2012 Year in Review: Studios that closed this year

With only a few days remaining in 2012 I guess it's time to remember those studios that were closed this year, some of them were a huge part of gaming history and some other were just failed experiments.

4mm games

One of the younger studios of this list, it was founded back in 2008 and they only released 1 game for consoles, "Def Jam Rapstar", a rapping game that faded quickly into obscurity. The studio was closed on May 2012 due lack of founding.

BigBig Studios

Created by a core team of ex-Codemasters employees this little studio was tied to Sony handhelds with 3 games developed for the PSP and 1 for the PS Vita. Pursuit Force was the first game created by this studio and was well received for the critics, a sequel for his game was released in 2008 but sadly sales were really poor for both titles. In 2009 they released their most successful game (both with critics and sales) Motorstorm: Artic Edge; the game was ported to the PS2 and finally their last title was "Little Deviants", On 10 January 2012, Sony confirmed the closure of Bigbig Studios.

Big Huge Games

Founded in 2000 this studio got an instant success in 2003 with "Rise of Nations" an amazing RTS game that got several awards and great reviews, the title got an expansion and a spin off "Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends", sadly the studio was acquired by 38 studios and dragged in the Chilling disaster. Big Huge Games shut down on May 24, 2012.

Black Hole Entertainment

Founded in 2001, this small Hungarian studio was mostly tied to PC fantasy RPG games. They developed 2 Warhammer games (Mark of Chaos and its expansion Battle Merch) plus Might & Magic Heroes VI for Ubisoft. The studio closed on July 2012.

Dark Energy Digital

Until 2010 this company was called Blade Interactive and was known for its realistic Pool and Snooker games; until 2010 when they gamble big in a survival-adventure game called "Hydrophobia" the game featured a realistic water engine called "Hydroengine" an engine that featured realistic water effects, sadly the game didn't fare well with critics and poor sales caused this company to shut down on March 19 2012.

Gusto games

A small British company that developed mostly sports and quiz games. It was located in Oxfordshire village and they developed games for every single console available this generation (except the DS) some of their titles are National Geographic Challenge and Championship Manager. The studio was closed on May 2012

Hudson Soft

Hudson was a historic company founded in 1973, known for Bomberman, Adventure Island, Bonk, Star Parodier, etc. At its peak the company co-developed its own console, the
(Turbo Grafx in the USA), sadly the lack of big hits in the market caused the decline of the company in the late 90's. In 2000 Konami purchased a big chunk of Hudson shares and by 2011 the company was totally owned by Konami. Sadly lack of interest from Konami to keep the name and logo caused the end of Hudson on March 1 2012, the fate of Hudson beloved franchises is still a mystery, their last games was Bomberman Dojo for iOS.

Monumental Games

Mostly a provider of Massively Multiplayer Online Games Technology, this little company was more known for its Moto GP games for the PS3 and Xbox360, they also released a PC game called Football Superstars for PC the studio closed in January 2012 and sold all its license assets.

Paragon Studios

Founded in 2007 the studio was a subsidiary of NCSoft, the studio was known for its work on City of Heroes a MMO RPG based onsuperheros, the studio was closed on August 31th 2012 and City of heroes is scheduled to end on November 30th 2012.

Reakktor Media

Founded in 1991 this studio has been in financial troubles from years, their last game was Black Prophecy, a MMO space game that was released in 2011, sadly the game was shut down on September 26th 2012.

Studio 38

On May 28 2012 Studio 38 closed its doors. Their only game was a huge gamble, "Kingdoms of Amalur" was well received by the critics and fans, sadly the game only sold 300k copies during the first months of release, the studio received a massive loan of $75 million from the state of Rhode Island but the awful management from the owner Curt Schilling the money just disappeared; right now Schilling and 38 backers are facing a lawsuit from the state.

Studio Liverpool

Reports of Studio Liverpool's closure started on 22 August 2012, sadly those reports were true. Born as Psygnosis back in 1984 this was probably the bigger loss of the year. The studio was known for its trademark futuristic racer "WipEout" but through its history they developed and published 153 games including some classics like Colony Wars, Ecstatica, Formula 1 and G-Police. Their last game was WipEout 2048 and at the time of its closure they were working on 2 titles; one of them being a PS4 WipEout title, the situation of these titles is unknown at the moment.

THQ San Diego

This year has been a nightmare for THQ, so they were forced to close this studio on June 4, 2012, also they turned over their UFC license to EA.

Ubisoft Vancouver

Ubisoft decided to close their Vancouver studio on January 17 2012. Their last games were Pure Futbol, Academy of Champions and Motion Sports Adrenaline.

Zipper Interactive

Founded in 1995 this company was mostly known for the SOCOM series on the Plasytation consoles. Still they were in some big projects like MAG the massive online multiplayer FPS for the PS3, also they developed "Crimson Skies" for PC; a fan favorite flight title placed in an alternative 1930's world. Their last game was Unit 13 for the PSVita, the studio was closed on March 30 2012.
 

Mitama

Member
You do realize it's 20 November and not December, right? :p
Anyway, shame to see Hudson Soft and Studio Liverpool go. :/
 

AkuMifune

Banned
Should be done in slomo to a Whitney Houston song like they do for deceased actors at the Oscars.

In all seriousness, hope those affected found new homes.
 

TAJ

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Didn't you reverse Big Huge Games and 38 Studios?
I thought Big Huge Games made Kingdoms of Amalur and 38 Studios worked on an MMO that was never finished.
 

Danthrax

Batteries the CRISIS!
Good job composing this list and its descriptions. It's interesting.

Also, mental note: If I ever start a developer, don't put "big" in its name.
 
You forgot BioWare.



BioWare Corp
Company founded in 1995 by doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk that created such esteemed games such as Baldur's Gate I and II, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. Formed a partnership with Pandemic Studios in 2005 under the direction of Elevation Partners, before being acquired by Electronic Arts in 2007. They went on to release the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sadly, it was confirmed in 2012 that the soul of BioWare was, in fact, dead, and all that is left is the rotting carcass.
 
Peace out, zipper. MAG is still the most ambitious shooter on consoles and Unit 13 is still the best shooter on the Vita. Socom 4 though.... oy.
 
I'm pretty sure Hudson wasn't "closed." They were just absorbed into Konami. Namco Tales Studio had the same fate (but unlike Hudson, Tales games are still being made, so one has much bigger effects than the other).
 

Ridley327

Member
Didn't you reverse Big Huge Games and 38 Studios?
I thought Big Huge Games made Kingdoms of Amalur and 38 Studios worked on an MMO that was never finished.

Big Huge and 38 Studios both worked on Kingdoms of Amalur, as well as the MMO.

Of course, Big Huge had a happier ending than most when Epic took on a big chunk of the staff and established Epic Baltimore from the ashes.
 
4mm closing was hilarious. I watched old co-workers go there, and then watched as they left one by one via Linkedin. At the point when their creative director left, I knew they were done.

The Konami booth at E3 2010 was where a whole bunch of ex, current and new Rockstar employees were hanging, so that was cool. Plus Konami put on that awesome Method Man / Red Man concert and we got to hang out after. So 4mm was good for something at least :p.

I am most sad about bigbig.. loved Pursuit Force.
 

PaulLFC

Member
Studio Liverpool

Reports of Studio Liverpool's closure started on 22 August 2012, sadly those reports were true. Born as Psygnosis back in 1984 this was probably the bigger loss of the year. The studio was known for its trademark futuristic racer "WipEout" but through its history they developed and published 153 games including some classics like Colony Wars, Ecstatica, Formula 1 and G-Police. Their last game was WipEout 2048 and at the time of its closure they were working on 2 titles; one of them being a PS4 WipEout title, the situation of these titles is unknown at the moment.
:(
 
You forgot BioWare.



BioWare Corp
Company founded in 1995 by doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk that created such esteemed games such as Baldur's Gate I and II, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. Formed a partnership with Pandemic Studios in 2005 under the direction of Elevation Partners, before being acquired by Electronic Arts in 2007. They went on to release the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sadly, it was confirmed in 2012 that the soul of BioWare was, in fact, dead, and all that is left is the rotting carcass.

You tried WAY too hard, had to edit, and it still wasnt funny.
 
Will never forgive Shuhei Yoshida for closing down Studio Liverpool. Terrible decision and just reinforces my belief he is doing a crap job.
 

Kouriozan

Member
I'll miss bomberman.
The last good game was Generation on Gamecube, then it was party games on Wii/DS and little games elsewhere.
 

djtiesto

is beloved, despite what anyone might say
Hudson getting fucked over by Konami (RIP Kororinpa 3ds :( ) and the closing of Studio Liverpool were both absolutely tragic.
 

Gadirok

Member
Studio liverpool... It hurts so much...

That was the studio that got me into sony consoles/handhelds in the first place with wipeout pulse on the psp.
 

TrueBlue

Member
You forgot BioWare.



BioWare Corp
Company founded in 1995 by doctors Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk that created such esteemed games such as Baldur's Gate I and II, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age. Formed a partnership with Pandemic Studios in 2005 under the direction of Elevation Partners, before being acquired by Electronic Arts in 2007. They went on to release the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age, and Star Wars: The Old Republic. Sadly, it was confirmed in 2012 that the soul of BioWare was, in fact, dead, and all that is left is the rotting carcass.

smh

I feel sorry for all those people who actually lost their jobs rater than the victims of your butthurt.
 
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