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Bizarre was given option to buy itself back

by Steve Watts, Apr 06, 2011 12:15pm PDT
Related Topics – Blur

Former Bizarre Creations senior staffers have opened up about their studio's untimely demise, reports Edge. They talked about how their culture changed under Activision, and how they had the opportunity to buy themselves back.

Former creative director Martyn Chudley recalls a change in the atmosphere once Activision bought the company. "We really felt that they would leave our culture alone, and for a while it was fine, but slowly the feeling did start to change," he said. "We weren't an independent studio making 'our' games anymore -- we were making games to fill slots. Although we did all believe in them, they were more products of committee and analysts." He concedes that Blur "failed to resonate" and called it "too tough to pigeonhole."

Gareth Wilson, former design manager, said the culture changed partly because of the staff size. "It's a challenge for any studio these days to make everyone on the team feel like they're really contributing to a game when there could be well over 100 people on a single game in production," he said.

Also telling, is the fact that Bizarre was given the chance to buy itself back, but declined. "Without going into details, yes, there was [an opportunity]," said Chudley, "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 the company's former commercial manager, suggests they turned the offer down because they "didn't have the skills, capability or finances to look after 200 people. Martyn and I were always small-company people, which is why we stepped aside when we realized it needed big-company skills to manage."

Some Bizarre staffers have gone on to make their own new studios, including Lucid Games and Hogrocket.





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