Usually the bitching or crying done by those on the internet or fans of a particular game yields no major results, no matter how many signatures an online petition receives. At times developers may take note of some complaints to rectify a small issue within a game, but it’s not as if companies such as EA take our concerns to heart when it comes to crafting a game as the ultimate goal is achieving broad appeal to reach a financial goal.
With that said, it seems like the internet outcry due to the closure of Studio Liverpool may have resulted in Sony changing their decision. If you don’t remember, last month saw the shocking news that Sony had opted to close Studio Liverpool after a studio wide review to determine the effectiveness it had in Sony’s long term company strategy.
Despite being a key pillar of Sony’s European studios and the maker of the Wipeout series, at the end of the day Sony cared most about the company bottom line rather than keeping a veteran studio around to please the PlayStation community. Details about Studio Liverpool’s closure were kept to a minimum, but a few things did surface concerning a next-gen PlayStation version of Wipeout, a new IP that was said to be a spy game, and a realistic racer that featured licensed vehicles.
Even though things seemed grim, some rather exciting news concerning Studio Liverpool or at least the Wipeout franchise has surfaced today. Since the closure of the studio last month not many details have surfaced concerning the fate of the Wipeout property, but today a rather encouraging tease was made. Appearing on both the Facebook and Twitter pages for Wipeout 2048 was this rather subtle but very direct comment “We. Are. Alive.”
Sony has already issued a statement of “no comment” concerning this Wipeout update/tease and several conflicting reports have surfaced concerning the apparent meaning behind today’s news. One report has it that former Studio Liverpool Community Manager Ami Nakajima, seen here as a Feisar gal, merely made the Tweet/FB post to say that she’s still alive in referance to having a job.
On the flipside of that report, which was made at GRArcade, chatter has it that something could definitely be amiss involving Sony and Studio Liverpool and that an announcement could be made shortly. This source, who wished to remain annonoymous, stated that Sony was/is in the process of helping Studio Liverpool set up shop once again, either as part of SCEE or through an indie studio that would no doubt publish PlayStation titles at first, much like what Eat Sleep Play did before they went to mobile platforms.
Since the teaser was posted on Facebook another update has been made stating that Studio Liverpool has indeed closed, but the Wipeout series will live on as the online play will still be supported (on both the PS3 and PS Vita), and that special community events and giveaways will be held. So as of now we may not have the Wipeout news we truly want but that doesn’t rule out that something may be revealed in the coming months.
Things may not be peachy with Wipeout and the apparent fate of Studio Liverpool so in some cases fans may still be wrapped up in their bitter shells. However, it’s still possible that the Wipeout brand will indeed live on, perhaps at another studio despite core fans feeling that such a situation isn’t the proper thing to do.
It’s unknown when all this chatter will pay off, but hopefully it’ll be soon and won’t involve gamers planning a witch hunt for Sony over doing an injustice.