Sony Computer Entertainment announced this morning that they have closed Liverpool Studio, the developers behind the long-running WipEout franchise.
A statement from the company confirming the closure reads in part:
“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 marketplace. 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.”
Sony later clarified that the Liverpool Facility, which houses multiple other departments connected to SCEE, will remain in operation. WWSE Team Liverpool is the only area of the campus that has been shutdown.
Liverpool Studio was founded in 1984 as Psygnosis, and was renamed by Sony when they purchased the developer in 1993. The studio’s complete list of published and developed games is beyond impressive, and includes titles for every single PlayStation system. Their last released game was WipEout 2048 for the PlayStation Vita.
Unconfirmed reports state that Liverpool Studio was working on two PlayStation 4 titles when it was shutdown. The first was a next-gen WipEout, that was said to be “dramatically different” from past games in the series. The other was an unannounced “Splinter Cell-style game” that used motion capture technology similar to LA Noire.
As a parting goodbye, Liverpool Studio‘s WipEout 2048 Facebook page was updated today with this final message to their fans:
As some of you may have heard Sony have chosen to close Studio Liverpool as of today.
This page will no longer be maintained by the WipEout Team.
We have loved making every game, every minute and every one of you. Keep the faith, keep loving WipEout.
Thank you for everything, Pilots. It’s been an amazing journey and we’ll miss you.