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Blitz Games Studios Ceases Trading After 23 Years, “There Have Been a lot of Man Tears”

September 12, 2013 Written by Jason Dunning

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After 23 years, award-winning UK developer Blitz Games Studios (Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two on Vita and Michael Phelps: Push the Limit are just some of their games) announced that it has ceased trading due to being unable to secure enough funds to sustain them in their current form.

With two of their projects self-sustaining though, senior management will be forming a new company, which will save about 50 of the 175 jobs being lost today. To help those affected, developer Rebellion is looking to hire some of the remaining staff, while other employers can send an email to Blitz at philipoliver@BlitzGamesStudios.com for info.

Philip Oliver, Co-Founder and CEO, had this to say:

We have managed to weather numerous storms over the last two decades that have sadly seen the demise of many of our friends and colleagues across the industry, but the run of problems we’ve had to face over the last year is unlike any we’ve seen before. Frustrations with clients, the global economic crisis, and more than our fair share of simple bad luck have all conspired against us and we are no longer able to continue trading.

It has been an absolute honour to lead such an extraordinary group of highly talented people who have consistently pushed boundaries and created amazing games that we’ve been hugely proud of. We’ve been humbled by the loyalty and commitment that they’ve all shown over the last 23 years and we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of our staff, past and present, for their years of loyalty, their creative drive and their commitment to Blitz and to us.

We have done all that we can to make Blitz a success, and we have come frustratingly close in recent months. Major clients have felt unable to commit to investment in significant projects, others have changed strategy whilst appearing committed, and others have been slow to commit at all – all of these things have continued to hurt our finances. We have also sustained the business for some time with our personal savings but even those reserves have now been exhausted.

We’d like to publicly thank Chris and Jason Kingsley from Rebellion for their support and friendship during this time – they are acting incredibly honourably and helping us to find new roles for as many of our staff as possible. They began their careers in games at around the same time we did and epitomise the positive and supportive culture of long-standing game developers in the UK.

We wish the very best of luck to all the staff who are sadly leaving us today and thank them again for their drive, creativity and enthusiasm. They, like us, are passionate about games, and we call on the rest of the industry to capture their passion and continue the careers of some of the most talented young creatives in the country.

Speaking to Eurogamer following the news, Philip said that “There have been a lot of tears. There have been a lot of man tears, too. I was expecting a lot of the girls to be beside themselves, and they were. But there have been a lot of men crying, including me.”

What do you think of the Blitz Games Studios situation? Let us know in the comments below.

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