Things are looking up at Bizarre Creations following reports that "several companies" have expressed an interest in acquiring the studio, including none other than Project Gotham Racing owner Microsoft.
I made a bit of a joke yesterday when word leaked out that Activision was looking at shutting down Bizarre Creations, pointing out to my newsroom compadres that just a couple of weeks earlier it was revealed that Microsoft was on the hunt for a studio to revive the Project Gotham Racing franchise. PGR, for those who don't see the connection, was a racing game created and developed by Bizarre exclusively for the Xbox and Xbox 360, until Bizarre got tired of the daily grind and ended up flying the Activision flag in 2007.
But maybe it wasn't such a joke after all. A source at the studio told Develop that the mood has brightened somewhat following a meeting with management earlier today. "That meeting really lifted the mood here, I think, because we've been told that there's multiple parties interested in buying us," the source said.
"We are still on consultation for ninety days, but things look much better than they did last night or this morning," he continued. "Things here are changing at such a quick pace."
The source didn't want to name the companies in question because he doesn't want to put any possible rescue a risk. A separate source, however, claimed that Microsoft is one of the interested parties. "Microsoft aren't stupid," he said. "They know we're talented and have spoken to Activision about us."
It's a sensible fit, really. Microsoft needs a studio with solid racing credentials, while Bizarre needs to not go out of business. And even if it doesn't come to anything, it's good to know that other suitors are waiting in the wings - and that my amazing powers of prognostication are as sharp as ever.