Blitz Games Studios ceases trading after 23 years, 175 laid off

UK studio Blitz Games ceases trading after 23 years, 175 laid off
Blitz Games Studios announced it has ceased trading after failing to secure funds to sustain business. The company, founded in 1990 by pioneering British twins Andrew and Philip Oliver, laid off 175 staff members today, the vast majority of the studio's workforce.

According to this morning's statement, senior management will form a new company to house two of Blitz's current projects, noted as being financially self-sustaining. The new company is expected to re-recruit 50 of the 175 employees laid off today. Sniper Elite dev Rebellion is also in "close talks" with management to hire those still employed at Blitz.

Blitz Games Studios worked mainly on licensed titles across its 23 years, most notably in recent times on Epic Mickey 2 on Vita, The Biggest Loser games, and Puss in Boots. As CVG notes, Blitz was well known for its active role in the UK indie community, and for hiring and training young talent. Last year the studio tried to resurrect the Dizzy series on Kickstarter, but the campaign failed to gain anywhere near the traction required to fund it.

"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," said Blitz founder and CEO Philip Oliver in a statement this morning, "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 honor 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."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.