Sony Shuts Down A PlayStation Studio
Sony is shutting down PixelOpus, which developed PlayStation games like Entwined and Concrete Genie.
Sony just shut down PixelOpus, a small PlayStation first-party team that developed titles like 2018’s Concrete Genie and 2014’s Entwined—both very highly ranked gaming titles. This isn’t all that surprising considering that Sony continually evaluates its portfolio and thus cancels a ton of games while cutting costs to remain afloat in the financially struggling industry. Yet, the company has acquired other studios, which might indicate internal shifts inside Sony towards blockbuster releases entirely.
According to Eurogamer, Sony offered no specific reason for the shutting down of PixelOpus, a company that’s currently working on a PlayStation 5 title. However, the company stated that they regularly evaluate whether its current portfolio and various projects adhere to the company’s short- and long-term objectives, and it would seem that PixelOpus didn’t make the final cut. Sony also announced that the studio would officially close on June 2, though it hasn’t stated anything about the nature of the project the studio was working on.
It’s worth noting that PixelOpus, operating as a first-party PlayStation studio, has delivered several gaming releases of varying success. It was first formed ahead of 2014’s E3—the world’s biggest gaming conference that just got canceled—and it was comprised of students who worked on game prototypes for PlayStation Vita, a gaming system that still garners a very vast and loyal fanbase, despite being discontinued by Sony and PlayStation. In fact, the fans saved both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita from being removed from PlayStation Store.
The same year Sony formed the first-party PlayStation studio, PixelOpus launched Entwined, a rhythm video game developed for PlayStation 4 and ported to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. It’s actually a pretty decent gaming title if you’re into tales of two animal souls, that of a fish and bird, overcoming obstacles to come together and transform into a magnificent soaring dragon. The audience response was mixed; some thought that the game was mediocre, while others thought it was a piece of gaming art.
However, in 2018, the Sony studio launched Concrete Genie for PlayStation 4, and the audiences loved the game through and through. It stars a kid named Ash who brings paintings to life, which, depending on the color the players paint them, develop a positive or negative personality. The game was positively received upon release, especially for its visual style and thematic elements. And that’s rare nowadays; having a game that’s positively received because it was actually completed before it was released. Unlike Redfall, for which Microsoft apologized for.
The last we heard about PixelOpus, apart from the current news, was that the Sony studio was working on a PlayStation 5 project with Sony Pictures Animation, but nothing has been revealed about the project. As things currently are, no one knows if that particular title has been designated to another development team or has been canceled entirely—the latter wouldn’t be surprising due to the reasons listed above. Still, it’s sad to see an end of a talented bunch such as PixelOpus, but it does align with Sony’s hard lean on blockbuster releases.