News: Well this sucks.
Yesterday was a rough day to work for Activision as the publisher announced the closure of Budcat and the possible sale of Bizarre Creations.
In a statement to GameSpot, Activision revealed that Budcat was a victim of the shrinking music game industry (the company worked on PS2 ports of multiple Guitar Hero titles):
"We continue to streamline our music development resources to ensure that they are aligned against our slate and strategic goals."
Many of Budcat's employees will be shifted to other Activision studios while others will be laid off outright. According to the statement, 88 people will be either moved or laid off.
The future of Bizarre Creations is less certain. In a statement to Gamasutra, the publisher revealed that they are exploring several options with regard to the studio, including putting it up for sale. The statement lays the blame for the restructuring at the feet of the poor performance of Blur:
"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."
We at Gaming Target hope everyone at Budcat and Bizarre comes out of this OK. We'll keep you posted.