PixelOpus, the tiny PlayStation studio responsible for Entwined and Concrete Genie, is shutting down on June 2.
"Dear friends, our PixelOpus adventure has come to an end," the devs announced in a tweet earlier today. "As we look to new futures, we wanted to say a heartfelt thank you to the millions of passionate players who have supported us, and our mission to make beautiful, imaginative games with heart. We are so grateful!"
The exact reasons behind the shutdown are unclear, but Sony tells IGN the decision was purely a matter of business. "PlayStation Studios regularly evaluates its portfolio and the status of studio projects to ensure they meet the organization’s short and long-term strategic objectives. As part of a recent review process, it has been decided that PixelOpus will close on June 2."
Back in 2021, job listings suggested that PixelOpus had been working on an unannounced PS5 game in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation. Senior game designer Mark Vernon said on Twitter today that he is "grieving right now at the loss of a great team, and a great project."
PixelOpus was founded back in 2014, as the culmination of an effort from Sony to follow up on the success of Journey. Seeking to foster another small development team to build similar hits, Sony hired nine university students and two industry veterans to form PixelOpus.
Ever since the restructuring of Japan Studio in 2021, some PlayStation fans have been concerned that the quirky, experimental first-party games that helped define the brand through the 2000s might be gone for good, and the loss of another highly creative small studio won't help that perception. PlayStation Studios still encompasses many developers with a track record for experimentation, including Media Molecule, Housemarque, and Team Asobi, but even those names are now proven hitmakers.
Our Concrete Genie review called it "a uniquely heartfelt story bursting with imagination," but it looks like we won't be seeing anything else like it - at least not from Sony.
There are still plenty of quirky upcoming PS5 games, even if they're not coming from Sony directly.