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Sony Set to Close Studio Liverpool

Wiped Out.

Reports are emerging, based on a comment made on the GRcade forum, that Sony is set to shutter the WipEout developer after cancelling all existing projects. Sony are apparently in the process of confirming this to other sites and we expect solid news through soon. Perhaps relocation is an option for the staff, although this isn’t the first UK-based studio that Sony has closed this year so their options for relocation are limited.

Studio Liverpool, formerly Psygnosis, have been such strong contributors to the PlayStation culture and brand since the very earliest days. This is horrendous news, the studio got some of the best visual output form the PS3, PSP and the Vita in recent years and was comprised of some of the most talented people in the UK’s development industry.

Sandy Lobban, a developer who worked on WipEout 2048 has tweeted “End of an era today for Studio Liverpool. Honoured to have been a part of it.” Will Maiden, who works for Evolution on Motorstorm RC also alluded to the closure via his twitter account, saying “Absolutely devastated to hear the sad news that Studio Liverpool is shutting its doors today. Good luck to all you guys.”

Our thoughts are with the incredibly talented people who may now find themselves looking for employment. We’re sure they’re certain to find happy and productive employment elsewhere soon, talent like that just doesn’t go to waste.

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54 Comments
  1. bmg_123
    Member
    Since: Feb 2012

    What?! Closing?! I thought they were going to fold in with Evolution, but I guess plans changed…sad day.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 11:52.
  2. Forrest_01
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    This seems strange to me – Surely the WipeOut games are largely succesful?

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 11:53.
  3. bigbaldwolf
    Member
    Since: Mar 2012

    Why are Sony closing so many studios?

    Unit 13 released – Zipper shut down
    Little Deviants released – BigBig studios shut down
    Wipeout 2048 released and what an incredible job they did of it – Studio Liverpool shut down

    I don’t get what Sony are doing here because we are losing some great developers of games.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 11:55.
    • bmg_123
      Member
      Since: Feb 2012

      All part of their restructuring…years of dumb business decisions being rolled onto these developers who actually deserve to be working. Even though these games probably haven’t sold, neither has the Vita and so it can’t be the dev’s fault, but I guess Sony think otherwise.

      Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 12:01.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Sony are in trouble, financially. They’re not going to disappear over night but they have to sort out their current situation as it’s been going on way too long and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel just yet.

      Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:29.
      • bigbaldwolf
        Member
        Since: Mar 2012

        Yeah their troubles aren’t exactly a secret but to lose a good development studio like this one is not good. I can only hope that Sony know what they are doing and have plans for the franchises that we are assuming won’t appear anymore.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 14:50.
  4. Kivi95
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Wipeout :(.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 11:55.
  5. mcphatty
    Member
    Since: Sep 2008

    Usually this sort of news is hard to empathise with, but I feel so gutted for these guys, fingers crossed its not true. They’ve produced some amazing games that bleed quality and style and have stood out as a games and design studio the UK can be proud of, sad times.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 11:59.
  6. Jakster123x
    Member
    Since: Aug 2011

    Sad, sad news. Love WipEout.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 11:59.
  7. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    What!
    Aside from Naughty Dog, this is probably Sony’s best studio. :(
    Please be a false…

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 12:02.
  8. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    That’s sad news for everyone, WipEout 2048 was my first WipEout experience and I was so impressed with it. (I guess it won’t get patched now either, where the application crashes upon completing a race/event).

    I can only imagine this action is down to slow Vita sales and Sony’s large financial problems. I feel for the staff.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 12:09.
  9. Death_In_Flamez
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Zipper, Big Big and Studio Liverpool. All lost to essentially support crap like Wonderbook. Cheers Sony, from a proper gamer

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 12:16.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      This really puts things in perspective… That’s not the road I want to see Sony go down.

      Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:01.
    • colmshan1990
      Member
      Since: Apr 2009

      Wonderbook is going to support itself easily, it’s financial black holes coming from Japan that is the problem.

      Extended development cycles like GT5 and The Last Guardian shouldn’t be allowed.

      Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:05.
      • teflon
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        GT5 Prologue more than paid for the entire development of GT5, which has more than paid for the entire development of the next games. Extended development cycles like that don’t hurt.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:14.
      • djhsecondnature
        Since: Forever

        Agree with @teflon. Extended development cycles aren’t the problem if there are superb games at the end of them.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:50.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        The problem is, their profit margin could have been way higher if GT5 didn’t take 48 years to develop.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 14:19.
      • Forrest_01
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Awww c’mon – 48 years is one hell of an exaggeration… It was more like 47.5.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 14:26.
      • teflon
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        Not really. The Forza series is much more expensive to produce because they outsource a lot of work and have a much larger team working on it, whilst sales still lag well behind GT releases.

        GT5 was all in house, with a fairly small team, by modern standards. Anyway, GT5P paid for all of GT5, and GT5 has made another bucket load of cash since then, with a lot of the groundwork already done for a PS3 GT6, if that’s on the cards…

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 15:08.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        But how do the sales of all Forza games that came out during the development of GT5 compare to GT5 itself? I’m sure GT5 outsold the games one by one.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 15:47.
      • colmshan1990
        Member
        Since: Apr 2009

        Fair enough, GT paid for itself.
        Still shouldn’t be allowed to drag on so long.

        Here’s another problem for Sony- buying Gaikai when most of their audience can’t hope to have good enough internet speeds or data allowances to use it.

        Surely that’s not worth Zipper, Studio Liverpool & co? SOCOM & WipEout, two franchises synonymous with PlayStation…

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 15:49.
      • Jambo
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Forza 4 just about managed to sell over two million last time I checked, GT5 was almost 8.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 16:15.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Really? I thought it sold more because it’s the closest MS can get to delivering the GT experience.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 18:55.
      • teflon
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        Forze 4 also sold slower than Forza 3…

        @Colmshan: It would be nice if the games were released more regularly, but sometimes you shouldn’t mess with things. Valve work to their own schedule, and produce great games with regularity, for example.

        Polyphony are self sufficient, and you don’t mess with something that’s still working, and will have continued success.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 19:26.
  10. Amphlett
    Member
    Since: Jul 2009

    I feel very sad for Studio Liverpool and wish of the people there the very best in finding new work.

    I suppose Sony look at the finances, have various business modelling techniques and have come to the conclusion that the cost of developing another project there is too commercially risky. Sony aren’t a charity, they need to ensure that they make money and offer good quality products. If either of those two aren’t there then the target studio will be under the spotlight.

    Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 12:17.
    • colmshan1990
      Member
      Since: Apr 2009

      I fail to believe that Studio Liverpool’s games weren’t turning profits or being received well.

      There’s a reason Studio Liverpool/Psygonosis’ WipEout is synonymous with PlayStation.

      This is a colossal fuck-up by Sony.

      If this team were to pop up on another console, I’m over there like it’s Phantom mode, no questions asked.

      Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:08.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Gutted for Sony Liverpool but I too have to question Sony’s decision on this. They have massive restructuring to do and this seems decidedly small-fry compared to anything else.

        Weird. :-\

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 13:30.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Wipeout is a system seller in my opinion. I’d love to see Microsoft snatch up the team.

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 14:22.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Studio Liverpool is Sony… It’s the main reason their brand was so cool & a key reason for gaming leaving behind the bedrooms of pre-teens allowing Sony to go on to sell so many consoles

        A Sony console launch without a Studio Liverpool title on it? Can’t imagine it.

        Hope the team find jobs within Sony or elsewhere… If not setting up a mobile studio so more people can sample their talents than can afford afford a Vita+mem card+£35 quid games.

        Also hope WipEout for PS4 isn’t canned and Evo or someone can continue their work with some of the Studio Liverpool team on board.

        Long before the Sony stuff, Psygnosis has a special place in my heart too.

        Fuck Sony!

        Comment posted on 22/08/2012 at 14:38.