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Sony cuts ties with the fighting game studio it helped build

Sony cuts ties with the fighting game studio it helped build

February 4, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

Sony Computer Entertainment has ended its business relationship with Superbot Entertainment, developer of last year's PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale.

The news follows recent layoffs at the studio that are rumored to have affected a substantial number of employees.

"We have had a positive working relationship with this talented studio, and wish them the best of success in their next endeavor," Sony said in a statement sent to Gamasutra, noting that the split was "amicable" and that the game and its upcoming content will continue to be supported by Sony's Santa Monica Studio.

While there is no publicly-available information on how the simultaneous PlayStation 3 and Vita release fared at retail, it is not thought to have sold well. In the U.S., the game did not crack the top 10 in either its November debut or its first full month available in December, and in the UK it debuted at number 38. Sales for its first week in Japan will be reported on Wednesday.

While Superbot is an independently-owned company it was, until now, a PlayStation-exclusive developer. The studio was incubated within Sony Santa Monica (much like Journey developer Thatgamecompany) and was, by some reports, built specifically for Battle Royale.

"When we saw that opportunity at Sony Santa Monica and some of the key or creative leadership that SuperBot was able to bring in, we knew that the timing was right; it was a great opportunity to celebrate the IP that has been living within Sony for many decades," Sony Santa Monica studio boss Shannon Studstill told Gamasutra in May of last year.

While Superbot has not responded to Gamasutra's request for comment, president David Yang told Kotaku that the relationship ended "on good terms."

"We are extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work on with Sony on Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and are extremely proud of the work we have done," he said.

"SuperBot Entertainment will continue working on projects that reflect our passion for games and our commitment to creating award winning titles."

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