Sony acquires SOCOM dev

Zipper joins Worldwide Studios.

As the Japanese giant finalises plans for the launch of its next-generation PS3 console, Sony continues to expand its exclusive developer group with the acquisition of SOCOM: US Navy SEALs creator, Zipper Interactive.

The second developer to join Sony's newly formed Worldwide Studios group, the move follows the recently announced acquisition of Dutch studio Guerrilla Games, and bolsters Sony's rapidly expanding internally-owned developer network.

SCE Worldwide Studios president, Phil Harrison, stated: "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. Zipper's tremendous achievements and expertise in creating top-selling games with fantastically loyal online communities is a great addition to our development organization. We are delighted that Zipper Interactive is now a core member of the SCE Worldwide Studios network."

Founded in 1995 by Jim Bosler and Brian Soderberg, Zipper Interactive has successfully developed a number of titles for the PS2 and PSP, including Mech Warrior 3 and Crimson Skies. The studio is best known for its SOCOM: US Navy SEALs franchise, which has sold over seven million units worldwide and is currently enjoying positive sales success on the PSP handheld with SOCOM: Fire Team Bravo.

"We were first drawn to Sony Computer Entertainment by their vision for growing the videogame industry," said Jim Bosler, president and CEO, Zipper Interactive. "We've enjoyed an incredible relationship with SCE for more than six years... As a part of the Sony Computer Entertainment group we can look forward to introducing innovative titles that push online functionality and community experiences even further."

The financial details of the acquisition were not revealed, and there has been no indication of any current or impending game projects for the studio so far. However, with Guerrilla Games already committed to a next-gen Killzone game and the launch of the PS3 widely expected to take place in the latter half of 2006, it is not unreasonable to assume that Zipper will be working on a new title - possibly an extension of its SOCOM franchise - for the next-generation console.

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