Bizarre Creations

Bizarre Creations
Industry Video games
Fate Acquired, then dissolved
Successor Lucid Games
Grubby Hands
Playground Games
Founded 1988 (as Raising Hell Software)
1994 (as Bizarre Creations)
Defunct 18 February 2011
Headquarters Liverpool, United Kingdom
Products Geometry Wars series
Project Gotham Racing series
Parent Activision

Bizarre Creations was a British video game development studio based in Liverpool, best known for their racing titles: Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast) and the followup Project Gotham Racing series (Xbox, Xbox 360). The company has also developed games in other genres, including the Geometry Wars arcade series, plus third-person shooters Fur Fighters and The Club. Bizarre Creations was acquired by publisher Activision in 2007, and subsequently completed its racer Blur in May 2010.

On 20 January 2011, Activision announced Bizarre Creations would close, and later confirmed the date. Bizarre marked the closure by releasing a retrospective video of its life's work.[1]


A screen-shot taken from Metropolis Street Racer on the Dreamcast showing the Bizarre Creations logo used during the year 2000–2001.

Bizarre Creations started as Raising Hell Software, founded by Martyn Chudley. Sega scorned "Hell", and the company went nameless for a short time. In 1994, a pending submission to Psygnosis/Sony forced the decision of a new name. The founder tentatively left "Weird Concepts" on the submission documentation. Then a staff member used Microsoft Word's thesaurus, and "Bizarre Creations" stuck.

The Bizarre Creations team was initially five strong, and worked on a concept project called "Slaughter". After seeing the demo, Psygnosis signed the team onto Formula 1 (for PlayStation). Formula 1 went on to become the best selling game in Europe in 1996.

In 2006, the studio announced a break in its racing genre sequence with The Club. A third-person shooter, the game was released on 7 February 2008.

On 26 September 2007, publisher Activision acquired Bizarre Creations.[2] for $107.4m; $67.4m immediately payable with a further $40m contingent hitting certain goals over a 5-year period.[3]

Activision announced that Project Gotham Racing 4 would be Bizarre Creations' last game for Microsoft Game Studios,[4] and Activision did not pursue the rights for the Project Gotham Racing franchise.

On 16 November 2010, Activision announced it was considering closing Bizarre and "exploring our options regarding the future of the studio, including a potential sale of the business".[5] Activision later stated that no buyer could be found and that the studio would close.[6]


Curly Rocket

On 21 February 2011, Martin Linklater created development company Curly Rocket Ltd. Martin was a Senior Tech Programmer at Bizarre where he worked on James Bond 007: Blood Stone. Prior to working for Bizarre Creations Martin was a Technical Director at SCEE Sony Studio Liverpool, and a founding member of the games development studio Curly Monsters.

On 28 August 2012 Curly Rocket released their first iOS game: "Curly Square".

Lucid Games

For more details on this topic, see Lucid Games.

On 26 February 2011, GameSpot reported that a group of senior members of Bizarre Creations were forming a new independent gaming studio known as Lucid Games. The team are based in Liverpool and are now employing around 40 members of staff. In 2013, Lucid released an iOS racer, 2K Drive.[7][8]


On 23 March 2011, Geometry Wars creator Stephen Cakebread; Peter Collier, a level designer on Blood Stone; and Bizarre Creation's former community manager Ben Ward announced that they were starting a new company called Hogrocket.[9]

Despite good critical coverage for its first title Tiny Invaders, the game proved to be the company's last.[10]

Grubby Hands

For more details on this topic, see Grubby Hands Limited.

In May 2011, the one-man-studio, Grubby Hands was founded by the Company Director Dr Danny Pearce: taking on the role of programmer, games-designer, artist and animator. Pearce was a Senior Programmer at Bizarre Creations where he worked on multi-platform titles: The Club, Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone.

On 10 June 2011, Grubby Hands released their first iPhone game: David Haye’s Knockout. The game immediately topped the iPhone App Store Charts: reaching #1 in the Sports Chart, #3 in the Action Chart, #5 in the Games Chart and #8 in the App Chart.

On 21 December, Grubby Hands released their second iPhone game Boy Loves Girl.

May 2012, saw a new redesigned re-release of "David Haye's Knockout", which went straight to the top of the App Charts.

In December 2012, Grubby Hands released a new iPhone game "David Haye's Jungle Rumble", their third consecutive chart-topping game.

Totem Games

On 21 July 2011, Matt Cavanagh, former lead designer at Bizarre Creations, announced that he had formed Totem Games Ltd.[11] While at Bizarre, Cavanagh worked on the titles James Bond 007: Blood Stone, The Club, and Fur Fighters among others. Totem's first title is SpaceOff which was released early 2012.

Muffin Games

In February 2011 Muffin Games Ltd. was formed,[12] founded by a number of developers who worked on classic Bizarre Creations franchises. They released an iOS version of Fur Fighters.

Playground Games

Although founded in 2009, Playground Games expanded greatly in 2011 with the hiring of a large number of ex Bizarre Creations staff. Their first game was Forza Horizon, an open world driving game in the vein of Project Gotham Racing.


As Raising Hell Software

Year Title Platform(s)
1990 The Killing Game Show / Fatal Rewind Amiga, Atari ST, Mega Drive (1991)
1993 Wiz 'n' Liz Amiga, Mega Drive

As Bizarre Creations

Year Game Platform(s)
PS1 Win DC PS2 Xbox GBA X360 PS3 Wii NDS iOS
1996 Formula 1 Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No
1997 Formula 1 97 / Formula 1 Championship Edition Yes Yes No No No No No No No No No
2000 Metropolis Street Racer No No Yes No No No No No No No No
2000 Fur Fighters No Yes Yes No No No No No No No No
2001 Fur Fighters: Viggo's Revenge No No No Yes No No No No No No No
2001 Project Gotham Racing No No No No Yes No No No No No No
2002 Treasure Planet Yes Yes No No No Yes No No No No No
2003 Project Gotham Racing 2 No No No No Yes No No No No No No
2005 Project Gotham Racing 3 No No No No No No Yes No No No No
2005 Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved No Yes No No No No Yes No No No No
2007 Boom Boom Rocket No No No No No No Yes No No No No
2007 Project Gotham Racing 4 No No No No No No Yes No No No No
2007 Geometry Wars: Galaxies No No No No No No No No Yes Yes No
2008 The Club No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No
2008 Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 No No No No No No Yes No No No No
2010 Geometry Wars: Touch No No No No No No No No No No Yes
2010 Blur No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No
2010 James Bond 007: Blood Stone [13][14] No Yes No No No No Yes Yes No No No


  1. Wesley Yin-Poole (18 February 2011). "Bizarre says goodbye with farewell video News – - Page 1". Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  2. Studio News – Bizarre Creations Archived 5 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. "Bizarre Creations for Activision_Blizzard (ATVI)". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  4. "Activision buys Bizarre – News". 26 September 2007. Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  5. Rainier (16 November 2010). "Activision Looking To Close Or Sell Bizarre Creations". WorthPlaying. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  6. Fred Dutton (19 January 2011). "Activision finalises Bizarre closure News – - Page 1". Retrieved 15 May 2011.
  7. "Bizarre Creations vets form Lucid". Gamespot. Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  8. "Former Blur developers tease new racer". NowGamer. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  9. "New Studio Emerges from Ex-Bizarre Staff". Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  10. Bradford, Matt (11 September 2014). "Edge Magazine | GamesRadar". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  11. "Interview: Totem Games' Cavanagh On Moving From AAA To iPhone".
  12. "Muffin Games Ltd Presskit". 28 February 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  13. "James Bond 007: Blood Stone Leaks". IGN. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  14. "James Bond 007: Bloodstone confirmed". GameSpot. 16 July 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2010.

External links

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