Bizarre Creations, the Liverpool-based games developer behind the Project Gotham Racing series, has been bought by Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) for an undisclosed amount. Bizarre had formed in 1988 under the name Raising Hell but changed moniker in 1994, after which it developed the X-box racing car titles, which have sold 4.5 million copies in north America and Europe, and Geometry Wars. Santa Monica-based Activision, in a statement, said it was “the latest step in (its) ongoing strategy to enter new genres”, having last year bought a foothold in the emerging musical games niche via the Guitar Hero franchise. It trumpeted that racing games represent 10 percent of the worldwide market at $1.4 billion. Bizarre MD Martyn Chudley said the outfit would operate as an independent studio within Ativision. The company has 160 staff, will retain its name and location and there will be no redundancies.
In a far sweeter and more detailed post on its site, Bizarre admitted: “It’s not easy being independent. Signing new games is tough, and bringing new IPs to market as an indie … is one of the most challenging things our company has ever faced. As I’m sure you can imagine, the most dangerous time for any independent is the period in between projects (or more precisely in between publishers) … Bizarre isn’t a developer in financial trouble, and we’re certainly not looking to be “saved” by a bigger corporation. We’re a dev looking to take our games to the next level.” The company said it will now be able to develop titles for more platforms than just the X-box.