Longtime SOCOM fans may be a bit upset by this news: but rumors are stating that Zipper Interactive, developers behind the SOCOM series and the recently released Unit 13, are on the verge of being shut down by parent company, Sony.
Many Zipper fans have been quite disappointed with the developer recently - which certainly could indicate there'd trouble brewing at the studio. SOCOM 4 is regarded by many to be a failure, and while MAG and Unit 13 were certainly solid offerings, the former failed to capture a large market. Considering this, it should come as no surprise that the developer is in turmoil.
Sources close to Kotaku have reported that the studio is in the process of being shut down - however Sony has declined to comment at this time.
After the release of SOCOM 4, Zipper was hit with lay offs, however this time it seems budget cuts may affect the whole studio. The team was even, allegedly, working on a new project - a project that has now been cancelled.
After the poor launch of SOCOM: Confrontation, fans were hopping that Zipper would return to the franchise and bring it back to its former glory. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case. As we mentioned earlier, MAG was a much more solid title (and one of my personal favorite FPS offerings), however the game's sales were underwhelming - compared to other first party shooters. The developer recently finished up work on the Vita title Unit 13, which is pretty much SOCOM but with a different name. While the game has only been out for a few weeks, if word of these lay offs is true, then it's possible that the title didn't sell well enough for Sony to keep Zipper afloat.
Sony's been busy with studio closures recently. Bigbig, the team behind the Vita title Little Deviants, was shuttered just before the system launched in North America and Evolution Studios, famous for the Motorstorm franchise, was nearly closed down before Sony gave them another chance with Motorstorm RC. Let's hope that Unit 13 wasn't supposed to be Zipper's saving grace. While SOCOM 4 may not have been what many fans wanted, the studio has a pedigree of ambitious ideas - and it'd be nice to see them get another shot.
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