[Opinion] Zipper Interactive Closes its Doors After 17 Years in the Biz

Where do I even begin to describe how disheartening this news is. After 17 years in the business, Zipper Interactive is closing its doors. Zipper, and its SOCOM series for the PlayStation 2, are tied together eternally like Michael Jordan is to the Chicago Bulls.

To me, the SOCOM series is a milestone game that reflected the power of multiplayer on the PlayStation 2. Immersive, challenging, never dull, and will keep you on your toes for a measurable period of time. Dubbed “SO-CRACK” by many in reference to its very addictive multiplayer gameplay.

I would be lost, literally, for hours at a time playing SOCOM 3’s “Convoy” mode. Opposing teams take turns in loading cargo trucks with supplies and ultimately driving them to the extraction zone, while another tries to destroy them. I loved extracting Convoy trucks.

Production value of the SOCOM series progressed in high fashion by the time the 3rd installment was launched. Big names like Michael Clark Duncan and Jennifer Hale had lent their talents. There was even a whole orchestra to accommodate and compose the soundtrack. The game was not just some clone of the previous one. What you have to understand during this time is multiplayer games were just starting to blossom, and words, such as “DLC” or “XP,” did not exist. No one cared about how your character on screen looked, there were no extra reticule colors or XP to harvest. It was just pure team work and fun from the get go.


Game Informer confirmed, through an official response from Sony reps, that the studio has, indeed, shut down.

Sony Computer Entertainment can confirm the closure of Zipper Interactive, a Seattle-based internal game development studio that has been part of the global development operation of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SCE WWS).

The closure is a result of a normal cycle of resource re-alignment within SCE WWS. Zipper has completed all work associated with its most recent project, Unit 13 for PlayStation Vita. Zipper titles MAG, SOCOM 4 and Unit 13 will continue to be supported, including the new Daily Challenges in Unit 13.

The news brought the good and bad attitude that is prevalent with today’s social media enriched world. Tons of tweets reflected sentiment, while a handful showed disgust. Disgust in the fact that the studio “did not follow their fan base that made them famous” reads one tweet. I would’ve loved to see them build upon the control scheme of SOCOM 2 and hopefully re-release the franchise with a HD version in the future. To date the series has sold over 12 million copies, and its last developed game, “Unit 13,” has gotten a ton of positive response.

Good luck to all the staff and thank you for the best franchise ever made!

Written by: PAUL FIERCE - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Darrin on April 1st, 2012 [ 17143 Points ]

    I never experienced PS2 SOCOM, but I enjoyed MAG quite a bit. I’m sorry to see Zipper go.

  2. #2 by Cheeto on April 1st, 2012 [ 29109 Points ]

    From what I’ve read, their last project, Unit 13, did score well. Also the fact that SOCOM 4 was released at the PSN infamous downtime was a blow to the multiplayer fans. Such a shame to see this talented developer dismantled. All that aside, i just wasn’t a big fan of the SOCOM series. I really wished they worked on something entirely different other than a third person tactical shooter.

  3. #3 by The_Nmac on April 1st, 2012 [ 62773 Points ]

    I know some diehard SOCOM fans. I was not one. Like Cheeto said would have liked to see something else designed by the studio. Maybe they would have had a second franchise and stayed open.

  4. #4 by Isli on April 1st, 2012 [ 74635 Points ]

    I’ve only ever heard good things about SOCOM, but like you guys, I just never got into it. They had a crowded market to go against, and some really bad luck with timing. Always sad to see studios go-hopefully they get hired by someone new.

  5. #5 by premiersoupir on April 1st, 2012 [ 17020 Points ]

    Never got into SOCOM — I’m just not thrilled with TPS games. But MAG is absolutely amazing. A 256 player FPS? What?? I was praying for a MAG 2, as the initial game’s fanbase is slowly trickling away, quite understandably. I hope someone picks up the torch of massively multiplayer objective-based shooters.

  6. #6 by PAUL FIERCE on April 1st, 2012 [ 11927 Points ]

    I had one game in my PS2 disc tray. SOCOM. I played the second installment so much that it broke! and I had to go buy a “greatest hits” version!

  7. #7 by PAUL FIERCE on April 1st, 2012 [ 11927 Points ]

    Also it was the first game to establish voice commands. If you think Kinect was first.. guess again.

  8. #8 by kennygk on April 1st, 2012 [ 26128 Points ]

    @Cheeto MAG?

  9. #9 by Cheeto on April 2nd, 2012 [ 29109 Points ]

    @Kennygk Yes, MAG is awesome. Slipped my mind lol If the fans demand a sequel, Sony will find a way to make one, trust me.

  10. #10 by PAUL FIERCE on April 2nd, 2012 [ 11927 Points ]

    I’m trying to find out what company is doing the liquidation sale. I wanna buy the Zipper Interactive Logo that was in their lobby.

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