Activision recommends Bizarre closure

Activision recommends Bizarre closure

By Rob Crossley

January 19th 2011 at 1:00PM

Publisher tells Develop it had 'a lot of leads but no interested parties'; Bizarre 'has indicated it will accept recommendation'

Bizarre Creations' chances of being bought by another company were shattered today, as Activision issued to the group a recommendation for studio closure.

It means the Liverpool-based studio's likelihood of running under a new publisher is now almost certainly over.

Bizarre staff have indicated they will accept the recommendation, an Activision executive told Develop.

Last year the studio housed around 200 staff.

Coddy Johnson, Activision Worldwide Studios’ chief operating officer, said the publisher had “looked at all options” before recommending to close the group.  

He told Develop: “I want to be clear, our first choice was to try and keep this group together and find a buyer for the studio."

“This decision comes after a few months of exhausted examination of a number of different options across the board.”

He added: “We of course care about this team. We’re offering the studio as many resources as possible, including counselling, external placement services and external career fairs.”

In November, Bizarre was put in a 90 day consultation period, giving Activision the option to close the studio or sell it to another group.

Develop discovered that, just a day after Activision revealed its intention to sell the business, a number of companies were interested in acquiring the group. An anonymous source from inside the studio said “there’s multiple parties interested in buying us.”

But talks in acquiring the studio from Activision appear to have fallen through.

Today Johnson told Develop the group has “explored a lot of leads – pretty much anyone you can imagine in the industry”.

“But unfortunately, so far we’ve not been able to find any interested parties. So we’ve made as a last resort, a recommendation to the team for closure,” he added.

Activision's decision to consider Bizarre’s closure came after disappointing sales of the studio’s key project, Blur.

Activision said at the time that, “although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience.”

At the time of going to press, the consoltation period is still technically ongoing - it is thought Bizarre will accept the recommendation to close.