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Activision shuts down Budcat Creations studio. Bizarre Creations could be next [UPDATE]

Employees at the development studio Budcat Creations aren’t at the office today. Instead, they’re gathered at a bar down the street from their headquarters office in Iowa City drinking and calling friends and family. According to an anonymous source that contacted PC Gamer, that’s because the development studio has been shut down by parent company Activision. Budcat employees were notified about the closure when they were met by security guards and consultants outside their office this morning.  The future of Activision-owned studio Bizarre Creations is also in question.



Budcat Creations, was acquired by Activision in 2008 to strengthen Guitar Hero development resources. “Budcat Creations is an outstanding developer with an experienced management team and a very talented group of programmers designers and artists,” said Activision publishing CEO Mike Griffith in 2008. “In addition to strengthening our development capabilities on the Nintendo platforms, this acquisition increases our Guitar Hero development resources as we continue to grow the franchise and expand our global leadership position in the music-based genre.”

Since the acquisition, Budcat Creations developed Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Guitar Hero: World Tour, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero 5, Our House Party, and Band Hero.


Above: James Bond 007: Blood Stone, the last title developed by Bizarre Creations

Bizarre Creations was acquired by Activision in 2007. The development studio is most famous for its work on Geometry Wars and the Project Gotham Racing series. Since then, the studio developed James Bond 007: Blood Stone, Blur, The Club, and Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.

UPDATE: Contrary to recent reports, Activision has not shut down Bizarre Creations. The publisher is exploring options regarding the future of the studio, which could include selling it off.

An official statement from an Activision representative released earlier today reads:

“Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience.
Bizarre is a very talented team of developers, however, because of the broader economic factors impacting the market, we are exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business.”


[Source: PC GamerGamasutra]

Nov 16, 2010

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35 comments

  • Cleanser247 - November 17, 2010 10:39 p.m.

    Damn them!
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - November 17, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Just waiting for that sellout Dan Amrich to make the rounds on various gaming sites and virally try to convince people that Activision is a postive entity and Bobby Kotick is a really nice guy who just gets (accurately) quoted saying some reprehensible things on a consistent basis.
  • LastProRican - November 17, 2010 5:13 a.m.

    i really enjoyed the Project Gotham Racing series...=(
  • PushesPaperInACircle - November 17, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    They released Blur at virtually the same time as split second and then put them on a Bond game. Way to run a developer into the ground.
  • Hobojedi - November 17, 2010 12:50 a.m.

    Ugh, they're thinking about the money and not the games..
  • Rovert 09 - November 16, 2010 11:13 p.m.

    werewolfninja, they can't do anything to bungie, its only a publishing deal with them but damn, bizarre is great and id hate to see them shut down
  • garnsr - November 16, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    Man, the Hawkeyes lose this weekend, then the Budcat guys lose their jobs. Bummer of a runup to Thanksgiving for them.
  • reddevil76 - November 16, 2010 9:56 p.m.

    This why I avoid anything published by Activision, as they destroy good studios and great franchises. If I was High Moon Studies, who made Transformers: War for Cybertron (which is excellent by the way), i would be very worried, even though a sequel has been confirmed. Activision are the Devil when it comes to the game industry.
  • d0x - November 16, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    @werewolfninja So people have context you said..."Watch out Bungie, your next." Bungie has nothing to worry about they are still independent and own their new ip. The 10 year deal with Activision is for publishing rights to the game they are currently making. They have no stake in Bungie at all, and thank god for that!
  • kneehighsocks - November 16, 2010 9:31 p.m.

    Although I just checked Dan Americh's site (oneofswords.com) and he is claiming that Bizarre is not closed just going to go through some "changes" and that Activision will be "exploring" its "options", concerning Bizarre, in the next 90 days. He didn't seem very optimistic about it though. He didn't say anything about Budcat Creations
  • d0x - November 16, 2010 9:27 p.m.

    Activision you ****ing ***holes! Bizarre was such a great developer. Blur was amazing and just because you didnt market it enough and it didnt sell at an amazing level doesnt mean you shut it down. If anything give them their freedom. I really cant believe this ****. We lost the PGR and Geometry Wars series over these dicks and this is how they end it? Give me a break!
  • kneehighsocks - November 16, 2010 9:24 p.m.

    This wouldn't bother me about Blizarre Creations ,nearly as much if they were shut down because they made bad games, but the fact that Activision bought them only to go on to barely promote the games they did make and then shut them down after only three years! This is very sad, and my heart goes out to the all the people who are now laid off, hope they find new jobs.
  • slowdrum13 - November 16, 2010 9:01 p.m.

    i'm still holding out hope that one day i'll log onto the site and see that the top story is that kotick died in some accident or from a heart attack or something. the only way to cleanse the company is a management/philosophy change.
  • slowdrum13 - November 16, 2010 8:59 p.m.

    another reason i'm continuing my activision boycott. cod:bo can suck it.
  • StealthyMangos - November 16, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    I really friggen hope bungie knows what they are getting into...
  • ThatGuyFromTV - November 16, 2010 8:46 p.m.

    quick, buy more dev places and shut them down!!! we need more space to put all of these new CoD subscription servers!!!
  • 510BrotherPanda - November 16, 2010 8:45 p.m.

    They better shift those people over to something else, this feels messed up. Another reason I haven't touched an Activision game since THPS 4.
  • werewolfninja - November 16, 2010 8:42 p.m.

    Watch out Bungie, your next.
  • FoxdenRacing - November 16, 2010 8:36 p.m.

    My heart goes out to the employees of both studios, the men and women that have poured blood, sweat, tears, and the best years of their life into their work...only to be acquired, exploited, neglected, gutted, and cast aside by Bobby Kotick in his [and the other gaming megalith's] quest for a bland, sterile corporate wasteland full of boring retreaded-yearly copycats that 'follow the formula'. Eat a dick, Mr. Kotick...then get the bloody hell out of my industry, and take every last one of your soul-less, bean-counting, games-hating, bonus-craving get-rich-quick buddies with you. Tonight, I mourn. Tomorrow, I add Activision/Blizzard to the list of companies I will not buy a new game from.
  • Tronto13 - November 16, 2010 8:34 p.m.

    DAMN YOU ACTIVISION!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Showing 1-20 of 35 comments

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