The decision was made after an overarching European studio review, which came to the conclusion that “exciting new projects” being produced by other studios needed stronger investment. The Liverpool area will still operate since it contains other important Sony bits. Sadly, all of Studio Liverpool’s projects have been cancelled.
Eurogamer’s sources say that the studio was more than a year into development with a “dramatically different” WipEout game for the PlayStation 4 and a Splinter Cell-style game with capture tech similar to what Team Bondi used for L.A. Noire.
These games now enter the eternal abyss.
Studio Liverpool is best known for its WipEout franchise, which had its latest release (WipEout 2048) this year on the PS Vita. The European studio also developed the Formula One franchise during the PlayStation 2 era.
The studio began in the 1984 as Psygnosis, producing games for Commodore 64, Amiga, etc. The studio is well-known for publishing Lemmings (a personal favorite). It was acquired by Sony in 1993 to produce such games as WipEout and Colony Wars. Later on the studio was merged into Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and was rebranded as SCE Studio Liverpool.
Though my experience with Studio Liverpool is limited, I can say that seeing the WipEout developer go is a little sad. I’ll dedicate my next few runs in WipEout 2048 to all those affected.
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.
Our Liverpool Facility will continue to operate, housing a number of other vital WWSE and SCEE Departments.
This should not take anything away from the great work WWS are doing and the incredible games and services that we have made, and continue to make, both for this coming year and further in the future.