175 jobs have today been lost following the sad news that UK development stalwart Blitz Games has ceased trading.
The company, which houses a number of divisions, was founded by the Oliver twins Andrew and Philip in 1990.
In slightly better news, two of the studio's current projects are said to be financially sustainable and will be continued by the formation of a new company, safeguarding around 50 jobs in the process.
Oxford developer Rebellion is also in what are described as close talks” with Blitz to hire some of those affected.
Existing management have made every effort to seek avenues for new contracts and external investment but have been unable to secure enough funds to sustain the business in its current form,” a statement read.
Philip Oliver added: 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, 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 honour 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.
We'd like to publicly thank Chris and Jason Kingsley from Rebellion for their support and friendship during this time – they are acting incredibly honourably and helping us to find new roles for as many of our staff as possible. They began their careers in games at around the same time we did and epitomise the positive and supportive culture of long-standing game developers in the UK.
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. They, like us, are passionate about games, and we call on the rest of the industry to capture their passion and continue the careers of some of the most talented young creatives in the country.”
Best wishes to all those affected by today's news.