The UK games industry weeps once more, as I have the sad news of reporting rumors that another UK studio — this time Bizarre Creations — is allegedly facing closure.
Bizarre Creations in Liverpool houses 200 employees and was purchased by Activision in 2007. Since then it has made games such as Blur and most recently, James Bond 007 – Blood Stone. The rumor mill surrounding the axing grew to fever pitch on Twitter this afternoon as Traveller’s Tales boss Jon Burton took to the social network to say “[This is a] sad Day for games developers. Really glad I didn’t sell my company to Activision.”
Activision has comment on the rumors, releasing the following statement to Shacknews: “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”.
While the future of the company now hangs in the balance, all I can do is sincerely hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the folks at Bizarre Creations.
Word has also come through that the Iowa-based Budcat Creations — which handled multiple PlayStation 3 and Wii ports for Activision — has also been closed down. Our sources are indicating that the studio was informed of the layoffs today, but had been expecting them for a few months.