Update: Last week, rumors were swirling that Zipper Interactive, the Sony-owned studio behind SOCOM, MAG and Unit 13, has been shut down.
Today, Sony released a statement to IGN confirming Zipper Interactive has indeed been shuttered. The statement reads as follows:
"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 complete 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."
Our best wishes go out to all who were affected by the closure.
Our original story from Friday, March 23rd appears below...
According to a rumor currently running on Kotaku, Sony-owned developer Zipper Interactive is being shut down.
Zipper Interactive was founded in 1995, and created games solely for Microsoft Windows until 2002. It was in that year that Zipper made a name for itself with its PlayStation 2-exclusive SOCOM: US Navy SEALs. In 2006, after a slew of SOCOM games on PS2 and PSP, Sony purchased the company and brought it into its first-party family.
Kotaku's rumor notes that the studio "is in the process of being shut down," and that while Sony "declined to comment on the matter" to them, they've "heard chatter for several days that Zipper was in the process of being hit with layoffs and a project cancellation. The scope of the layoffs appears to indicate a studio shutdown."
Such news, if true, isn't surprising given the performance of Zipper's recent releases. MAG, Zipper's 2010 PS3 release, had a loyal following but didn't sell exceptionally well. The next year, the studio released SOCOM 4 for PS3 right when the PlayStation Network went offline due to a hacker attack, proving to be hugely problematic for the sales of the online-centric game. Unit 13, the studio's most recent offering, is a PlayStation Vita-exclusive that we gave a 7.5.
We've reached out to Sony for official comment and were told that they "don't comment on rumors or speculation."