Activision Buys Bizarre Creations, Developer of Project Gotham Racing and Geometry Wars (Updated)

Update: Bizarre has confirmed to Shacknews that it does not own the rights to Project Gotham Racing nor The Club and will not be developing future games in those series.

"There may well be further games in these series, but they won't be developed by Bizarre," community and web lead Ben Ward told Shacknews. "Geometry Wars is still Bizarre's baby, and we will continue to develop further games in the series just like we've always planned. Also, GW:Galaxies (Wii, DS) will still be released by Sierra."

Original Story: Bizarre Creations, developer of the Microsoft-published Project Gotham Racing series and the Geometry Wars franchise, is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision.

The studio most recently finished work on the Microsoft-published Xbox 360 racer Project Gotham Racing 4, which is due out on October 4. Bizarre is also working with Sega on the third-person shooter The Club (PC, PS3, X360) and with Sierra and Kuju Entertainment on Wii and DS iterations of the seminal multi-directional grid-based shooter Geometry Wars. It is unclear how the acquisition will affect future titles in said franchises, though Shacknews has inquired as to the ownership of the various Bizarre-developed IPs.

Following news of the acquisition, the studio announced it has begun development on two new titles-one a racing title, the other a character-based game.

"This is fundamentally a different deal than some you've seen around the industry recently," Bizarre community and web lead Ben Ward noted on the company's official site. "Bizarre isn't a developer in financial trouble, and we're certainly not looking to be 'saved' by a bigger corporation. We're a dev looking to take our games to the next level, and make the absolute best products we can possibly make. Likewise, Activision is not in the business of 'buying out' struggling developers either."

Ward elaborated that the studio will continue to exist "as is" due to Activision's "hands-off" management style and still maintains creative control over its actions. "We won't become Activision Liverpool or anything like that," he continued. "We will have absolutely no redundancies."

"Bizarre Creations will play an important role in our growth strategy as we develop an original new intellectual property for this important racing segment, expand our portfolio in other genres and utilize their proprietary technology for cross platform development," explained Activision president and CEO Mike Griffith.

Chris Faylor was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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    September 26, 2007 8:46 AM

    Whoa. Did not see that one coming.

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