It’s been rumoured for a while, but it looks like this is the end of the road for Sony’s Studio Liverpool. A sad day.
We understand Sony is set to call time on the Wavertree based development team behind WipEout after cancelling all existing projects. Sony has issued the following 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.”
Formerly Psygnosis, the Liverpool team have contributed amazingly to gaming culture over the years, and the team here is roundly considered to consist of some of the best talent in the country – no, in the world. Some of their work stands shoulder to shoulder with the best visual output in gaming development history.
The studio’s reputation for developing innovative, cutting-edge games for leading platforms made Studio Liverpool a major part of the success of PlayStation®, creating the original “Wipeout” in 1995, followed closely by “Colony Wars” in 1996. The studio has since developed launch titles for every PlayStation format that has been released. The studio has three state of the art HD editing suites on-site and the building was also home to the First Party QA division, which handles European quality assurance for SCE’s titles.
Sandy Lobban, a developer who worked on WipEout 2048 tweeted earlier “End of an era today for Studio Liverpool. Honoured to have been a part of it.”
SevenStreets is deeply upset at this announcement, and wishes Sony’s incredibly smart team well. Let’s hope something can be found around here – Liverpool needs creative talent of this calibre to stick around.