Publisher Activision has announced that it has acquired UK developer Bizarre Creations (PGR, Geometry Wars
), as Bizarre assures fans the new ownership will be "hands off" and does not represent financial trouble within the developer itself.
Activision says the move is the "latest step in Activision’s ongoing strategy to enter new genres", saying the racing game market, which Bizarre entered with its Project Gotham Racing
series for Microsoft Game Studios, is "a $1.4 billion market that ... represents more than 10% of the total video game market worldwide."
On its official weblog, Bizarre has said the acquisition is "a solution which allows us to not only stay as secure and profitable as we already are as a company," with the freedom "to create kickass games in exactly the same way as we're doing now."
"Bizarre isn't a developer in financial trouble," reads the post
, "and we're certainly not looking to be "saved" by a bigger corporation. We're a dev looking to take our games to the next level, and make the absolute best products we can possibly make. Likewise, Activision is not in the business of "buying out" struggling developers either."
Bizarre continues, adding that the studio will exist "as is", not becoming "Activision Liverpool," that there will be "absolutely no redundancies," and that it will have creative control over its process and management.
Finally, Bizarre says that, importantly, "we're no longer tied to just one platform for starters. Our future titles can be on whatever we please - we are a truly multiplatform studio now. Of course that doesn't mean that we'll be forced to make a port of every game to every console in existence... we simply have that option available to us."
Activision did not disclose the financial terms of the acquisition, and says its first Bizarre Creations title will be released "after fiscal year 2009."
Said Activision CEO Robert Kotick, “Activision continues to grow and drive greater value for our shareholders by broadening our portfolio and entering new gaming categories with strong global appeal. Bizarre Creations is the leading independent developer with a proven track record in developing highly successful and influential original properties, especially in the racing field. They are one of the most innovative and creative studios in the industry, and we are very excited to welcome this talented creative team to Activision.”