Former Bizarre staff speak out on studio's closure

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Bizarre Creations said their final farewell back in February after Activision decided to close the studio, and now former employees of the company are speaking out on that decision.

Creative director Martyn Chudley explained how the developer’s independent studio dynamic slowly started changing after Activision took over.

"We weren’t an independent studio making ‘our’ games anymore – we were making games to fill slots," he said. "Although we did all believe in them, they were more the products of committees and analysts. The culture we’d worked on for so long gradually eroded just enough so that it wasn’t ‘ours’ anymore."

When Bizarre was tasked with the development of Blur after their success with the Project Gotham Racing franchise, it initially seemed like a good idea. But Chudley said the game "failed to resonate with the games-buying public…it was probably too tough to pigeonhole."

Chudley also went on to reveal that Activision gave Bizarre the opportunity to buy itself back, but the company refused.

"Without going into details, yes, there was [an opportunity]," he explained, "but I personally thought there was far greater potential for the security and well-being of the company if a third party could come in."

Sarah Chudley, Martyn’s wife and Bizarre’s former commercial manager, expressed how the company was just getting too big to manage.

"Bizarre had grown even more since [Activision] took over, and we just didn’t have the skills, capability or finances to look after over 200 people," she said. "Martyn and I were always small-company people, which is why we stepped aside when we realised it needed big-company skills to manage."

This isn’t the end of the road for the entire Bizarre team though. Some former employees went on to create a new company, Lucid Games, back in late February. Hopefully their next project ends up being as good as the Geometry Wars and Project Gotham Racing series that Bizarre was so well known for.



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Author: Anthony LaBella View all posts by
My first experience playing a video game blew me away. The fact that Super Metroid was that game certainly helped. So I like to think Samus put me on the path to video games. Well, I guess my parents buying the SNES had a little something to do with it. Ever since then my passion for video games has grown. When I found that I could put words together into a coherent sentence, videogame journalism was a natural interest. Now I spend a large majority of my time either playing video games or writing about them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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