Bizarre victim of "perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances"
Posted: 07.04.2011 11:42 by Simon Priest Comments: 0
Three former Bizarre Creations big wigs have talked about the studio's final days, with one adding the "mistake we made" was underestimating new IP difficulty.

They "messed up" Blur's launch with delays giving them a "less-favourable release date." Their new games became "the products of committees and analysts."

In those final days many employees said they'd not work at a studio like Bizarre Creations again, showing the now former bosses how much they'd changed since Activision bought them. Gareth Wilson was a design manager at Bizarre and was Blur's lead man.

"If you want a personal opinion, though, I think it was a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances," said Wilson, who now works at Sumo Digital.

"If anything, the mistake we made was underestimating how difficult it was getting a new IP off the ground at this stage of the console cycle, especially in the racing space, which tends to perform better when a new console is launched."

Racer Blur's development delays "messed up our marketing campaign and gave us a less-favourable release date," he continued. Blur became known as 'Mario Kart with cars'.

"We weren't an independent studio making 'our' games anymore - we were making games to fill slots," chipped in former Bizarre managing director Martyn Chudley. "Although we did believe in them, they were more the products of committees and analysts."

"I suppose it's a telling thing that in the last weeks, many people were saying they would never work anywhere like Bizarre again," said Sarah Chudley, echoing the change. Apparently Activision offered MD Chudley to buy back the UK studio.

"Without going into details, yes, there was, but I personally thought that there was far greater potential for the security and well-being of the company if a third-party could come in. Sadly, this was not to be the case," he explained.

Sarah added however that they "just don't have the skills, capability or finances to look after over 200 people. Martyn and I were always small-company people, which is why we stepped aside when we realised it needed big-company skills to manage."

The Liverpool-based studio closed February 18th, 2011 after 17 years.

Source: Edge