An end of an era was marked today, with Sony shutting down Studio Liverpool.
The company was originally formed by David Lawson and Ian Hetherington in 1984, and quickly built up a reputation for publishing a range of interesting games, particularly on the 16-bit systems of the day. Lemmings, Hired Guns, Shadow Of The Beast and Walker were just a few of the hits it was involved with, and it eventually moved into developing its own games.
Things changed significantly for Psygnosis in 1993 when it was snapped up by Sony so the company could start making games suitable for a western audiance. It had massive success in the form of WipEout, which would go on to be synonymously linked to the Sony brand for many years to come. Psygnosis was also arguably instrumental in helping make Sony’s PlayStation a success in the West.
The Psygnosis name was eventually dropped in 1999, with the developer being renamed as SCE Studio Liverpool. It continued to excel in the racing genre, thanks to continued success with WipEout, as well as the likes of Formula 1 2001, which was the studio’s first game for the PlayStation 2. With the exception of Formula One Championship edition, its last four releases have been based on WipEut, with WipEout 2048 being its most recent release.
A tweet from audio developer Sandy Lobban suggested earlier today that things might have taken a turn for the worse, and Sony confirmed the news of the closure just hours later. Although the studio will close, the campus where many other Sony studios still work will remain open.
Psygnosis has released some truly exceptional games in its 28-year career. It’s sad to see it all come to an end.