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Zipper Interactive Is Closing Shop, What Does This Mean For Sony?

Posted on Saturday, March 31 @ 11:40:35 PST by Jonathan_Leack

Only hours ago, Zipper Interactive announced that they're closing down as the result of a massive financial deficit for Sony during the last fiscal year. Given that they've been cemented in the industry for over a decade, their announcement was quickly met by surprise and plenty of disappointment. During their tenure they were able to not only create a sizeable fanbase, but sell millions of copies and eventually get acquired by Sony.

It's crazy to think that the same company that created SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs is now gone. I remember spending hours upon hours competing in SOCOM, and it was one of the first console games to push multi-player gaming. Truthfully, it played a substantial role in developing online gaming and making it what it is today.

Okay, so Zipper hadn't released any blockbuster titles in a number of years, but not every game has to be AAA. MAG might not have jumped to the top of the MetaCritic ratings, but it sure did entertain a hell of a lot of people. Most of all, it was unique which is somewhat of a rare characteristic in this day and age. 

Similarly, Unit 13 released for the Vita just weeks ago and was an important release for Sony since it filled a void in the Vita's launch library. It was arguably the first title to show that the Vita's two analog sticks are irreplaceable. Previously, many shooter fans believed that it was simply impossible to play a shooter properly on a handheld. Now, not only is there a handheld to support shooter controls, but there's a game to show it off within only a month of the handheld's release. Thanks Zipper.

Now that Zipper Interactive is gone, Sony will have to find a replacement of some sort. Killzone alone isn't going to bring shooter-fiends knocking on PlayStation's door. It's studios like them that have made Sony's library so expansive for the past decade, and they were part of the reason that Sony could talk for over an hour during E3 press conferences about how many upcoming exclusives there were.

Perhaps the worst thing about this is recent trends indicate that smaller studios are struggling substantially, while the larger studios backed by EA, Activision, and the like are thriving. A monopoly is the last thing we need in this industry, and studios like Zipper are critical to keeping the market dynamic and perhaps even less full of dirty DLC (hello EA!) and annoying online codes (hello again EA!).

Zipper's departure is a loss for the industry, Sony, and gamers alike. What Sony will do to bounce back remains to be seen, but you can't just replace an industry veteran like Zipper Interactive overnight.
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