Sony shutters Psygnosis studio for good

Sony's Studio Liverpool, originally stylish game house Psygnosis, is closing after 28 years. Kyle Orland at Ars:

Studio Liverpool got its start in 1984 ... releasing moderate PC hits like Obliterator and Shadow of the Beast throughout the '80s before achieving much greater notoriety in the '90s for publishing DMA Designs' Lemmings titles. Sony Publishing's acquisition of Psygnosis in 1993 would help secure some key franchises for the new and unestablished PlayStation ... The developer was fully folded into Sony Computer Entertainment and renamed as Studio Liverpool in 1999, maintaining a focus on Wipeout and Formula One titles in the years since.

I'd say it was a second death for the Amiga, but I think at this point the Amiga has died rather a lot of times.


  1. Well that’s a bummer. Psygnosis was awesome not just for their game mechanics, but their box art introduced me to Roger Dean, and their soundtracks got me into a number of new bands.

  2. Well, this sucks. I’ve been a fan of Psygnosis since their Amiga days. Congratulations, Sony.

    As a side note, “The Amiga Lives On!!!” (well, in a wildly-mutated & highly-expensive form, that is:

    I’ll miss the WipeOut game that was supposed to come out for the PS4.

  3. Oh man! I still have my original  Shadow of the Beast box for Amiga with promotional T-shirt and everything. Had a copy of Barbarian but that’s long gone.

  4. Brataccus (on an Atari ST) never made any sense to me. I’m not sure if it was just buggy, or weird, or both. But I loved it.

  5. Sad. Some of my favorite games ever were from them. I loved Blood Money on my Atari 1040 ST (yeah…) and I still have my PS1 just because I occasionally like to hook it up and play the admittedly dated but still awesome Wipeout games. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever played a Sony game that was better than a Psygnosis game. 

  6. I read today that Sony was closing their Liverpool division, which was really sad (I work in the game industry). But then I Googled, and realized it was ex-Psygnosis… that really is an end of an era, as somebody from there had so aptly Twittered.

    Nice BoingBoing logo tribute!

  7. It wasn’t really Psygnosis though, it was Sony with a few bought titles.
    I worked in the Stonehouse studio, which shut when Psygnosis folded in the late nineties.

  8. Rob, I saw the BB logo and nearly shat ten pints in my pants. As usual, your eye and your sense is spot on! If you were there for that special moment in history where the 16-bit Amiga and Psygnosis were leading the pack, then the reaction to this is beautifully vestigial.  

    As a kid, I would pour over those boxes, trying to distill Dean’s brilliant artistic formulae. His artwork is seminal as it is timeless.

    Thanks again for posting this!

  9. When the time came to upgrade to the PS3, I made sure I got the last version that would play all PS and PS2 games, specifically so I could continue to play WipeOut.

    End of an era.  :’-(

  10. Psygnosis!!  holy crap.  I loved the box art.  My favorite Psygnosis game was Terrorpods, despite it being an almost incomprehensible mess of a game.  I think it was because of the name and the awesome poster that came in the box.

    Roger Dean indeed.  I had no idea who he was at the time, being a weedy and sheltered teenager, but knew the visual style was amazing.

  11. What a shame :( Psygnosis were always legendary. They had a mystique about them since the start. RIP.

  12. That’s it…the only gaming company still alive from my days of seriously being a gamer is Valve (which I realize came in at the end of my time playing, but what can I say).

    Accolade, Sierria, Psygnosis, Parallax (hell even Id) … they will be missed.

  13. And Psygnosis formed from the ashes of Imagine Software.

    Their first 16 bit games were the result of work that started out as the “mega-games” Psyclapse and Bandersnatch for the Spectrum & C64. Both required hardware expanders that were to come with games, pushing their prices up to £30 in a time when games cost £5-£10. The costs of these vapourware games contributed to the liquidation of Imagine and the formation of Psygnosis.

    There’s a nice BBC documentary that just so happened to capture the implosion of Imagine Software –

  14. This was 1985.  I buy my first game for my brand new Atari 520ST+, it’s Psygnosis Brataccas, a truly groundbreaking game that is the first to use the ST monochrome 640 X 400 Hires mode.

    This is the beginning of a great fun period… Fanboys wars began:  Atarimaniacs against Amigadudes ;-) The ST graphical OS (TOS & GEM) is way superior to what you can find on PC and on par or a little better than the new sound&graphic monster named Amiga. Apple completely miss the 16/32 bits gamer era (the first McIntosh was too expensive, and with no games. They tried to make a successor to the Apple 2e/2c, the 2gs but it was total fail). Commodore Amigas and Atari ST will be the gamers choice platform for the five years to come. Some Psygnosis games i remember: Drakan, Ecstatica, Barbarian, Destruction derby, shadow of the beast…

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