SOCOM, MAG studio rumored to close

March 23, 2012 6:43PM PDT

Large-scale layoffs reported at Sony-owned Zipper Interactive in wake of Unit 13 release and possible project cancellation.

The studio behind the SOCOM series of tactical first-person shooters is rumored to be shutting down.

Kotaku is citing unspecified sources with the news that Zipper Interactive has had a project canceled and has been “in the process of being hit by layoffs” this week. While the report doesn’t specify how many people are being cut, it does say “the scope of the layoffs appears to indicate a studio closure.”
Sony reportedly declined to comment to Kotaku multiple times this week. GameSpot’s own inquiry to the company went unreturned as of press time.
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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