Sony has confirmed that it has closed WipeOut developer Studio Liverpool. This follows rumours that the SCEE-owned studio formerly known as Pysgnosis and a mainstay of the UK games industry since its origins in the mid 1980s (and its Lemmings-making days in the 1990s) was being 'reorganised'.
The rumours kicked off this morning on the GRcade forum
with the following post:
"They got rounded up this morning and (vice president of Sony Worldwide Studios Europe) Michael Denny explained the company was being 'reorganised'"
The reorganisation was confirmed by Sony (which bought and renamed Psygnosis in 2001) as a closure to CVG
The full statement from Sony 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 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 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.”
Yes, corporate sanitisation based on the price of everything and the value of nothing. Our hearts all go out to the people at Studio Liverpool.
Speaking personally, in my Amiga magazine days it was always a pleasure dealing with Psygnosis. This is a huge blow to the soul of UK development.