Blur

Spotlight

VideoEGTV Asks: What happened after Bizarre Creations?

Searching Liverpool for the ghosts of Gotham's past.

VideoBizarre Creations' farewell

PGR, Geometry Wars, Blur dev closes.

VideoBlur trailer

Bizarre's Blur let loose.

Digital FoundryBlur: PlayStation 3 Performance Analysis

Bizarre's PS3 racer blitzes our tests.

Key events

Bizarre Creations' last project revealed

Newly published alpha footage shows potential Blur sequel.

A newly published video from an artist formerly employed by Bizarre Creations reveals what a sequel to the action-oriented racing could have looked like.

Blur was "like bacon with cornflakes"

Bizarre dev reveals why racer flopped.

Bizarre Creations' ambitious racer Blur failed to find an audience because the basic 'cars with weapons' concept scared off gamers, so says former design manager Gareth Wilson.

Hirshberg: Shrinking genre killed Bizarre

Not best for Acti's "competitive energies".

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg has said that the demise of UK studio Bizarre Creations was down to changing market conditions rather than any mistakes on the part of the developer.

Bizarre staff recall Activision closure

"Everybody was absolutely gutted."

In a brand new episode of Eurogamer Asks, the three studios formed from Bizarre Creations' ashes have talked to Eurogamer TV about their experience of Activision's controversial cull.

Why Activision closed Bizarre

In ex-staffer Gareth Wilson's own words.

One of the former senior staff members at now closed Blur and Project Gotham Racing developer Bizarre has broken the silence surrounding its demise.

PGR and Blur lead joins Sumo

OutRun Online Arcade dev grows.

Project Gotham Racing and Blur lead designer Gareth Wilson has found a new home at Sumo Digital - maker of OutRun Online Arcade and SEGA All-Stars Racing.

Activision finalises Bizarre closure

No buyer found for Blur studio.

Activision has recommended that its Bizarre Creations subsidiary be closed, after no buyer came forward for the Liverpool-based studio behind Blur and James Bond 007: Blood Stone.

Potential buyers hover over Bizarre

Microsoft rumoured to be in chasing pack.

Things are looking up for staff at Bizarre Creations today, following yesterday's news that a trip to the job centre might be in the offing. Apparently a number of buyers are interested in picking up the Blur studio.

Acti laments poor Blur, Singularity sales

Acti laments poor Blur, Singularity sales

Insists it marketed both appropriately.

Poor sales of Bizarre's racer Blur and Raven Software's shooter Singularity between April and June were offset by the continued gargantuan success of Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, publisher Activision Blizzard has said.

"Singularity fell short of meeting what is an exceptionally high bar within the shooter genre," said chief financial officer Thomas Tippl during an investor call last night.

"Fortunately, Call of Duty was the title that raised that bar and shortfall of Singularity was offset by Call of Duty's catalogue and DLC performance.

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Digital FoundryTech Interview: Blur

Tech wizards Steven Tovey and Charlie Birtwistle bring Bizarre's latest into focus.

Bizarre Creations' Blur is a hugely significant release for the Liverpool-based studio. The first game to be released since the company's acquisition by industry giant Activision Blizzard, it's also the firm's first racing title since the epochal Project Gotham Racing 4.

Blur

Blur

He thought of cars.

Project Gotham Racing may have long since disappeared into Bizarre Creations' rear-view mirror, but from Blur's first brooding, synth-infused stabs of keyboard - played out as an ice-cool, predatory Audi R8 sits motionless among pulsing light beams - it's clear that while it's gone, it's far from forgotten. Good.

It's a feeling that grows as you learn how Blur works. Event victories earn "lights", with bonus lights handed out for special accomplishments. You earn "fans" for doing cool stuff on the track. Lights unlock new events; fans unlock new cars. You are Bizarre Creations and I claim my five pounds!

Handling is rich and dramatic. Acceleration and drifting are sympathetic enough to correct the rear if you're showing your inexperience, but the relationship between gas, brake, traction and apex remains complex. And it's fast.

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Blur has integral Facebook support

Challenge friends, share in-game shots.

Activision has revealed that Blur will integrally support social networking Godzilla, Facebook, and on all three platforms: PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Blur

Now you see it.

As obvious as it is to say so, given its title, the first thing that hits you about Blur is how fast everything seems. As I hurtle around the first circuit in the opening stages of my hands-on with near-finished code, I'm experiencing sensory overload.

Blur beta access for all this week

Blur beta access for all this week

And why it's only on Xbox 360.

Bizarre Creation's Gareth Wilson has told Kotaku that the beta test of the studio's arcade racer Blur will be opened up to all Xbox Live users this week.

The plan, according to the podcast interview published last Friday, was to have the beta available as a free download by today, 6th April - although we've just checked and there's no sign of it yet.

The move is down to public demand, Wilson said, and the developer running out of keys for the closed beta.

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Bizarre issues Blur MP beta patch

Bizarre issues Blur MP beta patch

Fixes multitude of connectivity issues.

Bizarre Creations has issued a patch for the ongoing Blur multiplayer beta on Xbox Live, which fixes a bunch of performance issues and bugs.

The full changelog is on Bizarre's website, and includes efforts to reduce lag and disconnects, eliminate game lockups and "dirty disc" errors and speed up matchmaking.

Bizarre also notes that it will make changes to the full game after feedback on "wall riding and power-up shuffling". In other words, the developer will reduce the amount of speed you retain while grinding along the wall on the outside of a corner, and will change the order of power-ups in a race.

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VideoThe EGTV Show: Blur

We visit Bizarre Creations in Liverpool to put Blur through its paces.

We visit Bizarre Creations in Liverpool to put Blur through its paces.

Blur beta: X360 performance analysis

We've not heard much from Bizarre Creations since the release of The Club and the subsequent Activision buy-out, so the chance to check out the Xbox 360 multiplayer beta of the forthcoming Blur proved to be irresistible.

The firm's last 360 title - Project Gotham Racing 4 - was a handsome-looking game with native 720p, a rock-solid 30FPS and 2x multisampling anti-aliasing, boosted by excellent post-processing effects that helped to significantly enhance the sense of speed and the realism of the simulation.

With Blur, the approach shifts to a more arcade-like experience, with shades of Mario Kart and WipEout in its use of power-up weaponry and intense vehicle-to-vehicle combat. However, Bizarre's focus on solid-looking visuals and impressive effects work hasn't changed.

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Blur

Street fighter, too?

"It almost becomes like Street Fighter in a way," muses Gareth Wilson, lead designer at Bizarre Creations. "There's counters to everything." He's describing the power-up system in Blur at its first public sighting since the game was officially delayed last September.

Blur on track for 28th May launch

Blur on track for 28th May launch

"Single-player never ends," claims Bizarre.

Bizarre Creations' all-new racing experience, Blur, has been confirmed for a 28th May UK release, three days after the game hits in the US.

That puts the action racer, delayed last September, on a collision course with Black Rock's Split/Second, which hits on 21st May.

The Project Gotham Racing creator revealed the fruits of six months' extra development to the world's gaming press last week in Liverpool, where the multiplayer beta - which goes public next Monday - was playable and Bizarre laid bare previously unseen content.

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Blur beta starts next week

Blur beta starts next week

Keys given away in website promotions.

Official Activision blogger Dan Amrich has confirmed that Blur's multiplayer beta will start next week, on Monday 8th March.

"Several websites will be launching contests and giving away beta tokens starting on Tuesday, 2nd March," he said. "The gameplay sessions that those tokens unlock do not begin until Monday, 8th March."

News broke (along with some erroneous reports that the testing would being today) when subscribers to the Fileplanet website were invited to "exclusive access into a highly classified Xbox 360 beta event". Respondents said the game was Blur, according to Kotaku.

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Blur

Bizarre's next racer in focus.

Bizarre's next racer in focus.

Bizarre: Blur is about "s*** blowing up"

People go "cross-eyed" at feature list.

Project Gotham Racing mastermind Bizarre Creations reckons people go "cross-eyed" when they hear about all the features going into new racing IP, Blur, which debuts in November on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Bizarre Creations' Gareth Wilson

On building Blur's new IP in two years.

Throwing off the shackles of simulation racing might sound like a good idea to some extent, but in Bizarre Creations' case, the simmy side of Project Gotham Racing was only shackling it to, er, enormous critical acclaim. Having been swallowed up by Activision, however, the Liverpool-based developer had little choice but to start over on something new - and after a decade making sim-leaning racing games for Dreamcast and then Xbox and Xbox 360, it's little wonder that Blur is such a departure.

Blur

Power-up to the people.

This is how Bizarre Creations wants to save racing games.