UK studio Blitz Games closes down

UPDATE: Rebellion invites former staff to apply for some 50 open positions.

UPDATE: Sniper Elite developer Rebellion has invited former Blitz Games staff to apply for some 50 open positions at the Oxford-based studio.

Rebellion boss Jason Kingsley told Eurogamer he was saddened by yesterday's news that Blitz would cease trading after 23 years in the games business.

"Everyone at Rebellion is saddened by today's news of Blitz's closure," he said. "Chris [Kingsley] and I have known Andrew and Philip Oliver since the beginning of our careers, and although we have offered them support in recent times, it's clear that the situation has become too difficult for Blitz to continue in its current form.

"Although we've heard that a new smaller company might emerge from today's events, we're hoping to be able to offer roughly 50 vacancies at Rebellion which Blitz staff are welcome to apply for. We wish all the staff and management at Blitz our very best wishes during this difficult time.

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ORIGINAL STORY: 23 year-old UK studio Blitz Games, creator of the Dizzy series, has closed down.

In a statement sent to Eurogamer, the Leamington Spa-based developer announced it had tried to secure new contracts and external investment, but failed to generate enough funds.

The company said two of its current projects are self-sustaining financially, so Blitz senior management will form a new company to "service these clients". As a result, 50 of the 175 jobs lost today are safeguarded. More news on the new company will be announced soon.

Oxford-based developer Rebellion, creator of the Sniper series, is in "close talks" with Blitz management to potentially hire some of the remaining staff.

Blitz Games Studios co-founder and CEO Philip Oliver issued the following comment:

"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.

"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."

Blitz Games Studios co-founder and CEO Philip Oliver

"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."

Blitz' output in recent years was largely licensed games. It created the HD versions of Epic Mickey 2 for Disney, the Puss in Boots game and Yoostar.

It suffered a setback last year when the Oliver twins failed to fund a Dizzy reboot using Kickstarter. With seven days left of the crowdfunding drive 24,605 had been raised from 774 backers - over 325,000 shy of the 350,000 target.

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