Sony today shutdown Liverpool Studios, the creator of the Wipeout franchise. The studio was closed abruptly and a couple games were cancelled that were to be PS4 launch titles. Liverpool had been in business for 28 years.
This is the third closure from Sony. Earlier this year, Sony closed Zipper Interactive, the creators of the Socom series of games for the PS3. A year before that, they Seattle based office of Sony Online Studios was shut down.
Liverpool Studios used to be called Psygnosis and created games like Destruction Derby on PS1 and Shadow of the Beast on the PC. The studio also published the Lemmings games. The company was renamed to Liverpool Studio in 1999 and since then, the company has focused primarily on Wipeout games.
The studio was working on another Wipeout game that was to be a launch title for the PS4. It was, according to Eurogamer, in development for over a year. Liverpool Studios was also working on a Splinter Cell style game that also was to launch for the PS4. Both games have been cancelled. Sony retains the the rights to the Wipeout franchise and the office space will be used by another Sony department.
Sony’s Playstation division posted reduced sales this past quarter that led to a $312 million loss for the whole company. This makes is likely there’s a financial cause for shutting down the studio. With the acquisition of Gaikai, Sony could be moving in a different direction when it comes to gaming and losing these companies is part of “re-focusing”. Sony could also be putting less stock in the Playstation divisions importance and build up a future divisions, like in the medical field.
Liverpool has made primarily Wipeout games for the last 11 years so hopefully the people of the studio can work together and create a new Psygnosis, an independent game developer and game publisher. If so, then they can work on something beside Wipeout.
Via »Ars Technia