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PlayStation to close Manchester VR studio

PlayStation will close its Manchester games studio.

The firm confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that it intends 'to close it as part of our efforts to improve efficiency and operational effectiveness'.

Sony's Manchester team was formed to create VR games back in 2015. The firm had been working on an unannounced VR project.

It is the third UK studio PlayStation has closed over the course of this generation, with Guerrilla Cambridge closing in 2017 and Evolution in 2016. Both studios had also worked on PlayStation VR projects before being closed.

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gamesindustry.biz
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TGGJustin236d ago

Well that is a bummer. I've been waiting to see what this PSVR game was. They were just tweeting last week that they were hiring so this must've been a sudden thing.

crazyCoconuts236d ago

That really sucks. I really hope they're not second guessing their investment in VR

236d ago
travestyj236d ago (Edited 236d ago )

No they haven't. They have been supporting PSVR really well. This one studio that didn't manage to make anything in 5 years isn't indication of anything. Most of you didn't even know they existed before this article.

235d ago
crazyCoconuts235d ago

I guess we'll see for sure if/when they announce PSVR2. If they weren't committed they certainly wouldn't bother with the next generation of it. I'm still very optimistic that they're all in...

travestyj235d ago

It is the first VR dedicated studio they closed and they didnt even announce a game. And they just bought a Insomniac who recently made a VR game.

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rainslacker236d ago (Edited 236d ago )

I thought part of their dev team was being absorbed into SWS. Kind of like Japan Studio. Wasn't the job posting for that? Or maybe I have it mixed up with another job posting. Guerilla Cambridge was absorbed by both GG and SWSE, and Evolution was just shut down, rather unceremoniously. Ironically, Evolution had also just delivered probably the best VR racing game on the market before they closed.

Obscure_Observer236d ago

Third studio shut down. All of them worked on VR games.

That´s how Sony believe in VR?

TK-66236d ago

Cant really believe in a developer with no games can you?

generic-user-name236d ago

Cambridge and Evolution made one single vr game, Manchester made zero, the Drive club fiasco was evolution's undoing. Cambridge deserved another chance but their closure is no indication of Sony's faith in vr.

Sony London and Japan studios are both their vr studios now and they haven't been shut down, London are already working on a new PSVR title.

Then there's the fact that PS5 supports psvr and that psvr 2 is almost a sure thing.

I'd say Sony are doing a lot more believing in VR than their rivals.

frostypants236d ago (Edited 236d ago )

Hiring, after five years, and still no game announcement...doesn't paint a good picture. PSVR is doing great, but that studio was clearly dead weight. Cutting bait on hopeless sunk costs is good business.

frostypants235d ago (Edited 235d ago )

(for people who disagree, go lookup "sunk cost fallacy". Also see: Crackdown 3.)

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THC CELL236d ago (Edited 236d ago )

I'm sure they made a move to Liverpool what's not far from Manchester
https://www.liverpoolecho.c...

236d ago Replies(7)
236d ago
bumbleforce236d ago ShowReplies(5)
traumadisaster236d ago

Damn it, I don’t want anything reducing vr tech. Nor software development of games. I realize there is a business to manage but I just want R&D and devs to continue.

It wouldn’t surprise me if there is a weird quietness from Sony about psvr2 over the first 18 months of ps5. I bet they try to ride out back compat psvr1 to see where the market goes.

At the most they could sell some nice new vr controllers that are over priced to gauge the market. Now I think about it didn’t move/Kinect sell 8m and they just released psvr sold 5m, maybe they are seeing that as a loss.

I just bought a oculus quest and want vr to keep growing.

xX-oldboy-Xx236d ago

Kinect was sold with fake marketing and also bundled later on.

PSVR is the market leader and clearly has the advantage over other headsets. It's just hitting it's stride and PS5 will produce an even better experience with the current headset.

Can't even imagine how nice PSVR2 will be

Gunstar75236d ago

Ps3 was sold on fake marketing as well. Let's not be hypocrites

xX-oldboy-Xx236d ago

What was the game marketing? Are you talking about Krazy Ken and his hyperbole?

BluRay, WiFi, full B/C with PS2 on fat models, Bluetooth controller and Tekken TT helped sell PS3's.

Let's use our brains.

Gunstar75236d ago

@oldboy watch the DF retrospective on the PS3 reveal. Fake gameplay a go go

xX-oldboy-Xx236d ago

Target renders of an internal demo? KZ2 ended up looking better than the demo, except for the facial animations.

Really grasping at straws mate - how long ago was all this malarkey?

I won't watch your little video - just be direct in your comments.

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rainslacker236d ago

They've been moving their VR development to their Worldwide studio publishing houses for quite some time now. Japan Studio and WWS Europe are already set up to do VR stuff, so I imagine this move is them absorbing this studio into that, because they were hiring out of WWSE recently.

Insomniac also has a pretty good VR portfolio, and seem to be well set to take up some VR games since they are quite a large publisher.

Battlestar23236d ago

Have they even made a game cause i looked them up and couldn't find anything since the studio opened up.

jukins236d ago

No and it's probably one of the reasons they were closed. Whatever they we are making was taking to long and costing too much and sony just cut their losses

rainslacker236d ago

They were developing a VR game last I heard. Most of that development has been moved over to their Worldwide studios over the past couple years, and I imagine that's what's happening here. Although, it is possible they scrapped the project, and the studio along with it.

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