PlayStation Vita

Sony Closes Down SOCOM Developer, Zipper Interactive


This week, Sony Computer Entertainment confirmed the closure of Zipper Interactive, developers of the SOCOM games, MAG, and most recently, Unit 13, a PlayStation Vita game that was released earlier in the month.


Zipper was founded in 1995 and the studio was purchased by Sony in 2006. It’s the latest victim in an unfortunate series of closures and lay-offs that have been hitting Sony’s studios for a couple of years now. Prior to this, in January Sony shut down BigBig Studios, who developed Little Deviants for the Vita and MotorStorm: Arctic Edge for the PSP.


At the same time as the BigBig closure, Sony made structural changes to their SCE Cambrige studio, which was working on a Killzone title for the Vita. This game is now being developed in collaboration with Guerilla Games in the Netherlands, who are the series’ original developers.


Looking back into 2011, we find yet more lay-offs in the case of Sony Online Entertainment, when as many as 205 employees were let go and development of The Agency, an MMO for the PlayStation 3 and PC, was cancelled. Finally, 2010 marked the restructuring of Wipeout developer, Studio Liverpool. Multiple projects that were in development at the studio were cancelled.


Zipper’s Twitter feed confirmed the news as well, with a message stating: “After 17 years it’s time to head off into the sunset. A sincere thank you to all our fans for everything you’ve done for us. Farewell.” We hope everyone that was employed at the studio manages to move on with their lives.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.