Racing titles accounted for $1.4 billion, or 10 percent, of global video game software sales, Activision said. It is a category dominated by rival Electronic Arts Inc (ERTS.O: Quote, Profile, Research), which sells the popular "Need for Speed" and "Burnout" franchises.
The "Project Gotham Racing" series has sold more than 4.5 million copies since it debuted in 2001. The fourth installment of the franchise is due in October on the Xbox 360. Activision said it would publish a new game from Bizarre in 2009.
"They have a lot of cash and a hole in the portfolio that needed to be filled, said Mike Hickey, an analyst with Janco Partners. "They didn't have a representative racing game and now they do."Mike Griffith, head of Activision Publishing, said in a statement: "Bizarre Creations will play an important role in our growth strategy as we develop an original new intellectual property for this important racing segment." Activision, the second-biggest U.S. publisher in terms of annual revenue, has a cash pile of nearly $1 billion.