelves and remember the good ol times ( day dreaming) OMG f'ing campers well least i got black ops to keep me busy and castlevaina lord of the shadows

santinegrete
santinegrete

@Trogeton: Activision is a publisher, that's quite different from being a 'developer'. Sure, they a have a good line of games, I can tell you that since I loved prototype (even if they apported to it little more than a release date), along other games like CoD, but it will be a problem if they just homogenize everything in play-safe FPSs -most rental category right now-. Mostly here we hate the sin, not the sinner (Activision). And if you can't see what bad is being done here with talended people losing their jobs because 'experiments' of a big company (along with Radical Software and Budcat) then you need at least to check those articles. I really hope you are not trolling.