Last week, Sony announced the closure of Studio Liverpool, bringing to an end the 28-year story of one of the UK's greatest ever studios. Formerly known as Psygnosis, the studio played a huge role in the Amiga era, and laid the foundations for PlayStation's stunning success.
Founded in 1985, Psygnosis became a hothouse of technical talent and enjoyed phenomenal growth under owners Ian Hetherington and Jonathan Ellis. While it enjoyed commercial and critical success in the '80s and early '90s as a developer and major publisher, the pivotal era in the lifetime of the Liverpool-based studio was the mid-1990s. It was acquired by Sony’s American wing in 1993 and in 1995 work was finished on Wipeout, the first non-Japanese title for PlayStation. Its combination of a licensed soundtrack, featuring dance music luminaries including The Chemical Brothers, Leftfield and Orbital, and Designer's Republic branding oozed superclub cool and resulted in Sony's new console being installed in nightclubs. Seven months later, series high point Wipeout 2097 reinforced Psygnosis' global reputation thanks to stunning realtime 3D visuals and a pulsating contemporary soundtrack.
The studio will be remembered primarily for the extraordinary breadth and depth of its output, of course, but those games were only made possible by the people that worked on them. Throughout this week we'll be publishing exclusive interviews with key members of staff, hoping to capture a sense of what it was like to work at Psygnosis at the time and discover what went right and, for some, what went wrong at a studio whose legacy in the industry is assured. Here, you'll find links to all our coverage of the studio's closure, and our and former staff's reflections on its remarkable 28-year history.
The Psygnosis Story: Nick Burcombe, lead designer, Wipeout
The Psygnosis Story: Neil Thompson, lead artist
The Psygnosis Story: Tim 'Cold Storage' Wright, senior sound artist
The Psygnosis Story: John White, director of software
The Psygnosis Story: Glen O'Connell, head of PR