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Studio Liverpool to see possible lay-offs, production to cease on some games

Friday, 29th January 2010 15:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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A post over on fansite WipEoutZone has revealed that SCEE plans to make a cut in staff at Studio Liverpool with the WipEout HD team rumored to be on the list of redundancies.

“It has been decided that production on a number of projects within Studio Liverpool will cease immediately due to project prioritization,” an SCEE spokesperson told TheSixthAxis (thanks, Mojo).

“Our North West Studio Group has been and will continue to be a vital cog in the Worldwide Studio family, with a history of producing genre defining games such as MotorStorm, WipEout, Formula 1 and World Rally Championship and this decision will have no impact on the role that the North West Studio Group will play in the future of all PlayStation platforms.”

We contacted SCEE to see if we can get a bit more on this, and were given the same statement, however Sony says it’s looking into relocating team members to other studios.

“Should that not be possible, then some redundancies will be necessary,” a spokesperson told VG247, “in those cases, we’ll assist those staff members in any way we can.”

A Blu-ray release of Wipeout HD complete with the Fury expansion was released on PS3 back October 16.

We wish all dealing with this situation nothing but the best at this time.

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20 Comments

  1. onlineatron

    Didn’t they merge with Evolution Studios?

    I know i’m being incredibly selfish… but if this stands in the way of my full retail WipEout game… heads will roll!

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Ravenblade86

    Going by the frontpage on WipeoutZone almost the entire internal development team as Studio Liverpool may have been laid of http://www.wipeoutzone.com/index.php

    And one of the comments on the gamesindustry.biz from a member of staff says at least 50% of the staff have been laid off

    “I would estimate about at least 50% of Studio Liverpool has jus been culled (myself included). Hard to work out exact numbers at the moment”

    If its true, its the saddest news I’ve personally heard about studios be closed etc. and I would really hate to think this has anything to do with Evolution Studios (who fingers are being pointed at) or Sony’s push for 3D gaming.

    Wish anyone who has lost there jobs at Sony today all the best, hope you can find a new job asap :(

    #2 5 years ago
  3. onlineatron

    It is quite sad… I respect Evolution Studios but it’s wrong to get rid of a whole studio because of a push towards 3D.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Blerk

    Wow, there’s a lot of history in that studio, right back to before Sony owned them when they were still Psygnosis. Best of luck to everyone who lost their job today. :-(

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Zarckan

    Does Martin Kenwright still run EVO ?!

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Psychotext

    Damn. :(

    Good luck to everyone there.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Sardauk

    Screw Sony and their (exclu) business model… wrong casualities..

    #7 5 years ago
  8. The Hindle

    Owch no more Motorstorm or Wipeout

    #8 5 years ago
  9. No_PUDding

    Awful… I want WipeOut to stay.

    I guess they hadnt done anything in a long time; but still – it’s fuckign Psygnosis.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Retroid

    But…. Wipeout HD was Teh Awesomes! :’(

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Psychotext

    I don’t think Wipeout or Motorstorm are going anywhere. The brands anyway.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Psychotext

    A rather more sombre assessment here:

    “It’s with a heavy heart I report that Sony Computer Entertainment has taken the decision to terminate almost everyone at Studio Liverpool Internal Development today.

    This essentially brings to an end a long history of game development at Studio Liverpool, formarly Psygnosis.

    I feel privileged to have been a part of it for six years. Right now, I don’t have a whole lot to say other than to hope that all the great folks who worked there can find new jobs soon.”

    http://www.wipeoutzone.com/news.php?id=160

    #12 5 years ago
  13. bugmenot

    ^nice anonymous quote i just saw it, what is with people not quoting sources. we’ve gone from possible lay-offs to someone running through the department with a chainsaw.

    #13 5 years ago
  14. SplatteredHouse

    That’s awful. I was just thinking the other day about past generation developers that continue to make great games, and looks like history’s welcoming another of the standouts. :(
    I hope all the people affected will be able to remain in the game, and find new jobs soon.

    #14 5 years ago
  15. Cess

    Damn. Wipeout was one of the few consistently good franchises. This makes me sad…

    #15 5 years ago
  16. BabyJesus

    Gah, why!? Wipeout HD is bloody great.

    The British games industry is on life support now after it’s 3rd stroke. :(

    I hope those obviously very talented devs find new work soon.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. bugmenot

    my guess is productivity, for a largish studio not many games have come out of studio liverpool, since they lost the f1 license they’ve mainly been working on wipeout. they havent released a single bluray title. probably they have been working on internal projects which got cancelled/never saw the green light etc. I really dont think they’ll want to lose the team that gave them Wipeout. It sounds like they’re stripping the team down to a bare minimum keeping the best staff letting the surplus go.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. The Hindle

    Thats true bugmenot Some people are losing thier jobs but Sony Liverpool will still remain which is good. Thier projects are being put on hold like Eight Days and The Getaway 3 were for Sony London. Id say they are being put on the motion controller and 3d gameing

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Psychotext

    Comment from a dev…

    “Thanks people.. I dodged the bullet…

    Im safe.. but that doesn’t mean I’m happy…far from it. There is hardly anything left now… the amount of good people that went yesterday is disgusting… and some of the names that have gone is beyond a joke.

    We haven’t merged with Evo… they have came in and just bulldozed us. They don’t care about our history and what we stand for.. making QUALITY games..that score 90+% on metacritic.. rather than generic shovel ware.

    Or management went.. our projects, now 50% of the staff.. we find out our ‘future’ on Monday… but I fear a knock out punch is coming.”

    http://www.assemblergames.com/forums/showpost.php?p=399523&postcount=8

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Robo_1

    Aren’t Sony gong to be shifting around a lot of the personnel to other SCE studios. Sad times though.

    Does anybody know how Wipeout HD and Fury sold, I can only imagine that if both games had done high numbers that studio Liverpool would be safe. The recession sucks. :(

    #20 5 years ago

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