Sony closed Studio Liverpool on Wednesday morning, ending the developer’s impressive 28-year run as an industry mainstay.
The news first broke on the GRcade forums, and was later affirmed by Studio Liverpool developer Sandy Lobban on Twitter. Sony later released a statement confirming the closure, in which they mention a focus on “on other Studios that are currently working on exciting new projects.” The full statement reads:
“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.”
The studio also made a post on Facebook to break the bad news to their fans:
“As some of you may have heard Sony have chosen to close Studio Liverpool as of today. This page will no longer be maintained by the WipEout Team.
“We have loved making every game, every minute and every one of you. Keep the faith, keep loving WipEout.
“Thank you for everything, Pilots. It’s been an amazing journey and we’ll miss you.”
Eurogamer also heard from sources that Studio Liverpool was working on two projects at the time of their closure, both reported to be PlayStation 4 launch titles. One game was a new WipEout game which had been in development for over a year and was described by a source as “dramatically different” from previous entries in the series. The other was a Splinter Cell style game that used motion capture technology that was “a bit ahead” of what was used in Team Bondi’s L.A. Noire.
Studio Liverpool was originally founded in 1984 under the name Psygnosis. The company is best known for developing the WipEout series, but also published games such as DMA Design’s Lemmings. The studio was purchased by Sony in 1993, and later rebranded in 1999.