Employees given notice of possible closure
Activision appears to be considering its options concerning Bizarre Creations. A number of rumors have been circulating that the studio was closed, but apparently those are not accurate. Sources instead tell us of Activision giving the studio’s 200+ employees notice that in three months the studio could be closed.
The studio has been primarily known as developer of racing titles, and the developers behind the highly successfully Project Gotham Racing series when the studio was owned by Microsoft. After being acquired by Activision, the studio attempted to create a new franchise that many called a spiritual successor to Project Gotham Racing that was called Blur.
Blur received many positive reviews, but apparently sales of the title didn’t equal the kind of numbers that Activision needed out of the new franchise. In the meantime, the studio produced a new James Bond title called Blood Stone that was recently released. Blood Stone features driving as well as out-of-the-car action with an original story to capture the feel of the 007 James Bond experience. The title has met with very mediocre reviews, and sales have been slow for the title since release according to our sources.
Activision does acknowledge in a released statement that they are currently evaluating what to do with the studio; and in addition, they stated that racing games have changed. While they do indicate that they invested significant money into the studio to develop Blur, the title never found its audience, according to Activision. Activision has left the door open to a possible sale of the studio, but does not suggest what the future may hold beyond that.
Bizarre Creations has a deep and rich history in the video games business as a developer. The studio was established in 1990 and went through a couple of name changes and versions before it became what we know today as Bizarre Creations. Besides the PGR series for the Xbox and Xbox 360, the studio is also known for the action game, Geometry Wars, which was very popular and successful on the Xbox 360. The company also produced a number of other titles for a variety of platforms, including several Formula 1 titles, Fur Fighters, Fatal Rewind, Metropolis Street Racer, The Club, Boom Boom Rocket, and Combat Crazy.