Rumour: SOCOM Creators Being Shut Down

Zipper Interactive, a first-party Sony studio responsible for the creation of the SOCOM series and PS3 shooter MAG, is in the process of being shut down, according to Kotaku sources.

Sony has repeatedly declined to comment on the matter to Kotaku this week, citing their policy not to discuss rumour or speculation.

But we've heard chatter for several days that Zipper was in the process of being hit with layoffs and a project cancellation. The scope of the layoffs appears to indicate a studio shutdown.

Zipper has been in the business since 1996, with fan favourites like Mechwarrior 3 and Crimson Skies to its name before it was bought by Sony in 2006 to focus on the console business. The studio's last game was third-person shooter Unit 13 for the PlayStation Vita.

Once seen as one of Sony's most important studios, especially in the days of the PS2, Zipper has seen its titles struggle to find the same level of success in the PS3 era, with MAG never really catching on with players and the latest SOCOM title having the misfortune of being released right in the middle of 2011's great PS3 downtime.

Without official confirmation, there is still the possibility that Zipper will remain open in a nominal fashion but the extent of layoffs that we're hearing about appears to indicate studio closure.

We've again reached out to Sony for comment and will update this story if we hear back.


Comments

    I really liked Unit 13, I'd hate to see them go out on one of their better games.

      Best game on the PSVita at the moment... I love it!

    I quite liked the first two SOCOM games. If they made another SOCOM game like them I would buy it. Something hardcore tactical thats actualy hardcore tactical would be great to play now days. Then again, maybe Im just getting old??

      Tactical nowadays seems to mean I have the option of "Tactic A" flank left, throw frag and spray bullets at my opponents face or "Tactic B" flank right, throw frag and spray bullets at my opponents face, it's getting old pretty quickly.

    Unit 13 is fantastic. MAG was massively underrated, and sadly missed due to most people playing BF or CoD - I played that game a LOT. Actually stopped playing other shooters for it, was very satisfying.

    I always felt really sorry for them with that last SOCOM game - a purely MP game gets released like 2 days before last year's 6 week PSN outage. It never recovered, and is just a shame. It was totally not their fault either.

    I hope this isn't true.

    It's a pretty sad indictment that the PSN outtage can be deemed responsible for taking down the latest SOCOM game, maybe it was popular because it was one of the best options on the PS2, nowadays bigger PC brands like Call of Duty and Battlefield have come to consoles crowding out the old PS2 favourites.

    If I ever bought a PS3 I totally would get MAG, pity it was exclusive :(

    Maybe the team will reform and then produce an insane 256player game for PC and beat Battlefield at it's own game.
    to hell with Sony.

    Sad if true, Zipper worked on Mechwarrior 3 as well.

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