Sony Closes Wipeout Developer: Studio Liverpool

One of Sony’s flagship European developers, Studio Liverpool, has closed as of today.

In a statement the platform holder said: “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 marketplace. 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 WWSE 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.”

Those at the studio will be moved to other studios where possible but Sony said some redundancies would be inevitable.

Eurogamer sources have said that the studio was working on two next generation projects, including a “dramatically different” Wipeout title that was “far along” in development at between 12 – 18 months. Another Eurogamer source said the studio was working on a Splinter Cell-like game that had motion capture technology “a bit ahead of” the method used by Team Bondi in developing LA Noire.

As PlayStation 4 titles they have obviously not been announced and there’s no news at this point on whether development has been dropped entirely on the projects or moved to another studio.

The closure follows layoffs at Popcap, Funcom and THQ yesterday.