Reflecting on the studio’s closure, senior Bizarre Creations staff conclude that “We weren’t an independent studio” following the acquisition by Activision.
Creative director Martyn Chudley, commercial manager Sarah Chudley, and former design manager Gareth Wilson have been speaking with magazine about the history of the studio and its
“We were making games to fill slots,” says Martyn Chudley of the post-Activision era. “[The games] were more the products of committees and analysts. The culture we’d worked on for so long gradually eroded just enough so that it wasn’t ‘ours’ anymore.”
The staff confirm that Bizarre were actually given the opportunity to purchase the studio back from Activision, during the period when the company was trying to find a buyer. However, as Sarah Chudley explains “Bizarre had grown … since [Activision] took over, and we just didn’t have the skills, capability or finances to look after over 200 people.”
This post-mortem makes a sad contrast to the enthusiastic statements made by Bizarre after the original purchase in 2007. “[Activision] ‘get it’! They’re a very developer-centric publisher,” the same Sarah Chudley said at the time.
With the benefit of hindsight, Martyn Chudley’s contemporary assessment is a little different. “When Activision took over, we really felt that they would leave our culture alone, and for a while it was fine, but slowly the feeling did start to change,” he says.