SOCOM studio hit with layoffs

By Steve Watts, May 19, 2011 2:00pm PDT

Sony Computer Entertainment has laid off an unconfirmed number of employees from Zipper Interactive, reports Kotaku. The studio is behind PS3-exclusives like MAG and the recent SOCOM 4. Unnamed sources suggest that 33 people were let go in all.

Sony confirmed the layoffs, calling them "normal business practice and a result of cutting back on production resources after the launch of two major franchises."

Thanks to various profiles from LinkedIn, unconfirmed rumors are circulating on NeoGAF that various project leads were either let go or moved to a new studio, including lead designer, lead programmer, graphics lead, and audio lead.

Sales figures for SOCOM 4 have not been released, but NPD analyst Anita Frazier suggested it would have hit the top 10 in April NPD software sales if the stand-alone game sales had been combined with the Full Deployment bundle sales. As it stands, SOCOM 4 failed to make it within the top ten combined platform sales list. Its release timing may have been hampered by coming out just days before the PlayStation Network went down.

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