Sony Closes One of the Oldest Video Game Developers in the World

Illustration for article titled Sony Closes One of the Oldest Video Game Developers in the World

Sony Liverpool, a studio with one of the longest and proudest track records in video game history, has been closed.

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While this is sad news at the best of times, what makes this particularly devastating for the British industry (and older gamers) is the fact that Sony Liverpool, once known as Psygnosis, have been around for almost thirty years, and are responsible for publishing the original Lemmings, creating the WipeOut series and having some of the greatest box art in the history of the medium.

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Sony told Kotaku in a statement:

As part of SCE Worldwide Studios, we do regular reviews to ensure that the resources we have can create and produce high quality, innovative and commercially viable projects in an increasingly competitive market place. As part of this process, we have reviewed and assessed all current and planned projects for the short and medium term and have decided to make some changes to our European Studios.

It has been decided that Liverpool Studio should be closed. Liverpool Studio has been an important part of SCE Worldwide Studios since the outset of PlayStation, and have contributed greatly to PlayStation over the years. Everyone connected with Liverpool Studio, past and present, can be very proud of their achievements.

However, it was felt that by focusing our investment plans on other Studios that are currently working on exciting new projects, we would be in a stronger position to offer the best possible content for our consumers.

Our Liverpool Facility will continue to operate, housing a number of other vital WWS!E and SCEE Departments.

This should not take anything away from the great work WWS are doing and the incredible games and services that we have made, and continue to make, both for this coming year and further in the future.

The studio's last game was the excellent Wipeout 2048 for the PlayStation Vita.

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Illustration for article titled Sony Closes One of the Oldest Video Game Developers in the World

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DISCUSSION

Beaker-Burner
Beaker-Burner

Rollcage!

Hands down my favorite game from them. I loved Lemmings, I certainly was dazzled by and played the pants off of (if didn't particularly worship) the original Wipeout, and fucking Colony Wars blew my mind as I'd never given space games half a thought, nor imagined they could be so much fun. In fact that was the brand brilliance of Psygnosis games. Concepts they didn't outright invent, they excelled at adapting and packaging in ways that made them appeal to people who might not be inclined to try them.

Rollcage came and I did too. Beautiful fun, that game. Beautiful way to race, lovely speed, lovely and forgiving modes for crap players like me, a cracking soundtrack as always. Beautiful, lovely Rollcage.

What a crappy death for Psygnosis.

And.

Sony's recent financial woes are many, but things being cyclical and neither Sony nor its gaming division in any risk of disappearing in the next decade, this feels like an ineffective, indirect expression of frustration more than a business maneuver. Misdirected I should say. It's the father of a large family having overspent in the last year and facing fewer vacation days in the coming year to make up for crap luck and circumstances... judgment on how things got that way aside, what possible significant savings can be made by destroying, say, the family dog. As if plugging Old Yeller in the head will reduce true costs in the coming year. A bad analogy as a dog has a built-in life expectancy, but you know. What's worse, this particular family dog was practically the guest of honor when the family moved into their new neighborhood not eight months ago. Things are good! We're a happy family! Come to our block party! Meet our family dog! (see: Wipeout 2048 on the Vita's release). Now suddenly it's ooh, shit, tax man and the market took a crap on the father, and that burden of a mutt has got to go. Blam, back of the house, back of the head. Thank goodness, because otherwise that dog would have cost all sorts of, you know, costs. Dog food and the vet clinic and such. Now I'm really losing the thread, though.

What a crappy death.

Beautiful, lovely Psygnosis.