Reports are coming in from multiple sources that Activision has closed Project Gotham & Geometry Wars studio Bizarre Creations.
According to UK industry publication Develop – and other sources – the publisher closed the Liverpool, UK-based studio earlier today. All 200 staff at Bizarre have been made redundant and laid off.
Bizarre is best known for its Project Gotham Racing series as well as its downloadable Geometry Wars games. This year, Bizarre shipped two titles for Activision, Blur and 007: Blood Stone. Neither lit up the sales charts, which may have influenced the actions the publisher supposedly took.
There has been no official word yet, and we’ve reached out to learn more. If this is true, best of luck to everyone at Bizarre – studio shutdowns after shipping holiday titles are all too common in this industry no matter who the publisher is, but that doesn’t make it any less painful when it happens.
Check back soon for more.
Update: Activision has released a statement by way of Shack News:
Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience. Bizarre is a very talented team of developers, however, because of the broader economic factors impacting the market, we are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business.
In other words, there’s been no official say either way. One can only hope that Activision is indeed looking to sell Bizarre rather than close it down entirely.