'Shrunken racing genre' blamed for Bizarre closure

Decline of studio's specialist genre prompted unfortunate closure

Activision boss Eric Hirshberg has said that a decline in the driving/racing game genre was a key factor in the decision to close the much-loved Project Gotham Racing studio, Bizarre Creations.


Bizarre sadly shut it doors in February after 17 years making games, with design manager and Blur lead Gareth Wilson having since joined Sumo Digital.

Hirshberg commented on the disappointment of the studio's last racer, Blur, saying not only that failed to find "a meaningful audience", but also that "it was a big investment in marketing. And sometimes you pour the chemicals into the beaker and nothing explodes."

But the disappointing commercial performance of Blur wasn't the sole reason.

"The thing that Bizarre is best at and what they're known for and what their signature is is in the racing world," said Hirshberg.

"And the decision had as much to do with our assessment of what was happening to the racing genre as it had to do with anything specific to Bizarre. We just didn't think that was the best place for us to put our competitive energies. The racing genre had shrunk, pretty precipitously," he added.

And it's tough, he says later, to muscle in on the genre already dominated by big-name titles. "There are these big, very well established franchises that we would be competing against, fighting for a shrinking opportunity."

[ SOURCE: Joystiq ]