UK indie studio Relentless Software - best-known for its Buzz! series of quiz games on PlayStation 2 - has closed its doors for the final time.
Buzz! inventor Relentless Software is making three-and-a-half new games, co-founder Andrew Eades told me this afternoon - including a new game in the successful Blue Toad murder mystery series.
Sony is facing a legal headache over its Buzz! series of quiz games.
Let's face it, quiz games to date have been utter mind-numbing cash-in rubbish. Take the most popular to date, which is "Who wants to be a Millionaire?" - the UK's first million-selling game, fact fans. The problems here were that a) Chris Tarrant benefited from every sale and b) there just weren't enough questions. An hour or so into proceedings and you could practically guarantee that everyone - including Harry the dog - knew the answers to even the most obscure poser, and started getting really irritated with Tarrant's smug rubber face. Activision's The Weakest Link wasn't much better, and let's not even mention Sky Sports Football or ChampMan Quiz. Oops. Too late.
Thank goodness for Sony, then. Having managed to get a nation of non-gamers to happily make complete tits of themselves in front of the telly with various incarnations of Eye Toy and SingStar, the company has now turned its attention to rescuing the quiz genre from the depths of hell with Buzz. And it has done a damned fine job of it too.
The first thing Buzz gets right is to bundle four 'buzzer' controllers with the game, ensuring that it can't be held back by the user not having enough control pads (in fact, the game doesn't even work with the standard Dual Shock 2s at all). This is perhaps more important than you might think, as it means that the game has been designed from the ground-up as a simultaneous four-player experience that plays out just like a real TV game show.
Don't you love it when games companies go and make something specifically tailored to your specialist subject? A game so up your street that you already instinctively know you'll be the feared conqueror of all who dare to challenge you? A game that Tom has already conceded defeat on six months before its release. That game is Buzz, Sony's latest in its growing range of family entertainment titles that brings the madness of the 'fingers on the buzzers' quiz show into your living room.