In what could be a serious blow to Microsoft’s exclusivity on the popular Project Gotham Racing franchise, developer Bizarre Creations is no longer an independent player. The UK development studio was gobbled up by Activision today.
Plans are to keep the Liverpool, England studio completely intact, along with its 160 staff members. They’ll continue to operate as a fully-owned subsidiary of Activision, and retain the Bizarre name. Games which are already complete or near launch such as PGR4, The Club and Geometry Wars Galaxies will be unaffected by the change.
According to Activision CEO Robert Kotick “Bizarre Creations is the leading independent developer with a proven track record in developing highly successful and influential original properties, especially in the racing field. They are one of the most innovative and creative studios in the industry, and we are very excited to welcome this talented creative team to Activision.”
Bizarre had already started to create versions of its popular Geometry Wars series for other platforms. The way I see it, this means that we’ll start seeing more of their titles pop up on other consoles too. They’re already “off to the races” (pun intended) developing a new racing game, along with a character game for Activision. Let’s hope that Activision really sticks to their word and keeps this talented development shop intact. I’ve seen enough mergers in my time to know that’s not always the case.
[via NEXT Generation]