Sony's internal studio roster just got a bit smaller, as on Friday the company announced that it has shut down Zipper Interactive, the Seattle-based developer responsible for the long-running SOCOM
franchise and numerous other titles.
In a statement provided to the Game Informer website
, Sony said, "The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within [Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios]."
The company added that Zipper had recently completed its work on the upcoming Unit 13
for PlayStation Vita, and noted that Zipper's currently-operating online games such as MAG
and SOCOM 4
will receive ongoing support.
Sony first acquired
Zipper back in 2006, shortly after the SOCOM
franchise reached 7 million units sold. Popularity for that franchise has waned a bit in recent years, though by 2011 the series had surpassed 12 million units sold.
Zipper showed some signs of trouble last May, when the company had to lay off
an undisclosed number of employees following the debut of SOCOM 4
, its most recent PlayStation 3 title.
Prior to working under Sony, Zipper - which Game Informer reports had 80 employees as of its closing - developed PC titles such as Crimson Skies, MechWarrior 3, Recoil
, and DeathDrome