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454 Comments

Activision Is 'Exploring Its Options' Regarding The Future Of Bizarre Creations

Sources say the house that created Project Gotham Racing and Blur has been shuttered.

Bizarre Creations, the developer behind Project Gotham Racing, Blur, Geometry Wars, and the latest James Bond game, sub-titled Bloodstone, has been closed by Activision, according to a NeoGAF thread and our own confidential sources. 
 
According to a source, Bizarre Creations will be going through a "90-day consultation period, statutory redundancy." The NeoGAF thread on this subject states that all 200 or so staff at the studio have been made redundant. Bizarre employees have known about today's closure for just about three hours.
 
A press release about this is said to be forthcoming.  
 


UPDATE: Joystiq has a bit of clarification on the "90-day consultation, statutory redundancy" thing. Bizarre is sorta in the process of closing. This 90-day period gives notice to employees that a company is going to be shuttered or sold or downsized.  
 
UPDATE 2: Shacknews and other websites have received the following boilerplate from Activision regarding this. Just to be extra clear, our sources believed Bizarre was toast at the time we reported this. It appears now, though, that the studio isn't closing immediately as was feared. It's possible that within this 90-day period someone can buy Bizarre and save the jobs that were supposedly made redundant.
 

Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. 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.    

454 Comments
Posted by AndyMP

Really pissed about this news. Activision managed to destroy a great developer and lay-off a ton of great development talent. I might just have picked up my last Activision title. 

Posted by Lokno

I went straight to metacritic to look at the over-score on Bloodstone. This is really odd: 1up gave the game a B-, and metacritic translated that as a 67. How does that figure? Wouldn't a B- be an 80?

Posted by Brontes_Muse

Way to keep it classy activision 

Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials
@zombie2011 said:
" This sucks. 
 
@KarlHungus said:
" Hey guys is Bloodstone ready? Good, lets get it shipped out. OK, the scores aren't the greatest, but they are not bad. Alright guys, good job today and also... you are all fucking fired get the fuck out of this building. NOW!!!  I'm sure that whole ordeal went over terribly. fucking activision... "
 However, why is everyone shitting on Activison? I'm pretty sure Blur and Bloodstone didn't sell well so why would they keep Bizzare around if they just keep losing money. I don't understand why gamers take things so personal when people get fired. "
Blur could have sold well if Activision lifted a finger to make it sell. They are completely inept with new IP and studios like Raven and Bizarre have to pay for it.
Posted by Creamypies

What a fucking bummer. One of the current best UK based developers are now gone... this is a sad day for gaming.

Posted by SuperSambo
@AndrewB said:
" Have I missed something key in the news, or did this come out of nowhere? "
Blur and the new James Bond game were not well revived. I have no idea how, with a franchise like PGR and the promise that Blur showed, they can justify shutting it down...
Posted by Korolev

Wait, Geometry wars sold really well, and I think Blur did decently too. Are they being laid-off because of poor performance or because Activision believes that they aren't worth the resources?   
 
Oh well. Best of luck to those who got fired. 

Posted by PepeSilvia

Wow, this is really surprising. Wasn't Microsoft looking into a new PGR? I still think it's a mistake MS let Bizarre go in the first place, let them make it right again.

Posted by neoepoch
@MoleyUK said:
" Activision make hundreds of millions on MW2 then decimate Infinity Ward. Black Ops does well so they take out Bizzare. Any guesses which studio's going to get the chop when WOW:Cataclysm sells bucketloads? "
Raven kinda seems like it is next on the chopping block. And I really like Raven.
Posted by madroxcide

Activision has really been getting on my nerves lately I kinda hope the people at Bizarre Creations start up a new studio and make a really really awesome game that sells very well as a big f-u to Activision. I hate to be anti Activision and all but god they do things that irritate me and from the looks of this news article a lot of others as well. 

Posted by Klaimore

Just in time for the Holidays!

Posted by bretthancock

Activision, proving their incompetence one decision at a time. 

Posted by TSchonbeck

This sucks, loved the PGR series. :/

Posted by Kaigan
@nickux said:
" In order to stay competitive Activision must re-structure-- aw fuck it there's no way you can PR your way out of this. "
"Bloodstone didn't sell as well as Black Ops, so we're sacking all of you."
 
If I can do it, so can Activision's molerat PR spokesmen.
Posted by Lobst

This is bullshit, and Activision should know better. Competent, polished games sell poorly sometimes, and the development studio isn't always to blame. (Maybe people just weren't ready for a characterless kart-racer, or a phoned-in Bond game with no movie to back it up.)
 
I bought Metropolis Street Racer at full-price before the Dreamcast died. End of an era, right here.

Posted by JustKamToo

I'd like to add my  "Fuck you Activision!" Blur is a greeat game. Damn shame they have been clsoed.

Posted by hagridore

Wow didn't see that coming. Good news is they didn't get assigned to Tony Hawk or Spider-Man. 
 
Why'd you buy 'em, Bobby?

Posted by FinalDasa

Happy Holidays! 
 
Activision made a business move but something that makes sense on paper doesn't from an industry viewpoint. 

Moderator Online
Posted by SolongWrex

Well fuck.

Posted by Church069

Massive bummer!  Tonight I play Geometry Wars....Does Activision own the rights to Geometry Wars?  Bummer again.

Posted by Meltbrain

That's sad.

Edited by MachidaX89

Wow, wouldn't normally expect that a developer with that kind of reputation would get closed down.  I like Geometry Wars, and PGR 3 was among the first games i bought when i got the Xbox 360. But i guess you can never know if Mr. Kotick is involved.

Posted by Nomin

This is what happens when mutltinational conglomerate scumfucks take over every facet of leeway that indie developer or small developer houses possess. Bottom line or else 

Posted by Skittlenizzle

This is really sad news. :(

Posted by Burn1n9m4n

NOOOO!!!! There go all my hopes of Geometry Wars ever coming to PS3!!! FUCK!!

Posted by Hector

Wow WTF! I loved the PGR series and I thought Bizzare Creations was an awesome company.

Posted by IamNOTatalkingpony

Condolences to those 200.I'm not really a big racing guy, but ANY good studio shutting down is a bummer. 

Posted by Choi
@TomTheRealist said:
 Big condolences to the 200 or so staff.  "
Best of luck to all of them. Big bummer!
Posted by phantomzxro

@Lokno said:

"I went straight to metacritic to look at the over-score on Bloodstone. This is really odd: 1up gave the game a B-, and metacritic translated that as a 67. How does that figure? Wouldn't a B- be an 80? "


 

One man's option from the look of it, it was not a really good game just very so-so at best. Whoever reviewed it must had a soft spot for it.
Posted by RecSpec

Wow that came out of nowhere.

Posted by kalmis

Shit, that's terrible news. Really loved the PGR games

Posted by ThrdDegreeBurns

Just furthers my disgust for Activision.

Posted by Cybexx

Its too bad, PGR3 was a great launch title, PGR4 was really solid but ignored, The Club had major issues but an interesting approach to a shooter, Blur is awesome and I've lost so many wonderful hours to Geometry Wars 1 & 2.

Online
Posted by animathias
@zombie2011 said:
" This sucks. 
 
@KarlHungus said:
" Hey guys is Bloodstone ready? Good, lets get it shipped out. OK, the scores aren't the greatest, but they are not bad. Alright guys, good job today and also... you are all f*cking fired get the f*ck out of this building. NOW!!!  I'm sure that whole ordeal went over terribly. f*cking activision... "
 However, why is everyone sh*tting on Activison? I'm pretty sure Blur and Bloodstone didn't sell well so why would they keep Bizzare around if they just keep losing money. I don't understand why gamers take things so personal when people get fired. "

Because Bizzare has proven they can make terribly addictive games, and ones that sell well: Geometry Wars and PGR. Blur was also insanely fun, but because of the effing release window and Activision's "marketing" of it, it bombed. Seriously! Who at Activision thought it'd be smart to release a new IP in the same window as Split/Second and ModNation Racers? They could have waited 1 month and been completely clear of all other racing competition, or released it a month earlier with promises of a free DLC pack with a bugfix patch to hit right before Split/Second.
Posted by EXTRASHINY

Not cool.

Posted by Strafer

:(

Posted by Nytrik

Pour some out. 

Posted by EgoCheck616

GOD FUCKING DAMMIT 
I wish Activision would just die in a fire. 
 
Hopefully those who lost their jobs can find work elsewhere.

Posted by Dblueguy

This is horrible, I loved Blur and Geometry Wars. I wish the best of luck to all of the staff at Bizarre Creations.

Posted by RYNO9881

not cool.

Posted by Ragdrazi

I'd like to again remind everyone who bought Black Ops that they are part of the problem.

Posted by Mystyr_E

so can the studio at least move to EA or something? or are they like, toast but honestly, with Activision, who didn't see this coming?
 
their new motto: unless you're making us a Call of Duty, GTFO

Posted by Th3_James

I really liked the PGR games.

Posted by DukeTogo
@Sir_Ragnarok said:
" Fucking furious about this news. These guys know how to make solid games. Really unfortunate to hear about this.  "
Considering they really haven't made one since PGR I'd say that's not correct.  Blur had a niche fanbase that liked it, but it was generally considered too hard and a kart racer in disguise.  PGR never seemed to catch on this generation with the crowded racing scene.  They proved that anything without a car wasn't their bag with The Club and 007, and Geometry Wars was frankly an accidental success that got run into the ground with the deluge of dual stick shooters.
 
I see them forming a new studio and getting snagged by EA to make yet another flavor of Need For Speed.
Posted by TadThuggish

Remember that time Activision bought that developer just to shut them down? 
 
I remember.

Edited by Atomasist

This news is quite surprising, anyways best of luck to those who got fired.

Posted by Nicholas

WHAT THE FUCK? NOT. COOL. FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Online
Posted by Little_Socrates

Very sad news, especially considering it's entirely the publisher's fault if Blood Stone didn't sell well. They didn't promote the game at ALL, instead hyping their other James Bond game, and then they released them on the same day and expected the unknown game not based on the most popular N64 shooter to still do well? 
 
Something tells me Activision released them on the same day to intentionally close down Bizarre. Activision clearly knows how to hype an entire franchise of games (see 2009 rhythm games) over one season, but they couldn't even bother to inform people that Blood Stone had come out. I didn't know it existed until I heard about it on the Bombcast during its release week (or maybe through a QL, I don't remember.) 

Edited by Death_Burnout
o_O i was not expecting that...
 
 @Little_Socrates: You're so right, that is so dumb it had to be deliberate at this point...what else could justify such a tard move...unless they were concerned about quality, so y'know, they shoved it under a literally Golden rug...
Posted by wolf_blitzer85
@Korolev said:
" Wait, Geometry wars sold really well, and I think Blur did decently too. Are they being laid-off because of poor performance or because Activision believes that they aren't worth the resources?    Oh well. Best of luck to those who got fired.  "
See I believe this is Kotick's plan to whittle the excess and put all resources to COD and World of Warcraft.
 
I mean why have one Call of Duty a year when you can have six?
 
The video game industry seems like a scary place to be right now. It's no wonder that Johnny V jokes about losing his job all the time seeing how people get shit canned without a moments notice these day.