80 jobs affected as Sony closes Zipper

80 jobs affected as Sony closes Zipper

By Rob Crossley

April 2nd 2012 at 10:17AM

Redundancy packages established as SOCOM group bids farewell

Zipper Interactive, the Sony-owned studio that specialises in shooter games such as MAG and SOCOM, is closing down after 17 years of business.

The studio will officially cease operations in June, Develop understands, with some eighty staff affected as redundancy packages are finalised.

Sony’s partnership with Zipper stretches back to 1999 when the Seattle studio made an impact with its SOCOM franchise.

Zipper was acquired by Sony in 2006. In the years that followed, the studio’s expertise in first-person military shooters was increasingly challenged by the ascendancy of rival games from EA (Battlefield) and Activision (Call of Duty).

“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,” read a farewell message on Zipper’s official Twitter feed.

In a statement sent to Develop, Sony said the closure “is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS”.

Zipper had completed all work on its projects at the time of closure, Sony claimed. The studio’s recent titles – MAG, SOCOM 4 and Unit 13 – will continue to be supported.

The planned closure leaves Sony with fifteen first-party studios established in Europe, Japan and the US.