Sony shuts down SOCOM, Unit 13 dev studio

The 17-year-old development studio responsible for SOCOM games shut down by Sony.

Sony today shut down Zipper Interactive, their studio behind storied military shooter franchise SOCOM Navy SEALs, the publisher said in a prepared statement.

All 80 employees of the studio were alerted of the closure earlier this evening.

The news confirms rumors from earlier in the week that had the studio in the process of shutting down with its final day hitting Monday.

According to a prepared statement released by Sony, the closure was the result of the normal cycle of "resource re-alignment."

"Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm the closure of Zipper Interactive, a Seattle-based internal game development studio that has been part of the global development operation of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS)," according to the statement emailed to Vox Games. "The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS. Zipper has completed all work associated with its most recent project, Unit 13 for PlayStation Vita. Zipper titles MAG, SOCOM 4 and Unit 13 will continue to be supported, including the new Daily Challenges in Unit 13."

The studio had been developing an unannounced PlayStation 3 game when it was shuttered.

Sony tells Vox Games that all 80 employees were impacted by the closure but that the company is trying to find new jobs for them.

"Recruiters and management of all WWSA studios will be in touch with Zipper employees to provide information on open opportunities and we will also be providing outplacement support," a spokesperson said. "To date I do not have information on team members that may be moving to other studios."

Founded in 1995 by Jim Bosler and Brian Soderberg in Redmond, Washington, Zipper Interactive has been making military shooters for approaching 20 years. The studio was purchased by Sony in 2006, making it a first-party developer for PlayStation consoles.

Zipper created seven SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs games for everything from the PlayStation 2 to the PS3 and PSP. Its last game, Unit 13, hit the PlayStation Vita earlier this year. The studio was also behind Sony's ambitious massively mulitplayer shooter MAG, which can host online battles with up to 256 players at a time on the PS3.

We've reached out to Zipper Interactive for comment as well.

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