Activision selling/closing down Bizarre Creations

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by (((interference))), Nov 16, 2010.

  1. (((interference)))

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    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2010-11-16-activision-shutting-down-bizarre-creations

    And twitter reports of the studio being closed down:
    http://twitter.com/search/bizarre creations#search?q=bizarre creations

    Terrible news if true, one of the great racing studios and played no small part in establishing the Xbox brand, they also single handedly revived the retro shooter genre with Geometry Wars.

    Hopefully MS buys them like they should have in the first place, maybe they can have them help with Forza - I always thought they were much better at the presentation and visual side of things than Turn 10 is.

    UPDATE: According to Develop, MS and others have shown interest:
    http://www.develop-online.net/news/36404/Bizarre-mood-lifts-with-several-keen-to-buy
     
    #1 (((interference))), Nov 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 18, 2010
  2. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Bobby Kotick's on a roll right now, he gutted Raven too a month or a few ago. I remember playing Raven's first game on the Commodore Amiga way back, so I feel rather distraught at the moment.
     
  3. Laa-Yosh

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    Nowadays even one financial failure is enough to get busted, but Bizarre actually had a second chance after The Club's mediocre results. I also think that their racing games were cool, but Blur should've sold far, far better to keep them running. Can't even tell why it failed, looked nice and as far as I know the gameplay wasn't bad either. Marketing maybe?
     
  4. Rangers

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    Doesnt seem like many racing games have sold well lately. Motorstorm PR, Split/Second, Blur, etc, all big bombs.

    Guess it doesn't stop NFS and Dirt from popping out sequels though.
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

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    Didn't some dev say driving/racing games were coming to an end? Ah, "in a rut". I think gamers have moved on. Fashions come and go.
     
  6. Billy Idol

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    well that is sad...

    I bought Blur and could convince my buddy to buy it to...very good game!!

    I hope the survive as a studio and get a chance to produce something new!!
     
  7. dragonelite

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    You're right when fps became playable on console the market shifted.
    I believe NFS series had a bump with the underground scenes and the fast and the furious movies being really popular.
    In the past my friends were all jumping on the nfs wagon now they are on the cod wagon.:lol:
    Gonna let them try some forza 3 tomorrow at a party.
     
  8. matthias

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    I think Blur launching in the same month as split second and modnation racers was a not so bright idea. The same goes for the new Bond game from Bizarre, Blood Stone. No movie in the same timeframe probably hurt the game a lot.
    What i don't understand is why is activision producing these games (Blood Stone, Singularity) when there is really no chance they can make a buck back?
     
  9. (((interference)))

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    Yup, great gameplay, technically impressive but Activision gave it pretty much no marketing AND had the smart idea to release it at the same time as Split/Second and Mod Nation Racers which all cannibalised sales from each other.

    Has sold around 500,000 copies worldwide so far on 360 and PS3. Is that not enough to break even?

    And Blood Stone should have sold well if Activision had marketed it properly like they should with any licensed game, but marketing favoured Goldeneye on Wii so they let what must have been an expensive license go down the toilet.
     
  10. aselto

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    Racing games are very unforgiving and possibly one of the most skill oriented out there, people prefer more relaxing experiences. Additionally rubberband AI seen in many games could have ruined the genre for many people as it kills any sense of progression and improvement.

    That said, it's not all that bad sales-wise - NFS continues to push decent numbers (although it's not the same 10M copies Underground games pushed), Codemasters are doing well (Grid, Dirt, recently F1), so is Forza. Additionally GT might bring people back into the genre (and some new ones).

    As for Blur's commercial failure, I think it was a variety of factors - it released in the same period as two other racing games and RDR, it was a kart game on PS360 with kinda useless commercial - no one cares about Mario Kart on those platforms even if it's the most popular game out there! (it pretty much is), it was said to be absurdly difficult.

    I remember when Peter Moore still worked for MS, he told Microsoft was planning to release FM and PGR in alternating years... I hope they go back to that plan, I enjoy both series.

    Where did you get that from? Doesn't matter anyway, majority of copies probably sold for €20...
     
  11. Scott_Arm

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    But what about Geometry Wars? Geometry Wars 3?! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
     
  12. (((interference)))

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    MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY! :sad: :cry:

    Greatest arcade shooter ever! 4 player local MP was also amazingly intense and unique. I remember 4 player pacifism would regularly come close to fistfights.

    I'm even ranked 87th in the world on the iOS leaderboard for Waves.

    I really hope Microsoft buy them back - Turn 10 could certainly learn a thing or two about racing games and presentation from Bizarre.
     
  13. Silent_Buddha

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    I think it's probably fairly unlikely considering how tepid many racers have done the past few years. I'd imagine MS will be watching closely to see how well the newest NFS does as well as how well GT5 does.

    NFS will give an idication of whether it may or may not be wise for any publisher to invest heavily into a more arcade/fun racer. If it does extremely well, might see PGR come back. If not, I wouldn't hold my breath for another PGR except as a possible casual Kinect title.

    GT5 doing well might show some potential for driving games to continue, but I'm not sure that's exactly the case.

    The whole racing genre seems to be following in the steps of Flight Sims. Just that racing games are holding on a bit better. But the genre overall seems to be in slow decline.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  14. (((interference)))

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  15. Shifty Geezer

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    GT5's going to do well, but I wouldn't use that success to expect other racing titles to do well. You get some gamers who'll try a bit of everything, with one racer, one shooter, etc., and GT will be the racer they were holding out for. I don't believe the majority of GT buyers will be on the lookout for other racing games. This will be true of all flagship titles of a genre I think, that as the genre dies, the lead still waves the flag proudly. In however many years times when shooters are passe, Halo will still make phenominal sales, but I wouldn't then set out to make a shooter to follow in its footsteps, when everyone else is riding a different bandwagon (fitness rythmic cooperative platforming FTW!).
     
  16. Laa-Yosh

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    That's a very good article with some pretty spot on observations.

    One thing I'd like to add though is that there's more to a studio than just the developers by now. The accumulated experience, technology and tools all represent significant value, and sometimes it's still worth to keep them going if you consider what a huge investment it'd be to build up a new studio for a new franchise from the ground up.
    That's why it's still possible that some other publisher will jump in and buy Bizarre - maybe even MS. We're reaching a point where launch title development for the next gen consoles will have to start soon, at least with a small core team, in order to have the minimum of 3 years necessary to put together a game and its technology.
     
  17. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Agreed, on both counts. What really gets my goose personally with racing games is the arbitrary demand to always place at least third in a race to proceed, even in games offering a championship mode, or else it's game over.

    I can't play wipeout on my PS3 because of this. It's just stupid, no championship ever has had demands like this, because there would only be 3 contestants remaining after the first race! :lol: Nor has there been any contestant ever in a world championship - or at least certainly in the last 20-30 years I would think - who has consequently placed at least third in EVERY single race in a season without fail.

    It's an outgrowth of arcade games where you WANTED people to fail so they'd continue pumping coins into the machine. However such a rule doesn't make sense in a home setting. Yet still it remains.

    Dumb. Just dumb!
     
  18. zed

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    shumacher 2002, his worst result for the season was 1x 3rd and all the rest of the season were 1st+2nd places!!!!
    OK splitting hairs but a piece of trivia
     
  19. Laa-Yosh

    Laa-Yosh I can has custom title?
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    Yeah but he's a machine, so it doesn't count :)
     
  20. aselto

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    Big releases cannibalize sales around their release date, but ultimately they promote the genre. COD is a huge title with a lot of replay value (15-20MP maps shipped with every game, tons grinding), yet there are other very popular games within the same genre, with COD players buying other games from it (although there are players like me who purchase shooters yet avoid COD). Gran Turismo might have similar effect for racing games.

    You could argue they have the same campaign progression as other video games, eg. shooters, RPGs, etc. where you have to win to see the rest of the content, but I agree - motorization is qualified as a sport, therefore it should have thesame career progresion as other sports games.
     
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