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Key Ex-Bizarre Employees Form Independent Studio Hogrocket

Key Ex-Bizarre Employees Form Independent Studio Hogrocket

March 23, 2011 | By Kris Graft

Three former employees of recently-closed UK-based Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone developer Bizarre Creations have formed the independent game studio Hogrocket.

The new studio, based in North West England, was founded by Bizarre senior level designer Pete Collier, Bizarre community manager Ben Ward and Geometry Wars series creator Stephen Cakebread.

Collier, who will be taking on design duties at Hogrocket, said in a blog post that founding an independent studio is "very scary," but "a challenge that I could not live with myself for not attempting."

He also noted the changes happening in the UK games industry. "...Mainstream game development here has been utterly devastated," he said.

"This is through a combination of advantageous tax relief programs in Canada causing brain-drain in the UK and traditional large publishers in a flight to the safety to their established, biggest selling brands," he added.

While large game companies are struggling, Collier said a "brave new world of game development" is emerging, fueled by the creativity of former employees of large studios.

Ward said on his blog that the studio is working with freelancers that will contribute to Hogrocket's games, and that the studio's first project is underway. Cakebread said Hogrocket's first titles will target iPhone and iPad.

Collier added, "Say what you like about developing for Apple iOS devices (discoverability, etc.) but now there is the opportunity to make smaller games for low development costs and make a living. This state of play simply hasn't existed in the industry for decades."

Last month, other former employees of Bizarre announced that they formed the new studio Lucid Games.

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