Sony has confirmed that the Seattle-based studio responsible for MAG, the SOCOM series and more recently Unit 13 for the PS Vita will be officially closed on Monday.
Responding to rumors of the impending closure reported by Kotaku last week, Sony representatives sent Game Informer the following statement:
“Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm the closure of Zipper Interactive, a Seattle-based internal game development studio that has been part of the global development operation of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS).
The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS. Zipper has completed all work associated with its most recent project, Unit 13 for PlayStation Vita. Zipper titles MAG, SOCOM 4 and Unit 13 will continue to be supported, including the new Daily Challenges in Unit 13″.
Zipper Interactive (which apparently employed about 80 people) also tweeted the following message:
After 17 years it’s time to head off into the sunset. A sincere thank you to all our fans for everything you’ve done for us. Farewell.
— Zipper Interactive (@Zipper) March 30, 2012
With regards to PlayStation Move, Zipper Interactive was a big supporter of Sony’s motion controller. As a matter of fact, MAG was the very first PS3 shooter to implement motion controls via a post-release update, followed by SOCOM 4, which shipped with Move controls (and 3D support) already implemented.
Zipper Interactive had also collaborated with Guerrilla Games in designing the Sharp Shooter attachment.
For what it’s worth, according to iWaggle3D sources, a sequel to the massive online shooter MAG was being kicked around before the decision to close the studio was made, but sadly Sony never greenlit the project.
On that point, it’s worth reminding that SOCOM 4 lead designer Travis Steiner had left Zipper to start his own company last year.
So it seems like at least some of Zipper’s employees do still have a job. For those that don’t (yet), iWaggle3D wishes them all the best.