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Friday, 25 February 2011 10:33

Bizarre a victim of circumstances

Written by David Stellmack


Many high quality titles struggled in 2010
After speaking with a number of sources from the recently closed Bizarre Creations studio that was formerly owned by Activision, it seems that the interview with design manager Gareth Wilson at Eurogamer confirms much of what we have heard from others close to the closure of Bizarre.

Despite the quality of Blur, it was difficult to establish the title as there were a number of factors working against the studio. While you can talk about the global economy and the fact that many gamers just were not willing to give the title a chance because they preferred to go with the titles they already knew, the combination of these two factors really hurt the studio because of the large investment they had to make to try to establish Blur.

While Blur was not the only title that struggled in 2010, despite a number of positive reviews the game was unable to break out, and these days (as Wilson points out in the Eurogamer interview) “…middle ground is hard to find. Games either break out and sell four million plus units or it is a real struggle to break even.”

While those we spoke with were not surprised by Activision’s move to close Bizarre Creations, it does seem that a number of people were surprised that a studio with a track record like Bizarre wasn’t snapped up by another publisher who had a project that could have been a fit for them. Many say that the race to acquire talented developers from Bizarre to add to other studios might be the reason.

As one source told us, “No publisher is normally sitting on projects and just needing a studio. In fact, there are a lot of studios looking for projects, so in this survival of the fittest, it was bad luck for Bizarre that things really turned out like they did. I don’t think anyone could have predicted it.”

Read the entire interview with Wilson here.

 

David Stellmack

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