After twenty years in the gaming industry, Blitz Games is to cease trading.
Up to 80% of staff at Blitz – the company behind the popular Dizzy franchise – will have to be cut, executives told staff at a meeting on Wednesday morning, with more than 150 people losing their jobs.
A statement put out by Blitz read;
“Existing management have made every effort to seek avenues for new contracts and external investment but have been unable to secure enough funds to sustain the business in its current form.”
Blitz have stated that two of it’s projects are financially self-sustaining, so “senior management will be forming a new company to service these clients”, while approximately 50 staff are expected to find work quickly with a new company. Rebellion – a developer based in Oxford – are also willing to offer employment to those affected by Blitz’s closure.
Blitz CEO and co-founder Philip Oliver said;
“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.”
Since it’s founding in 1990 by Andrew and Philip Oliver, Blitz has become a British gaming institution, renowned for the hiring and subsequent training of young academic talent, and also giving the platform and opportunities to indie game developers. They are also known for taking an active role in lobbying for various national issue such as tax breaks, and are regular attendees at industry events.
Blitz founders The Oliver Twins originally found fame with the Dizzy series in the 1980’s, -and a Kickstarter campaign was started earlier this year to find a new game featuring the adventurous egg. However, it’s £350,000 target was not met and plans were scrapped.
In the wake of Blitz’s closure, two senior developers from the studio have already announced the launch of a new studio based out of Leamington Spa called Game Lab Social.
Ollie Clarke and Steve Stopps have founded the new company, which is being called “a vibrant co-working space for creatives” that will help build new businesses with on-site training and business support, while also helping to find collaboration opportunities. The new venture is said to be backed by Warwick District Council.
Stopps said about the new venture;
“Leamington Spa is a hotbed of creative talent and ideas waiting come together, and with this space, we’d like to help creatives realise their vision in a supportive environment. We’re saddened by the closure of Blitz Game Studios, and as a former employees, we’ll do everything we can to help connect creative talent to enable them to get straight back into what they do best; making fantastic games.”