Epic Mickey 2 Studio Closes, Economic Woes To Blame

Epic Mickey 2 Studio Closes, Economic Woes To Blame

175 staff have been laid off, though some have already found work at Blitz Games' successor company.

Blitz Games is one of those outfits you may never have heard of, even though some of its projects - Epic Mickey 2, for one - popped up on your radar at some point. More famous for movie tie-ins, Nickelodeon games and Burger King advergames than AAA titles, Blitz has the distinction of surviving for more than two decades in an industry that regularly devours games studios. Founded by the Oliver Twins of Dizzy fame - if you owned an Amstrad, Spectrum, Atari or Commodore 64 you may have fond memories of the Yolkfolk - this company, only two years ago, was talking growth and evolution. Now it's gone, and 175 employees are out of work. However two of the company's titles are self-sustaining, so a small team of 50 from the original company have split off from the parent to continue work on those games, while Rebellion Developments has stepped in to help the remainder as much as it can.

"The run of problems we've had to face over the last year is unlike any we've seen before," said Philip Oliver. "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 go on trading." Problems with clients have been Blitz's biggest recent problem; either the client wouldn't commit, or would say yes but change to no after Blitz had already put resources on the project. The Olivers did their best to keep the company afloat, even spending their own savings, but all reserves have been exhausted. While Rebellion may end up taking some of Blitz's people, other potential employers are asked to contact Philip directly at [email protected] for further details.

"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," Philip Oliver concludes. Not that long ago, things looked very different, and the Olivers looked forward to another 20 years in the business. "We honestly are masters of our own destiny," Philip Oliver said at the time. Two years later, destiny mastered Blitz instead.

Source: Blitz Games


While I can't say I'll particularly miss the studio's output much, it's always a shame to hear about a studio having to close.

Also, Thomas Was Alone creator Mike Bithell, amongst others, seems to be trying to help as much as he can on Twitter by sharing links to available jobs, all compiled by someone else here, Nice to see the British games industry helping each other out anyway.

This is what happens when you make games that just don't sell well.

Sorry but to me this is good news as it's more proof that the game buying public is getting smarter and that shovelware developers are finally on the way out!

Kumagawa Misogi:
Sorry but to me this is good news as it's more proof that the game buying public is getting smarter and that shovelware developers are finally on the way out!

Mostly studios that produce Shovelware don't make these games because they want to, they mostly makes these games because some burk out there wants to bleed the public dry with cheap games in order to make a couple of extra bucks, and studios need money to get by.

It's a shame that people with lots of money to give out tend to have terrible ideas for what constitutes a good game. Mostly these days you see them on the app stores with half the content locked behind pay walls.

Not every company can produce a Minecraft and sit back raking in the dough.


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