SOCOM developer shuts down

March 30, 2012 4:39PM PDT

Zipper Interactive confirms closure after 17 years, PS Vita game Unit 13 goes down as squad-based shooter specialists’ swan song.

The studio behind the SOCOM series of tactical shooters has been shut down. On its official Twitter feed today, Zipper Interactive announced it was closing, saying, “After 17 years it’s time to head off into the sunset.”

The closure was first rumored last week, when reports circulated that the studio had a project canceled and was undergoing layoffs. As of press time, a Sony representative had not returned GameSpot’s request for comment on the number of employees affected by Zipper’s closure.
Zipper released the PlayStation Vita game Unit 13 earlier this month to positive reviews. The studio’s last game before that was SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs for the PlayStation 3. That game launched in April of 2011, just days before Sony crippled its multiplayer mode by pulling the plug on the PlayStation Network for months as a result of a security breach. The following month, Zipper endured a round of layoffs that Sony confirmed as “normal business practice and a result of cutting back on production resources after the launch of two major franchises.”
The other franchise referenced was 2010’s MAG, a large-scale online FPS for the PS3. Other games to the company’s credit include Crimson Skies and MechWarrior 3.

By Brendan Sinclair, Senior Editor
Brendan Sinclair has been a games journalist since 1999. His tastes are eclectic, though he has a definite affinity for games with arcade roots. He’s Canadian, but has also been at home in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, and San Francisco.

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