The rumors were true: Zipper Interactive is closing its doors for good. Today Sony confirmed that they're shuttering the studio, best known for creating the PlayStation exclusive shooter series. The company has about 80 employees.
"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)," Sony said in a statement sent to Game Informer. "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."
Zipper started out as PC developer, making vehicle combat games such as Mech Warrior 3 and Crimson Skies. They entered the console shooter market with the release of SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs in 2002. That series became the center of their attention. They released seven SOCOM titles across the PS2, PSP, and PS3.
The company posted this brief goodbye on their official Twitter account: "After 17 years it’s time to head off into the sunset. A sincere thank you to all our fans for everything you've done for us. Farewell."
Even though Zipper is closing, the SOCOM series could live on. As I said last week, Sony could just hand the franchise off to some other studio. Slant Six Games, who has created three games in the series already, seems like a possible candidate. Sony made no mention of SOCOM's future today, though.