Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed to Gamasutra that Redmond-based SOCOM
developer Zipper Interactive has seen a "reduction in workforce."
A Sony spokesperson said the move was "of normal business practice and a result of cutting back on production resources after the launch of two major franchises." The studio will continue to support existing products and develop future projects, the company said.
Sources tell Gamasutra 30 or more employees may have been affected by the layoffs, a number Sony could not immediately confirm.
The news comes after word that SOCOM 4
lead designer and longtime Zipper employee Travis Steiner recently left the company to create an unnamed startup
premiered outside the top ten sales list in NPD's monthly rankings for April
, but the analyst group said the game would have made the top ten had bundles with a PlayStation Move controller and Sharpshooter gun accessory
Sony acquired Zipper in 2006
after the company's SOCOM
series had sold 7 million copies worldwide on the PlayStation 2. That series has now attracted 12 million sales since its 2002 debut, according to the Zipper web site.