Sony Shuts Down Wipeout Developer Studio Liverpool

By Ishaan . August 22, 2012 . 8:30am

Wipeout series developer, Studio Liverpool, have been shut down by Sony, the team confirmed today via the Wipeout 2048 Facebook page, following rumours of their closure. A message on the page reads:

 

As some of you may have heard Sony have chosen to close Studio Liverpool as of today.

This page will no longer be maintained by the WipEout Team.

We have loved making every game, every minute and every one of you. Keep the faith, keep loving WipEout.

Thank you for everything, Pilots. It’s been an amazing journey and we’ll miss you.

 

Studio Liverpool was founded in 1984, under the the name Psygnosis. In 1993, the studio was acquired by Sony to help develop games for the original PlayStation. This led to the development of the Wipeout series, which would become part of the PlayStation brand’s legacy in the years to come.

 

Today’s closure isn’t the first time Studio Liverpool have seen tough times. In 2010, Sony restructured the studio, laying off some employees and re-allocating others to different studios. Production was ceased on numerous projects as part of a “project prioritization” effort.

 

A statement from Sony states that the decision to shut Studio Liverpool down was made after a regular review of all studios under Sony Computer Entertainment. The studio is being shut down in order to allow Sony to focus their investment in their other studios that are working on “exciting new projects”. Employees will be re-allocated where possible, but lay-offs are part of the plan as well. Additionally, while the development studio itself is being closed, other portions of the Liverpool campus will continue to function, such as finance and localization departments.

 

Earlier this year, Sony also shut down SOCOM developer, Zipper Interactive. Prior to this, in January, they closed down BigBig Studios, developers of Little Deviants and MotorStorm: Arctic Edge for PSP. Looking back to 2011, a large number of employees were also let go from Sony Online Entertainment, after development of The Agency, an ambitious MMO for PC and PlayStation 3, was cancelled.

 

No mention has been made of what will become of the Wipeout franchise. If you’re interested, you can view an excellent retrospective of the series and Studio Liverpool’s accomplishments in the video below, put together by one of the members of the Wipeout Zone forums:

 



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  • Ben Sylvia

    I guess you could say, Sony wiped them out.

  • SirRichard

    The Liverpool Studio were fantastic guys, I hope they manage to get jobs again soon. It’s an absolute shame, especially given how much of a long-runner the studio was.

    Sony are bleeding money and jobs everywhere, it’s not looking good. Here’s hoping they can turn it around.

  • KHSoraKeyBlade

    It’s always sad news to hear that a studio is being shut down…. Especially one that has been around for such a long time. 

  • DarkWaterClone

    This is really sad. I have been a big fan of Psygnosis so seeing Sony Liverpool closed is really sad. I guess I will never get a new Colony Wars, Shadow of the Beast, Drakan, Lemmings! Rollcage, Novastorm, G-Police & WipEout.

    I am going to take a guess that Team Ico is going to be next. It is sad that Sony has not allowed Sony Liverpool to bring out more games. That team was a great one but they were only allowed for some reason only to make more WipEout.

    I hope the best for the people that lost their jobs & can get new ones quick.

    It just sucks to see another great developer team gone. Because also this means one less studio Sony owns. I for one hope this is not a sign to come that a lot more will be closed.

    • malek86

      It’s not unusual to see a developer, especially a first-party one, assigned to a single series. Like how Polyphony has only done Gran Turismo for the last 13 years, or how MS specifically gave Bungie the task to make Halo games (and has now created a new developer just for that).

      I’m also afraid for Team Ico, I get the feeling that Sony is waiting for TLG to come out so they can “restructure” them too (which could just mean a fusion with another developer, but who knows).

      Some time ago, Stringer said something to the lines of “we have too many studios making too many games”, so I’m not surprised to see so many being closed down… it still sucks though.

    • landlock

      Shadow of the Beast is actually a Reflections IP though it still next to no chance for a new one.

      • DarkWaterClone

        I thought back in the day when Psygnosis was the publisher for the game they got the rights? Because they were putting money behind it. But I guess not it still suck there is no new one in sight.

  • http://www.angelmassb.co.nr/ Angel Mass

    So… no more Wipeout games?

  • Pipiskin99

    Sad? I can’t even tell how mad i’m now. My hands are shaking. Studio responsible for one of the best games in the genre. Apart form other awesome games, Pure and 2048 – two system sellers of both sony(!) handhelds i got. Both were total “NOGAEMS” without them. They were powerful exclusives. Might as well boycot sony and sell every piece of product i have from them. Hope the person responsible for this gets cancer and dies slow death. The fact that some generic conveyor developers like EA, Acitivion and ubisoft are still alive and happy makes me even more mad. This planet needs to be struck by some big ass asteroid already, because it’s full of stupid people.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Wow. I’m going to leave this comment here solely for everyone to see a fine example of someone being an idiot, so they know not to do this kind of nonsense in the future. Banned.

    • sherimae1324

      this….this is the most ridiculous comment I’ve read in this site so far ^_^

  • Alex Cattaneo

    is sony out of control? OMG!

  • amagidyne

    I’ve tried other racing games, but none of them have ever hooked me like the Wipeout games did. I grew up with this franchise. This is pretty sad. :(

  • kupomogli

    This sucks.  While they might cut down the studio to save money, I really hope that they keep those that made the Wipeout games what they are today.  Liverpool studios doesn’t have to make them, but as long as the people who matters makes them, them being merged into another studio and a different name slapped onto it makes no difference to me.

    Hopefully the franchise doesn’t just die though.  By far one of the best racing series ever and 2048 with the inclusion of the HD/Fury DLC was hands down the best Wipeout ever.

    A little fanboyism here, but it’s sad when one of the worst racing series sells millions with each revision for the sole reason that it’s got an iconic character slapped on the front cover, but most good racing games don’t hit a million.  Anything good that’s not Gran Turismo or Forza.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      A lot of “those that made the Wipeout games what they are today” were restructured back in 2010, to my knowledge. 

  • tha_Chiller

    ugh, cmon they could’ve downsized. I really really liked WipeOut on the Vita, the colors are ridiculous

  • sandra10

    This is a huge loss for handheld gaming. The racing genre’s poorly represented on handhelds but Liverpool always put effort into their games. It’s a real shame.

  • Leonard Norwood Jr.

    For me, words cannot describle how I feel about Liverpool’s being shut down for good. I just immediately flash back to every single good moment I had in playing every Wipeout game and had some awesome times racing, cutting corners, shooting stuff and putting other pilots out of commission. It a ride worth taking, regardless if where Liverpool stand. When you play games and play the heck out of the ones that were truly fun, made by the people who truly know what it meant to make games, what their importance is. It makes me feel so happy to know such blissful pleasures from their games that they put every single second to it.

    Liverpool’s departure does leave some sorrow in my heart, but so longs as I remember the games they make and play them, it will still live on in heart for eternity. Hopefully the developer team who made Wipeout whatever they do. I hope the still have the same spirit and heart that they have when they did it for Wipeout, probably somebody might have some plans to make a game inspired by Wipeout, which is cool to consider in the future. Either way, Liverpool may come to an end with development, but the team behind it, and their stories will move on, and I know that whatever they have in mind, I fully welcome whatever they do for future projects..

    That’s it. I guess.

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    Bad Call  Sony :/ but guess all good things have to come to a end *going to play some 
    Wipeout*

  • disqus_clIJtumyL3

    like, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  • Vyrus

    This just sucks… :(

    • AnimusVox

       Well at least we got one last game in, yeah?

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/EnvyMizuhashi Garyuu of Spades

    Oh come on! Don’t disintegrate the only thing left on this planet resembling a futuristic racing game! :(

  • Valtiel Ikari

    what type of nonsense is this!?

    come on! Wipeout wa one of the best racing games there are! I love it, and I don’t actually even like racing games, but wipeout had “THAT” (I don’t know what was it, but it just suck me in so much)
    How can generic games such as CoD, Maden, PES (for example) can live so much, but cool and unique stuff gets shut down?
    Goddamit gamers! (flips table) what have we become!?

  • pho_Enix

    NOOOO!!! With F-Zero virtually dead since the Gamecube days, WipEout was the last futuristic racer standing…

    • http://twitter.com/IcelandicHossi Hossi Blumengaarten

       oh crap man I have not thought of that!!!!!

  • http://twitter.com/VXLbeast VXLbeast

    Dang, that is certainly surprising.  Can’t believe they would axe them.  
    Don’t mean to be dark, but Nihilistic is next.

  • konsama

    This are the worst news i’ve heard about gaming in a while, i’ve been a fan of Wipeout since i can remember,  i still play HD and Pulse to date even after they screwed HD when they released 2048. It’s a real shame, i was looking forward for how a Wipeout for PS4 would have been…

    Well at least Sony got more money to invest on more Uncharted movies and God of Rage…hurray…

  • xxx128

    Its hard to believe sony has any quality control at all. They are just this huge incompetent atrocity thats blind, deaf and dumb. Getting rid of the wipeout team is testament of how badly their decisions are.

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