Sony Acquires SOCOM Developer

Sony Acquires SOCOM Developer

Following the acquisition of Dutch studio, Guerilla Games, Sony adds another promising developer to its SCE Worldwide Studios Network.

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) announced that game developer and long-time partner Zipper Interactive, creators of the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs franchise, joins its newly formed global development operation, SCE Worldwide Studios. The addition of Zipper Interactive marks the second studio acquisition by SCE following Guerrilla B.V. in December 2005.

Based in Redmond, Wash., Zipper Interactive is the developer of the SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs series for both the PlayStation 2 and the PSP, with franchise sales of all SOCOM titles surpassing seven million units worldwide. As the breakthrough online franchise on PlayStation 2, the critically acclaimed SOCOM series has consistently ranked number one within the platform portfolio across all global markets.

Building on an already strong and close working relationship between Zipper and Sony Computer Entertainment America, the two companies have signed an exclusive development agreement in January 2006. This move brings a studio well known for technology innovation formally into the PlayStation family and becomes a key creative force of SCE Worldwide Studios. Its day-to-day operations will continue to be run by the current management team and company founders in conjunction with SCE WWS Foster City Studio.

Zipper Interactive is one of the most well-known and respected development teams in the industry and we have enjoyed a great working relationship with the company since July 1999, said Phil Harrison, president, SCE Worldwide Studios.

All this comes as preparation for Sony's Playstation 3 launch which most gamers hope will take place this spring, even as industry analysts are currently suggesting that a Q4, 2006 may be a more likely date.