Today SCE announced that they were shuttering the Sony Livepool development studio. The team at Sony Liverpool (previously known as “Psygnosis in the pre-PS2 days,) was responsible for creating some of the Playstation 1’s most popular exclusive titles.
Sony announced that they had decided to axe the studio and its employees as part of a “quality review” (read: cost cutting) process. While Sony Liverpool wasn’t exactly a recognizable brand name, it’s important to remember that these are the guys behind some of the games that helped Sony cement their lead during the PS1 era.
Back then, Sony Liverpool was known as Psygnosis, and they created some of the first games that showed off what newcomer Sony’s first console was capable of: flight combat games G-Police and Colony Wars were graphical showcases at the time, and of course, everyone remembers the Wipeout, the futuristic racer that mixed F-Zero inspired gameplay with next-gen visuals and music. Wipeout was one of the first Playstation games I saw when I was a kid, and I was immediately impressed by the quality of the graphics and the incredible speed at which the game moved.
Psygnosis dabbled in a lot of genres during the PS1 days, but from the PS2 onward they exclusively made Wipeout sequels and licensed F1 racing games. The team’s last game was Wipeout 2048 for the PS Vita. If you’re interested in remembering why Psygnosis/Sony Liverpool mattered, give Wipeout HD on PS3 a shot. It’s an excellent, challenging game, and it’s easily one of the best racing games you can get for under $20 nowadays.