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Bizarre Creations: 'Perfect Storm' Led To Studio Closure

Bizarre Creations: 'Perfect Storm' Led To Studio Closure

February 24, 2011 | By Mike Rose

February 24, 2011 | By Mike Rose
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Ex-Bizarre design manager Gareth Wilson has said that the closing of the Blur and Project Gotham Racing developer was due to "a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances".

Activision announced last month that it was closing the wholly-owned Bizarre Creations studio. Activision Worldwide Studios COO Coddy Johnson said at the time, "This decision comes after a few months of exhausted examination of a number of different options across the board."

Speaking with Eurogamer, Gareth Wilson discussed in more detail why Activision chose to shut down the studio. Wilson said, "It was a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances. The landscape of the industry has changed massively even in the time from when Bizarre was acquired."

"In particular getting a new IP noticed at this stage of the console cycle combined with the global economic situation meaning gamers are less willing to 'take a risk' is really difficult."

The studio's final game, racing title Blur, "did not find a commercial audience," and Wilson believes the release date for the game was a factor.

"The release date probably didn't help" he noted. "But nowadays that 'middle ground' of 2-3 million sales is getting harder to find."

"Games either 'break out' and sell 4 million-plus, or really struggle to break even. Also the quality bar has risen enormously. Did you know there were more 80 percent plus rated games in 2010 than any other year?"

Wilson also said Blur wasn't the only new IP to struggle in 2010, as Ninja Theory's Enslaved, Remedy's Alan Wake and Platinum Games' Vanquish were all critically well-received games that "didn't sell well."

Bizarre Creations was founded in 1994 and specialized primarily in racing games, including Metropolis Street Racer, Project Gotham Racing and the previously mentioned Blur.


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