Giant Bomb News

97 Comments

Zipper Interactive Shuttered by Sony

The SOCOM developer has officially been closed, with no word of how many of its employees were officially laid off.

If Sony wants another SOCOM game, it'll have to come from a new studio.

After a week that saw multiple studios and publishers laying off employees amid canceled projects and less-than-stellar financial reports, pretty much the last thing anyone needed was another layoff story. So, consider this my apology for being the bearer of bad news yet again.

Sony has confirmed today that Zipper Interactive, the studio in charge of the console maker's long-standing SOCOM series of online shooters, has been closed. According to a prepared statement by Sony, the closure comes as a result of a "resource re-alignment."

Sony could well fold a number of the Redmond, Washington based developer's employees into other divisions of the company, but as of right now the company hasn't specified how many of the employees will be moved elsewhere, versus outright laid off. Zipper employed roughly 80 staff members.

97 Comments
  • 97 results
  • 1
  • 2
Posted by phrali

socom was once THE online shooter for consoles. like the ONLY one that mattered.

now the shooter kids probably don't even know what socom is.

whose fault is that? maybe zipper should be shut down.

Posted by OllyOxenFree

(-_-)7

Posted by devilzrule27

@phrali said:

socom was once THE online shooter for consoles. like the ONLY one that mattered.

now the shooter kids probably don't even know what socom is.

whose fault is that? maybe zipper should be shut down.

Probably Sony's for letting SOCOM: Confrontation be made. Ruined the name and Zipper was away from the series for too long.

Posted by csl316

Bummer for all involved.

I hear Chris Roper and Jeremy Dunham (awesome former of IGNers) worked over there, so it's especially disheartening.

Posted by mrpandaman
@DFSVegas Not collapsing, just changing. Indie games are on the rise and the creativity is still there.
Posted by DFSVegas

@mrpandaman: Indie developers aren't capable of making Skyrim, and that's my point. There's going to come a time when you're either going to have to settle for 3-4 hour experiments, or $20-$100 million games that have been designed by comity.

If Bethesda is worried that Elder Scrolls 6 might bankrupt them if it's not a hit, how do you think that's going to effect how they approach development even in the near future?

Indie games have their place, and they fill that void nicely, but it doesn't make up the bulk of what most people play. In fact, indie development may be helping accelerate this process. If you buy 3 XBLA games, that's $60 you can't spend on the next AAA title.

Gaming will be fine. It's the stuff at the top I'm worried about though. I love me a good indie game, but I'm not going to pretend I don't want more, and better AAA games.

Posted by weazelGmr

I was crossing my fingers for a new Mercenaries game. Deep down inside, i couldn't face the truth.

Posted by Chaoticarsonist

As a person who geniunely enjoyed MAG, despite its many flaws, I am disheartened by this news. I had been hoping for a polished sequel.

Posted by theanticitizen

@chilibean_3: wait, what does Crimson Skies have to do with this...? Not trying to be rude, just kind of wondering where that came from, being as Zipper was a Sony studio and Crimson Skies was a Microsoft game.

Posted by mavs

@theanticitizen said:

@chilibean_3: wait, what does Crimson Skies have to do with this...? Not trying to be rude, just kind of wondering where that came from, being as Zipper was a Sony studio and Crimson Skies was a Microsoft game.

Zipper developed Crimson Skies.

Edited by P_R_0_G_Z

Man, I never comment on this, but damn the Socom days on the ps2. I used to play Socom 1 all day long. Frostfire, that was the level to play 24/7 online. This makes me really sad, I mean Socom 4 sucked, it wasnt like its old games, but I have a feeling this was enforced by Sony, cause MAG was more like what Zipper always made. Its just sad, they made amazing games. Games were I would have friends over and we would smoke all day long and play Socom online. That was the thing to do when there was nothing to do. One of my favorite series. How sad... seriously. I never thought this would actually happen to Socom. Terrible! I do still play MAG till this day.

Posted by pgn

.....

Barely used Vita for sale. There goes my only hope for the platform. Fuck you Sony.

Posted by Javes

I have great memories of Socom 2. IMO it's the best game in the series. Shame they couldn't ever match the greatness of that game again. By the way, Sandstorm = best map.

Posted by Raven10

That's a shame, but their games haven't been of the highest quality this generation and when you aren't producing quality stuff and your games aren't selling there is little reason for a publisher to keep you open. It's our beautiful market economy at work. Winner takes all. No room for second place. RIP Zipper. Can't say I ever enjoyed any of your games but it's always sad to hear about developers getting laid off.

Posted by MuderPickle

Good bye Zipper, I had countless hours of fun on Socom II... as well as rest of the Socom series. Even MAG kept me busy for a few months. I hope having a platinum in Socom 4 will show how much I loved the series and I truly wish to see it again one day. RIP.

Posted by Tamaster92

Their recent games haven't been great but unit 13 is pretty good. I'm sad to see them go

Posted by Hockeymask27

I will always have a place in my heart for socom/socom2.

Posted by BlackLagoon

@theanticitizen said:

@chilibean_3: wait, what does Crimson Skies have to do with this...? Not trying to be rude, just kind of wondering where that came from, being as Zipper was a Sony studio and Crimson Skies was a Microsoft game.

There are two Crimson Skies games. One developed by Zipper for the PC (before they were bought by Sony), and one developed by Microsoft for the original Xbox.

Posted by probablytuna

Always sad to hear people lose their jobs. Best of luck to all those affected.

Posted by MeatSim

Those first couple Socom games were a big deal so this is a shame to hear.

Posted by agentboolen

I hope Sony doesn't lay off any more of its developers. They have been pumping out a lot more games then Microsoft IMO and its nice to see that happen. Sure the PS3 Socoms haven't really been doing that great in sales, but I think this shows that the bad economy is getting to publishers. Lets hope sony doesn't start doing this to more of there developers.

Posted by theanticitizen
@BlackLagoon Ok I didn't know that, thanks for letting me know. I thought they were both developed by FASA
Posted by brocool

Mag and socom were both blunders. This comes as no surprise

Posted by Maitimo

It's a shame. Feel like they made good games that just happened to have really drab wrapping.

Posted by ManicMyna

I see this as the net result of ignoring what the gamers want & thinking they knew better. should've just fixed socom2 instead of thinking "yeah vehicles... frigging a" when they squatted down to shit out socom 3

Posted by YOUNGLINK

I blame, which is the truth, the Sony hack fiasco from last year. Socom 4 which is first and foremost multiplayer, could not be played as such, for the games first 4-6 weeks. So i'm sure it BOMBED in sales and thats that and thats pretty fucked.

Edited by Pseudonymous

The games were still good for their time... all things must come to an end eventually. I still like them better than all COD's... Call of Duty is too how do you say... "Fun for All"... meaning anyone can pick up the game and kill something. Games like SOCOM required a certain degree of skill to kill and stay alive. No airstrikes, gadgets, or choppers to distract you from killing something. Just me and my gun. Fps's today seem too Arcadey for my taste...

This is just my opinion... don't get all trolly on me.

Posted by HydraHam

Bummer.. I actually really really enjoyed MAG and still do, i didn't start playing late into the game after they did multiple patches and from what i understand when the game first started it was plagued with problems but i enjoy the shit out of it.

Guess we won't get a MAG 2 :(

Posted by jayjonesjunior

what about my MAG 2?

Posted by OneManX

I mean, they obviously couldnt just make SOCOM 2 HD, over and over again. In this industry you have to bring something new to the table, especially from a franchise that had kinda fallen off. I felt SOCOM 4 was a good step, but it just fell flat.

PSN going down didnt help. Releasing the same day as MK9 and Portal 2 didn't help either. but regardless of PSN going down, SOCOM 4 was pretty mediocre.

Posted by Scodiac

I enjoyed some of their games quite a bit. SOCOM was the first time I played online with a console which was really cool at the time.

Posted by MideonNViscera

My dad played the living shit out of Socom 1. Pretty sure one of my friends played a Socom online a lot on the PS2 as well. Too bad they kinda fell off the radar. I never played the games much myself so maybe it was deserved heh

Posted by hughesman

I remember these guys being a pretty big deal just a few years ago. Man, times change fast.

Posted by Ravenlight

@bigsmoke77 said:

What is Alex's news nickname?

"Bad News"

Posted by adamfedoruk

Super bummed. Socom and Socom 2 were my JAM back in the day. I bought MAG, I bought Socom 4; but it was clear Zipper wasn't what it used to be. Makes me sad. Hope Roper and Dunham can find some work somewhere after this. I like them a lot.

Posted by adamfedoruk

@OneManX: But I think the problem was they never made SOCOM 2: HD. Confrontation was the closest and it was developed by Slant Six. The changes they made to SOCOM in 4 were not great, and they led to a product that did not feel like SOCOM.

Posted by StitchJones

I blame MAG and SOCOM4.

Posted by Typographenia

Man, when it rains it pours. This is getting to become far too common of a thing.

Best wishes to all of those hit by the layoffs. I hope you're all able to land on your feet.

Posted by Diachron

Loved early Socom and Crimson Skies.. Best of luck to those departing.

Posted by MonkeyKing1969

SOCOM 1&2 were great games. Those games did a lot of things better then their contemporaries. SOCOM 1 had online multiplayer when Halo was still just LAN. For console games they introduced voice control for single player and online voice chat in multiplayer games. SOCOM 2 was the first (or one of the first) console shooter games to have multiple rounds of downloadable maps, three maps released once a month, if you had the ill fated HDD.

But you can't allow a developer to waste money even if they used to be big. I hope the team members land on their feet elsewhere, but I honestly don't think Zipper should have been allowed to continue. Sometimes a fresh start and a break is needed. I hope Sony is smart enough to let SOCOM fade away. They should allow the fond memories be what people remember, not the defiling the corpse Zipper and Slant Six were allowed to do later.

Posted by Devil240Z

man this is probably the worst gaming related news in years. Socom has been one of my all time favorite series since the PS2. It is a shame that Zip hasn't made a good game since S3. They should have listened to their hardcore fans because the only way for a hardcore shooter to survive in todays world is if the devs listen. They tried to appeal to a wide market and failed because of it. They did this to them selves. Its sad knowing that I will never play a shooter competitively again, unless someone makes an awesome socom clone on PS3.

If only takedown made its kickstarter goal.

Edited by spudbyte

@Pseudonymous said:

The games were still good for their time... all things must come to an end eventually. I still like them better than all COD's... Call of Duty is too how do you say... "Fun for All"... meaning anyone can pick up the game and kill something. Games like SOCOM required a certain degree of skill to kill and stay alive. No airstrikes, gadgets, or choppers to distract you from killing something. Just me and my gun. Fps's today seem too Arcadey for my taste...

This is just my opinion... don't get all trolly on me.

Agreed. SOCOM was definitely a realistic stealthy shooter that did not support the "run-n-gun" strategy of COD games... not that CODs aren't enjoyable, but just very different game play.

Posted by spudbyte

RIP Zipper. May nostalgia for SOCOM I & II forever keep the servers alive.

Posted by Clonedzero

god damn i love alex. he actually reports the news.

if this was a patrick article it would have been 5 times as long and to figure out what happened you'd have to sort through 5 paragraphs of blog-style opinions and he'd try to mention LOST at least 5 times for no reason.

Posted by EverydayOdyssey

That is too bad. The last Socom was a mis-step, but I did not think it was fatal. Hopefully everyone will land on their feet.

Posted by rts375

This is really crappy news.

Edited by rmills87

What does this mean for MAG? I mean, will they at least keep the servers up and running?

edit: Wheww, never mind. I read in Sony's statement that the games will still be supported. YAY! More MAG!