Zipper Interactive Shuttered by Sony

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Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -
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.

Staff
#1 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -
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.

Staff
#2 Posted by bigsmoke77 (788 posts) -

What is Alex's news nickname?

#3 Posted by Distrato (66 posts) -

I blame Bioware.

#4 Posted by DanTheGamer32 (213 posts) -

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA????

#5 Posted by wealllikepie (756 posts) -

i blame joe biden

#6 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Well that's a shame but this seems to be what happens if you try and make something different and it doesn't catch on.

#7 Posted by BaconGames (3292 posts) -

Can't blame 'em for giving it the college try but Sony backed them up time and time again and they failed to get a hit. I wonder how much of that was on the dev side and how much on Sony's. Either way I can't say I've ever been excited about a Zipper game besides MAG and the world has Battlefield in full effect making that kind of unnecessary.

Still though, hope it works out for them.

#8 Posted by Goldanas (545 posts) -

Wow, bummer. I really loved MAG. It's a shame SOCOM 4 was not the best.

#9 Posted by Subjugation (4718 posts) -

Well THANKS Obama.

#10 Posted by chilibean_3 (1622 posts) -

Crappy. Crimson Skies will always be one of my favorites. Good luck to those let go.

#11 Posted by EgoCheck616 (782 posts) -

Fuck everything about this.

#12 Posted by MrKlorox (11206 posts) -

Thanks Sony. I'm sure you had nothing to do with them making yet another game in a franchise that no longer sells.

#13 Posted by Alucard_N7 (78 posts) -

Moment of silence

#15 Posted by Deusoma (3001 posts) -

Noooooo, not the Recoil guys! Their work was awesome!

#16 Posted by RE_Player1 (7549 posts) -

Sucks that people are out of jobs but I'm not suprised. They never could recapture what they had in the PS2 days and Socom 4 was garbage.

#17 Posted by SSully (4125 posts) -

It's a damn shame, they have made some great multiplayer games. MAG was a fantastic concept and was actually a good deal of fun. I just think it was a little ahead of its time. The game had really average graphics and effects, and that helps push a game like that. Besides that the gameplay was very solid. I just hope the people who lost their jobs land on their feet.

#18 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (558 posts) -

Pretty crappy news. Good luck to those who lost their jobs. Game development is a damn cutthroat and unstable business to be in anymore.

#19 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

That sucks, for such a rapidly expanding industry it seems like we're hearing this kind of news far too often.

#20 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Alex: Any news on how many staff were affected?  Was anyone migrated into other Sony studios?
#21 Posted by Milkman (16527 posts) -

Wow, what a week.

GAME shut downs. Robert Bowling leaves Activision. Yoshinori Ono leaves Street Fighter (for now). Kelle Santiago leaves thatgamecompany. Relic and Vigil get hit with lay offs. Now this. Crazy times.

#22 Posted by Klaimore (945 posts) -

Damn It I demand you change the shitty ending Alex!!

#23 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Tuffgong said:

Can't blame 'em for giving it the college try but Sony backed them up time and time again and they failed to get a hit. I wonder how much of that was on the dev side and how much on Sony's.

Well, they released a multiplayer shooter on the day that Sony's network went to shit, then released another multiplayer shooter as a launch title for a handheld. They (may or) may not be great games but it's not really puzzling that they didn't get much attention.

In all fairness Zipper has been going downhill since Combined Assault

#24 Posted by darkvare (758 posts) -

the costs make companies with bad tack records dissapear too much spending too little revenues not suprised this guys died never made anything worth playing after the ps2

#25 Posted by Harkat (1100 posts) -

@bigsmoke77 said:

What is Alex's news nickname?

Lex Newsthor

#26 Edited by EgoCheck616 (782 posts) -

I just want to add that Unit 13 is one hell of a good game.

#27 Posted by TheKeywork1989 (50 posts) -

R.I.P. Socom 1 and 2 still one of my most fondest times in gaming.

#28 Posted by mrcraggle (1821 posts) -

Such a shame to see these guys go. I really enjoyed MAG for what it was but I never played the SOCOM series as I didn't own a PS2 but even before that they were making great games like MechWarrior 3 and Crimson Skies. They've only been with Sony since 2006 and I guess the titles they did produce didn't sell too great with SOCOM 4 being their worst received title having a 67 on metacritic.

#29 Posted by Shimafran (45 posts) -

Major bummer. Best of luck to those affected by this.

#30 Edited by ptys (1887 posts) -

Is this the beginning of the end for the modern military shooter? I hope so, although they'll just replace it with something just as annoying.

#31 Posted by DFSVegas (350 posts) -

Christ man, the industry is collapsing. It's not even about making good games anymore, if your game isn't a blockbuster, you're done in a matter of months.

Obviously not every game can set the world on fire, so I wonder what this will mean for the future of creativity in these games. Can you even try anything interesting, if a flop almost guarantees you'll lose your job?

#32 Posted by Cybexx (1151 posts) -

I loved the Socom PS2 games but in the age of Call of Duty it didn't help to come out with Socom: Confrontation, so maybe you could say Slant 6 sunk Zipper's boat. MAG seemed kind of cool but I wasn't really interested, Socom 4 didn't seem quite there. The Unit 13 demo was cool, I'll probably grab the full game before I go on vacation in a month. It has been a while since they've had a success though and in this age of sky-high budgets I can see why Sony made this decision, very unfortunate.

#33 Posted by Jackel2072 (2236 posts) -

i really cant say im too shocked over this.  
 
but, best of luck to everyone. 

#34 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

It's always shitty to hear about a studio closing down and jobs being lost. Pour one out for 'em.

SOCOM II is easily one of my favorite games on the PS2. I spent more hours than I'd like to admit playing that game.

#35 Posted by StingingVelvet (569 posts) -

Never played any of their games but this is what happens when you have several retail disappointments in a row. It's just business.

Hope all involved find more work soon.

#36 Posted by Winsord (1165 posts) -

This is sad; MAG was actually pretty fun, never got to play the new SOCOM though. Wish the best to everyone at Zipper.

#37 Posted by yakov456 (1899 posts) -

I feel that if they had made an HD Socom 2 instead of 4 then this may not have happened.

#38 Posted by jasondesante (601 posts) -

Socom was the first online game I got into. I was 10 and playing until 3am every friday and saturday night. I loved that game so much.

R.I.P. Zipper

#39 Posted by 014 (347 posts) -

I guess there won't be another Unit 13 for Vita. Dangit.

#40 Posted by fox01313 (5061 posts) -

Still think that lots of the problems that Zipper had recently was the launch right near the downtime with PSN, shame to hear this news & best of luck to those people let go.

#41 Posted by Solh0und (1756 posts) -

Wow it's like no one is safe nowadays.

It's really a dark hour for game development.

#42 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1803 posts) -

so no MAG 2? :[

#43 Posted by Red12b (9075 posts) -

wow, that sucks, I had fun with MAG, even though it had a stupid name, it was a good game

#44 Posted by Phatmac (5721 posts) -

awh man :(

#45 Posted by JB2448 (5 posts) -

MAG will always be one of my favorite shooters simply because of the scale that it attempted to give its matches. Plus, if you had a good squad, you were guaranteed to have fun!

Thanks for the memories, Zipper! :(

#46 Posted by Delta_Ass (3255 posts) -

MechWarrior 3 was a lot of fun back in the day.

#47 Posted by ESREVER (2670 posts) -

Tis a shame, but I kinda saw this coming. Their best was SOCOM 2. Their past releases haven't been great. Although, I haven't tried Unit 13 yet. MAG was fun, but didn't have much staying power for me. I blame SVER.

SOCOM II TNT next week! How 'bout it?!

#48 Posted by ApeGantz (216 posts) -

Should have made the Socom that the fans wanted.

I feel no remorse in this.

#49 Posted by fisk0 (3849 posts) -

@fox01313 said:

Still think that lots of the problems that Zipper had recently was the launch right near the downtime with PSN, shame to hear this news & best of luck to those people let go.

Yeah, while it might not have been the sole reason, releasing a high budget multiplayer focused game a couple of days before a month long downtime can't have helped the sales. Sad, Zipper did a lot of stuff that interested me, MechWarrior 3 might have been their high point (haven't played the SOCOM games though), but MAG, DeathDrome and Crimson Skies were all interesting games, conceptually if nothing else, but even Zipper's low water marks seem to have been fairly good. MAG was certainly one of the console modern military shooters that appealed the most to me, feeling a lot more like the spiritual successor to Battlefield 2 than BF3 did.

#50 Posted by Jace (1092 posts) -

@ApeGantz said:

Should have made the Socom that the fans wanted.

I feel no remorse in this.

^ This. They blatantly ignored the majority of their fan base through multiple iterations. This was bound to happen.

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