It's official, SOCOM and MAG developer Zipper Interactive has been closed by Sony. While rumors circulated late last week suggesting this to be the case, hopeful fans of the developer who most recently launched Unit 13 for the Vita (read our review here) were wishing it wasn't true.
Alas, Sony has indeed closed down the developer, but explains it was a natural part of the development cycle. Zipper had delivered on all of their promised projects, from SOCOM 4 to Unit 13, and it was time for both to move on.
It seemed rather inevitable after it was revealed that Zipper laid off some 33 employees that the developer would tighten up, but very few could have predicted that this would be the end. Sony wants SOCOM 4, MAG, and Unit 13 players to know that there will be continued support for the multiplayer experiences of each of those games, including Unit 13's daily challenges.
Both SOCOM 4 and Unit 13 failed to meet expectations quality-wise, but were still perfect examples of Zipper trademark style. Each showed promise in their own way, and could have, with a little more time, been something really special, maybe even a return to form.
As a gamer that first experienced the world of online multiplayer through SOCOM's 1 and 2, it is extremely saddening to hear that Zipper will no longer have the chance to recapture the success they had back in the early 2000s. I along with all of the SOCOM fans had hoped that with a little success Zipper might be convinced to give SOCOM the HD remake treatment, but unless that project moves forward with another developer, that seems highly unlikely.
There will, of course, be a lot of gamers out there who will never feel the impact of such a loss — Zipper was a developer that focused heavily in one genre — but just knowing that Sony is willing to cut ties with any of their premiere developers is scary. A huge thank you goes out to Zipper for showing me how much of an exciting, and at the same time frightening, place the online multiplayer space can be. We hope all members of their team land safely on their feet with another employer.
Are you sad to hear that Sony is closing Zipper Interactive? Would you like to see any of their IPs continue under a new developer?
Source: Game Informer