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.