UK dev vets pay respects to Blitz

UK dev vets pay respects to Blitz
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

September 16th 2013 at 3:29PM

Martin Hollis, Charles Cecil, Jon Hare and more ponder the closure of stalwart UK studio

In the days following the sudden closure of long-standing UK studio Blitz, a number of veteran developers have come forward to share their reactions to the news.

Founded 23-years ago and recently home to 175 staff, Blitz's closure - born of financial strain - resulted in much affection for the developer, a number of new studios forming, and an effort by the wider industry to help the outfits former employees find work.

Here is what Blitz meant – and means – to some of the studio's most high-profile development veteran admirers, as told to Develop:

Charles Cecil, Revolution Software

"I was shocked and hugely saddened to hear of Blitz's closure [last week]. Founded in 1990, the same year as ourselves, Blitz was one of the pillar development companies which appeared to always ride the troughs. Passionate about games and the industry itself, Andrew and Philip Oliver are always positive, always pleased to offer advice to their fellow developers, and to contribute to the industry whether through government or TIGA. They will bounce back, of course, and we wish the very best of success to them, to their former employees, and the new developer start ups.

"But it is really sad that Blitz now ceases to exist. It rings a warning bell for the whole development sector - and, once again, raises the question of why the European Commission should have blocked the government's tax credit proposal."

Martin Hollis, Independent

"[Blitz Was] such a longtime stalwart member of the UK games development industry, and one that was unusually outward-facing, and I am very surprised and sad to learn it is closing.

"Andrew and Philip were always sincere, open and human and I never knew any person to have a word against them. The business was business-like and I believe they managed relationships and employees in the best possible way. It is sad to see such bad luck affecting so many in the UK."

Jon Hare, Tower Studios

"Blitz have traditionally adapted well to the transition of the games industry across the years, from small family company making original games to large company servicing many licenses across a wide range of platforms. I will be sad to see them go.”

Trevor Williams, Playground Games

"You would think we have got used to hearing news that another developer have gone bust, but I have to admit, this did surprise me. We have a few ex-Blitz guys here and they are shell-shocked. They always speak well of Blitz and I think that itself speaks volumes. Whilst technically a competitor, I have the greatest respect for Phil and Andrew. Blitz have been around forever – it really does feel like the end of an era. Very sad."