Risen from beyond: The games industry afterlife

March 29, 2011, Author: Paul Clark

As the classic anthem, often hailed as the peak of musical creativity, by the renowned Chumbawumba, the lyrics “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you ain’t ever gonna keep me down” have never been as apt, as they seem to be for the current state of the UK’s Games Industry right now. Well, either that or that clown-balloon thing, as he also sees a distinctly higher than average amount of being knocked down and getting back up again.

For various reasons, the games industry has taken its fair share of knocks recently, so let’s have a look at some of the studios that have risen up from the ashes.

One of the most recent closures in the landscape of British game development, is that of Bizarre Creations. The famed Liverpool-based developer, with Project Gotham Racing, Geometry Wars and Blur to its name. Unfortunately it also had James Bond 007: Bloodstone to its name, which seemed to be the final nail in the coffin. However, we are not here to talk of the past, no, but to look to the future.

Lucid Games:
Formed by senior management and experienced industry professionals, the Lucid team has been responsible for creating pioneering products over the last 10 years across action, arcade and racing genres. The studio is currently talking to several publishers regarding potential projects, and beginning the process of building a world-class team of artists, designers and programmers to build innovative products.

Curly Rocket:
Curly Rocket was created by Martin Linklater (B.Sc.), who has been working on AAA games since 1993. Alongside original product development, Curly Rocket is available for temporary contract work and technical consultation, and are currently busy working on their first game.


Aside from having the most adorable logo I have seen in at least the last half hour, Hogrocket are an indie games developer based in North-West England. The three founding members are Ben Ward (Managing Director), Peter Collier (Creative Director) and Stephen Cakebread (aka The creator of Geometry Wars) as Technical Director.  They’ll be making games for multiple platforms and are currently working on their first.

Full Moon Game Studios:
It’s not always a studio closing that can bring about a loss of jobs, earlier in the year Brighton-based developer Relentless Software, most known for the Buzz! series, underwent a re-organisation. This meant redundancies; around twenty of them. All was not lost and from this cloud, the silver lining of Full Moon Studios was born.
Billing themselves as a full service video-game developer and outsource partner, Full Moon Game Studios are already hard at work on their first game project;  an action-puzzle quest game for mobile and PC platforms using Unity3D, and advise you to look our for it soon on 8bitfunding.com.

Honorable Mentions:

People Pilot Productions:
Realtime Worlds may have been based in Scotland, but we can’t hold that against them as following a tumultuous release of the crime-ridden MMO,
APB, the developer went into administration. Now, you may ask why this next studio is only an honourable mention, and not listed with the fine folks above, and that is due to fleeing to Australia to form the company.

Ex-Audio Lead at Realtime Worlds, Roland Peddie, has launched new game development studio People Pilot in Australia. The studio will use an outsourcing model based on that of the film industry, with the team for each project being built from scratch using contractors. People Pilot will self-publish original products as well as provide development services on contract. The studio’s first mobile offering Art Spot has been released on Windows Phone 7, with other platforms to follow.

Respawn Entertainment:
The story of West and Zampella’s departure from Infinity Ward and the subsequent announcements of the formation of Respawn Entertainment and deals with EA is one that sent shockwaves through the industry when it came out back in March/April of last year. Now we play the waiting game, eagerly awaiting any news to make its way out.

So there it is, a selection of games developers that have risen from the ashes of redundancy, and really what is more worthwhile of your attention than that? So bookmark the websites, follow on twitter and send your underwear through the post as these are developers you will want to be keeping an eye out for in the future. Although, you should probably not do the posting the underwear thing, that’s just disturbed. Sicko.