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Sony Shutters Liverpool Studio, AKA Psygnosis

After nearly 30 years in business under various names, the studio behind the WipeOut series is no more.

The final image tweeted out from the official WipeOut Twitter account.

Very few companies in the video game industry can proclaim to have a history that stretches all the way back to the seminal years of the industry we now hold so very dear. Sony Liverpool, once known as Psygnosis, was such a company. Until today.

Sony has announced that it will be shuttering the Liverpool studio, as part of a restructuring of its UK properties. The console maker's Liverpool offices will remain open, but the studio, which had in recent years been responsible for the WipeOut franchise, as well as Formula One racing titles, is finished.

Sony released the following statement on the closure.

As part of SCE Worldwide Studios, we do regular reviews to ensure that the resources we have can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects in an increasingly competitive market place. As part of this process, we have reviewed and assessed all current and planned projects for the short and medium term and have decided to make some changes to our European Studios.

It has been decided that Liverpool Studio should be closed. Liverpool Studio has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios since the outset of PlayStation, and have contributed greatly to PlayStation over the years. Everyone connected with Liverpool Studio, past and present, can be very proud of their achievements.

However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other Studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers.

Our Liverpool Facility will continue to operate, housing a number of other vital WWS!E and SCEE Departments.

This should not take anything away from the great work WWS are doing and the incredible games and services that we have made, and continue to make, both for this coming year and further in the future.

Originally founded in 1984 by Ian Hetherington and David Lawson, Psygnosis actually began as more of a publisher than developer, bringing out such heralded Amiga titles as Shadow of the Beast, and the original Lemmings games.

The company had been known as Sony Liverpool since 2001, but the developer had been under Sony's banner since the mid-'90s, where it developed properties for the original PlayStation, including G-Police, Colony Wars, and of course, WipeOut, which became the studio's most recognizable franchise.

Psygnosis also had an amusing run of peculiar licensed games under its belt, including SNES/Genesis/Sega CD titles based on '90s horror films Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as well as a PlayStation game loosely based on the Spice Girls cinematic tour de force Spice World.

The studio's final project was WipeOut 2048 for the PlayStation Vita.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex
The final image tweeted out from the official WipeOut Twitter account.

Very few companies in the video game industry can proclaim to have a history that stretches all the way back to the seminal years of the industry we now hold so very dear. Sony Liverpool, once known as Psygnosis, was such a company. Until today.

Sony has announced that it will be shuttering the Liverpool studio, as part of a restructuring of its UK properties. The console maker's Liverpool offices will remain open, but the studio, which had in recent years been responsible for the WipeOut franchise, as well as Formula One racing titles, is finished.

Sony released the following statement on the closure.

As part of SCE Worldwide Studios, we do regular reviews to ensure that the resources we have can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects in an increasingly competitive market place. As part of this process, we have reviewed and assessed all current and planned projects for the short and medium term and have decided to make some changes to our European Studios.

It has been decided that Liverpool Studio should be closed. Liverpool Studio has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios since the outset of PlayStation, and have contributed greatly to PlayStation over the years. Everyone connected with Liverpool Studio, past and present, can be very proud of their achievements.

However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other Studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers.

Our Liverpool Facility will continue to operate, housing a number of other vital WWS!E and SCEE Departments.

This should not take anything away from the great work WWS are doing and the incredible games and services that we have made, and continue to make, both for this coming year and further in the future.

Originally founded in 1984 by Ian Hetherington and David Lawson, Psygnosis actually began as more of a publisher than developer, bringing out such heralded Amiga titles as Shadow of the Beast, and the original Lemmings games.

The company had been known as Sony Liverpool since 2001, but the developer had been under Sony's banner since the mid-'90s, where it developed properties for the original PlayStation, including G-Police, Colony Wars, and of course, WipeOut, which became the studio's most recognizable franchise.

Psygnosis also had an amusing run of peculiar licensed games under its belt, including SNES/Genesis/Sega CD titles based on '90s horror films Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, as well as a PlayStation game loosely based on the Spice Girls cinematic tour de force Spice World.

The studio's final project was WipeOut 2048 for the PlayStation Vita.

Staff
Posted by FriskyBat

Sad times...

Posted by MooseyMcMan

That's sad to see.

Moderator
Edited by BulletConcerto

So, there goes Wipeout as a series. Unfortunate.

Posted by WeskerResi001

Sad to Hear

Posted by Morningstar

R.I.P.

Posted by cartoons4andy

Now what will I play on my PS4?

Posted by JayDubya

A real shame.

Posted by Rabid619

I hope they continue the Wipeout series. It's one of the most fun and unique series in a genre that is usually filled with the same old thing.

I hope everyone from the studio does well and finds another job quickly, thanks for the memories and great games, guys.

Posted by TwoLines

No more Wipeout?! That's horrible... Sigh.

Posted by Phatmac

Sony Liverpool is no more. That's three first party studio closures in 2012. There was only one closure from 1994-2011. :(

Posted by BeachThunder

=( Poor Psygnosis.

Posted by VoidProd

Really hope most the guys there get relocated and continue work on Wipeout for PS4, wich was going to be a launch title.

Posted by ghostNPC

What the hell is going on? How many layoffs have there been in the past few months? I feel like I'm seeing a news story about yet another one at least once a week.

Posted by ManicMyna

@cartoons4andy said:

Now what will I play on my PS4?

thankfully it won't be wipeout

its a pity they never tried to resurrect lemmings after lemmings 3d tanked

Posted by RE_Player1

Zipper shutting down was easy to see after Socom 4 but this news just sucks. I thought Wipeout 2048 was a great game so it's not like they released a dud. Wipeout is one of my favorite game series of all time. I'm going to dig up all the Wipeout games I have and play them today in memory of Psygnosis/Liverpool Studio.

Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish

A world where Wipeout is not a viable videogame is a world I don't want to live in. Fuck. FUCK. Worst generation ever. 

Posted by Xymox

Year of the Bow... and lay-offs.

Posted by TripMasterMunky

Tough times for developers.

Edited by Stormdragonblue

The Psygnosis owl is one just so iconic even after it's disuse after the name change. I'll miss you regardless. Published only or developed- I'll never forget playing the Wipeout series, Rollcage 1& 2 and Destruction Derby 2.

Posted by kkotd

@ghostNPC: Money is tight for everyone, especially with the economy and a new console(s) coming out this and next year. Even devs are feeling the heat, it costs alot of money to start designing for a brand new console. The OnLive debacle was just done poorly though :(

Edited by Rhombus_Of_Terror

I still have my copies of Rollcage, Colony Wars and wipEout. I shall keep them, thank you Psygnosis for your games. Best of luck to them.

Posted by JasonR86
Posted by RAY16

Time to play a little Wipeout in their honor. /cry

Posted by hagridore

This sucks. You suck, Sony.

Posted by mosdl

@ManicMyna said:

@cartoons4andy said:

Now what will I play on my PS4?

thankfully it won't be wipeout

its a pity they never tried to resurrect lemmings after lemmings 3d tanked

I would say give Lemmings to Media Molecule. Lemmings would fit the play/create/share concept pretty well.

A good Lemmings compilation for Vita might help too.

Posted by Godzilla_Sushi

Bummer.....

Posted by Atom

That image actually made me sad

Posted by JamieOD

End of an era.

Posted by AuthenticM

It was only a matter of time. I wonder what this means for Wipeout though.

Posted by Foggen

FUCK

Posted by kidman

Godfuckingdamnit.. Psygnosis was one of my favorite teams.. They even had a great name and a logo.. This has to be the first time I'm bummed about the studio being closed in a really long time. SHIT.

Edited by DM

This is sad,sad news.

Posted by Vextroid

There goes all hopes of an Overboard! sequel.

Sad news indeed.

Posted by Vexxan

Why can't there be news about new studios opening up instead...we rarely get those.

Posted by StingerMK2

i fucking loved G-Police and Colony Wars back in the day, and Destruction Derby too. good on sony for holding onto them all these years because from what i gather the company would have gone under without them, but its just a pity they couldn't continue to leverage them the same way that they did in the early days of the Playstation

quite embarrassed to say iv actually played that Spice World game, my sister owned it (honestly, it was my sister!)

Posted by Cloudenvy

@Atom said:

That image actually made me sad

As it should.

Edited by geirr

What a sad day this is in the gaming industry and history. :/

Posted by Robitt

Thanks for the memories. Bummer.

Posted by Doppelgamer

I have to wonder how many of the original/early days people were still working there, but this is still disappointing.

Posted by superjop

Damnit! Just damnit!

Wipeout remains one of my favorite franchises ever... Gonna play some HD today.

Posted by csl316

Bummer, big time.

Posted by MetalGearSunny

Aww, shit....huge bummer.

Posted by MjHealy

The bummer week of lay-offs and closures continues. Good luck to the people who have been let go. It's sad to see Sony not having trust in such a well-established studio.

Posted by Addfwyn

It's sad to see them go, but hopefully they can reshuffle the staff there and get them all good places of employment. If all the staff there find a new home, it won't be quite so sad. Always possible to see a lot of the original crew working on another Wipeout afterall.

Posted by BlackLagoon

@mosdl said:

A good Lemmings compilation for Vita might help too.

Lemmings was shown in the Gamescom PlayStation Mobile reel, so presumably it's on its way.

Posted by Zatoichi_Sanjuro

;_:

Posted by Phished0ne

:'(

Posted by Mongoose

Genuinely saddened about this one. Wipeout, Destruction Derby, Colony Wars and Puggsy (admittedly Puggsy was a bit shit, but I liked it) were some of my favourites back in the day.

Pouring one out for Psygnosis.

Posted by Thor_Molecules

There goes one of the best racing franchises I have ever played. Thanks for everything guys.

A sad day.

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