Ex-Sony Studio Liverpool Developers form Sawfly Studios
You may remember around August last year that Sony decided to close down its Studio Liverpool development house, which left many of the staff surprised, shocked, etc., and then either searching for new jobs with the experience they have gained or given other jobs within Sony.
Studio Liverpool was known as Psygnosis before Sony had took full acquisition of the company back sometime in 2001, and they had been in the games industry since 1984. Some of the games they were best known for were the Wipeout, Colony Wars, and Formula One (before it was taken by Codemasters) franchises. The final title they developed to this day is Wipeout 2048 for the PlayStation Vita, both of which were released in February 2012 in the UK.
It was announced a few days ago that four of the ex-developers decided to begin their own indie games studio known as Sawfly Studios, based in Liverpool, UK. The team has initially included veteran artist Jon Eggelton, lead programmer Andrew Jones, and principle designers Mike Humphrey and Karl Jones, although they are considering taking on other former employees involved in losing their jobs at Studio Liverpool after they have released their first title, as well as possibly taking on experienced and talented individuals to work with them in the future.
[Update] They have brought in developer Dave Merriman to assist with the project, as well as possibly some other developers.
Not much is currently known about their first game, except that it is commissioned by UK publisher Ripstone, that they hope to release it for smartphones and tablets within the next few months, and has been marked as a "change in direction" into another genre. From what I can see, the reason for the tablet and smartphone route is because a lot more games are being made available these mobile devices, and could very well be a good starting point to create their own indie games. Some sort of casual game possibly? Time will tell.
Some more positive notes are that they feel they have more freedom to make decisions other than being involved with a big corporation, though there is no "ill will" toward Sony. They are in discussions with other publishers' titles, plan to develop their own intellectual property, and look to further progress in the industry.
I for one wish them the very best of luck and am eagerly awaiting their first game release, and I am sure most of you all do as well. What are your thoughts on what their first game release will be, and will you support them? Leave your comments below.