A Brief History: Sony Studio Liverpool
Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 at 1:51 pm
The UK's longest running games studio closes its doors after 28 years and 168 games
Sony Studio Liverpool was shut down today after an illustrious 28 years of business.
The developer was originally founded as Psygnosis in 1984 by Ian Hetherington and David Lawson after the closure of Imagine Software.
The studio’s first game was action-adventure title Bratacass released in 1986 for the Amiga, Atari ST and Macintosh, believed to have been created from other two other un-finished games Bandersnatch and Psyclapse.
Psygnosis went on to become one of the biggest publishers in the UK games industry, publishing numerous classics including the ever-popular puzzle game Lemmings.
But not just restricted to publishing, the company often developed titles in-house, either independently or working with third-party studios.
It also offered art services to external developers looking to create visually impressive games to help make their titles stand out amongst the crowd.
In fact, it was this focus on visuals and new, original content that helped make Psygnosis an industry leader, with another titile, Reflections Interactive-developed platformer Shadow of The Beast, becoming a huge hit amongst consumers and critics.
The studio was influential in the Britsoft legacy, developing and publishing 155 games during its time as Psygnosis, whilst a large number of the UK’s top developers have either worked at or with the company in some capacity.
By 1993, the company was acquired by Sony, and developed key PlayStation franchises such as Wipeout, followed up by Colony Wars in 1996 and the Formula One series for more than ten years after.
In 1999 in eventually broke away from the famous name of Psygnosis and became known as SCE Studio Liverpool.
The developer, one of the longest-existing video game firms in existence, has developed games for every PlayStation system ever released, including handhelds.
Just seven years ago in 2005, Studio Liverpool was named Best Handheld Developer at the Develop Awards.
Having since worked on critically acclaimed Vita title Wipeout 2048, released as recently as February 22nd in Europe, Sony has taken the decision to close down the longstanding studio.
It may come as a surprise to many given the rave reviews received by Wipeout and the developer’s standing in the industry, but Sony has been no stranger to job cuts and studio closures in the past year.
In January Sony downsized its Cambridge branch, and announced the closure of Leamington Spa developer BigBig, whilst last year projects were cut across Sony Liverpool, Sony London and Evolution Studios, resulting in a number of job losses.
But the decision to close one of the world’s most well known developers came as part of a wider reorganisation of its European operations., citing the plan to move investment into other studios across the continent.
Sony WorldWide Studios said the Liverpool outfit had been an important part of SCE since the outset of PlayStation, and everyone connected to the company could be proud of their achievements.
Here is a list of all 168 games developed and published by Psygnosis and SCE Studio Liverpool:
3D Lemmings Winterland
3X: The Science of War
Adidas Power Soccer
The Adventures of Lomax
All New World of Lemmings
Armour-Geddon 2: Codename Hellfire
Attack of the Saucerman
Bill's Tomato Game
Bob's Bad Day
Bram Stoker's Dracula
Brian the Lion
The Carl Lewis Challenge
Captain Fizz Meets The Blaster-Trons
Chronicles of the Sword
City of Lost Children
Colony Wars: Vengeance
Colony Wars: Red Sun
Combat Air Patrol
Daughter of Serpents
Destruction Derby 2
Destruction Derby 64
Destruction Derby Raw
Diggers 2: Extractors
Discworld II: Mortality Bytes!
Drakan: Order of the Flame
Eagle One: Harrier Attack
Formula 1 97
Formula 1 98
Formula One 99
Formula One 2000
Formula One 2001
Formula One 2002
Formula One 2003
Formula One: Championship Edition
G-Police: Weapons of Justice
Innocent Until Caught
The Killing Game Show
Last Action Hero
Lemmings 2: The Tribes
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Misadventures of Flink
Nations: Fighter Command
O.D.T. - Escape... Or Die Trying
Oh No! More Lemmings
Perihelion: The Prophecy
Prince of Persia 2: The Shadow and the Flame
Pro 18 World Tour Golf
Ring Cycle, The
Rollcage Stage II
Rollcage: Limited Edition
Rosco McQueen Firefighter Extreme
The Second Samurai
Shadow of the Beast
Shadow of the Beast II
Shadow of the Beast III: Out of the Shadow
Theatre of Death
Thunder Truck Rally
Tricks N' Treasures
Wipeout: 2097/Wipeout XL
Wipeout 3: Special Edition
Wipeout HD Fury
Wiz 'n' Liz: The Frantic Wabbit Wescue
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