Bizarre staff speak out on closure
Former staff at the now shuttered Bizarre Creations have revealed the working conditions at the studio while under Activision ownership.
Speaking to Edge, creative director Martyn Chudley and commercial manager Sarah Chudley (his wife), reveal their belief that the publisher stripped the UK studio of its independent spirit, instead forcing them to take a development-by-committee approach.
"I don't think the atmosphere differed too much during the years before Activision," said Mr Chudley. "We were always proudly independent. However, 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.
"We weren't an independent studio making 'our' games anymore we were making games to fill slots. Although we did all believe in them, they 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."
Mr Chuddley also revealed that Bizarre Creations' management was offered the opportunity to buy the studio back from Activision.
"Without going into details, yes, there was [an opportunity]," explained Mr Chuddley, "but I personally thought there was far greater potential for the security and well-being of the company if a third party could come in.
"In any case, Bizarre had grown even more since [Activision] took over, and we just didn't have the skills, capability or finances to look after over 200 people," added Mrs Chuddley. "Martyn and I were always small-company people, which is why we stepped aside when we realised it needed big-company skills to manage."
Bizarre was forced to close earlier this year following the disappointing sales of both Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone.