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After 23 years, Blitz Games Studios has shut down
After 23 years, Blitz Games Studios has shut down
September 12, 2013 | By Mike Rose

September 12, 2013 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Blitz Games Studios, the UK-based games company co-founded by industry veterans Philip and Andrew Oliver, is to close its doors after 23 years in the games business.

The studio was founded in 1990, and houses multiple divisions including Blitz Games, Blitz Arcade and Volatile Games. The outfit is perhaps best known for creating titles based on TV and movie franchises.

In a statement today, the company announced that it has ceased trading, and that 175 people have been let go. Notably, around 50 staffers will apparently form a new studio out of the ashes of Blitz, to continue working on two of the company's current projects.

Sniper Elite studio Rebellion Developments is also looking to help out by taking on some of the remaining out-of-work staff.

In a statement, CEO Philip Oliver said, "Frustrations with clients, the global economic crisis, and more than our fair share of simple bad luck" has led to Blitz going out of business.

"We have done all that we can to make Blitz a success, and we have come frustratingly close in recent months," he added. "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."

Richard Wilson of UK trade body TIGA added that the liquidation of Blitz Studios "is a bitter blow for the games industry in Leamington Spa and for the UK generally."

"Blitz is an iconic British games studio," he adds. "Philip and Andrew Oliver, the CEO and CTO respectively at Blitz, have made an enormous contribution to the UK video games industry, having been involved in the sector since its beginnings in the 1980s... "We hope that everyone at Blitz will be successful in finding new work as quickly as possible. TIGA will endeavour to support any new start-ups that emerge from the closure of Blitz."

[Update: Digital distribution platform IndieCity is also in jeopardy, as part of the closure. The Blitz Games-owned platform has noted that it may well be sold to another company.]

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Dietmar Hauser
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Holy cow!

Matt Armstrong
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Philip and Andrew gave me my start in the industry 15 years ago. I spent over 7 years at Blitz and loved every minute of it. We didn't get to work on the best projects, but Philip and Andrew never wavered in their passion, positivity and enthusiasm.

They also really, really cared about their staff. My fondest memories are of the last working day of each year when they used to hand out "Christmas stockings" to all of the staff. The gifts themselves were invariably great, but the thing that always stuck with me was the way that Philip and Andrew seemed to love handing them out. It was like watching parents hand out presents to their favourite children.

Best of luck for your future ventures, guys, and I hope that everyone affected by this dreadful news lands on their feet in the very near future.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

ryan bridglal
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Well think of the statements in the article: 175 people let go, a team of 50 to build a new business and move forward. Never or not working on hit main stream money based projects. I had my taste of a multi million dollar business management for a few years (keep in mind I am and I.T. engineer and succeeded in retail business management).

I took an unproductive team of 15, restructured the entire business (every policy on operations re-vamped) and exceeded production/output with 4 employees. Less inner cost, increased productivity, more output for the business, more slow/ yet long term increase in revenue for the company. Most importantly, my few employees were VERY happy. I took care of them as much as I could; in return they took care of me and the company.

I left, I only left to pursue my passion (NOT retail management, I.T. Programming and engineering).

|I'm not implying Philip and Andrew did not do anything good OR bad. Maybe they missed their chance to restructure and re-design their company. So it folded and Flopped; only to be picked up by others.