It’s with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to talented game developer Bizarre Creations today.
They were one of the oldest and most successful studios still going in the UK games industry. In their time they made a number of significant titles that were not only technical showpieces for the consoles they appeared on, but also compelling games in their own right.
Racing was their gig, and their rise really began with Formula 1 for the original PlayStation. That’s the game that led Sega’s Kats Sato to track down Bizarre and invite them to create a launch racer for Sega’s upcoming Dreamcast, Metropolis Street Racer. From there Bizarre’s expertise attracted Microsoft, which saw them create possibly their most famed series, Project Gotham Racing, simultaneously with three technology launches (Xbox, Xbox Live and Xbox 360). Signing away their independence to Activision in 2007, Bizarre’s final racer was to be the tragically underappreciated Blur. In late January, Activision revealed there was a likelihood that Bizarre would be closed and its entire staff laid off.
I remember seeing PGR3 running for the first time on an HDTV in early 2006. Since then no other game so far has had me stand still, fixed in awe at the visual beauty on display. At a time when HDTVs were something of a luxury, feeling the effect of that racer had me immensely excited for how artistic, atmospheric and magnificent the games of the current generation would be.
Beyond the games themselves, I’m personally disappointed for many of the great people that I’ve met from the studio, including Geometry Wars creator Steven Cakebread, Chris Pickford and, communications manager and all-round easygoing guy, Ben Ward.
Bizarre made some of the most accomplished racing games ever in my view and the studio had so much more to give. Many their memory never be forgotten.
Bizarre Creations 1994-2011