PixelOpus, the game development studio behind colourful PlayStation 4 platformer Concrete Genie, will officially shut down on 2 June 2023, after several years under the PlayStation Studios banner. The decision was made by Sony Interactive Entertainment, as part of a portfolio analysis designed to realign the company’s strategic objectives.
With the closure of the studio, hopes for a Concrete Genie followup have seemingly ended, as PixelOpus has now bid farewell to its cast of loveable characters.
‘Dear friends, our PixelOpus adventure has come to an end,’ the studio wrote on Twitter. ‘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!’
This tweet was accompanied by a pastel image of the Concrete Genie cast looking out to a lighthouse at sea – a homage to the game’s tale of friendship and kindness in a dark and gloomy world.
While Concrete Genie was reportedly not a sales success, the beating heart at its centre made it a cult favourite. In the game, you play as a young teenager named Ash who is bullied by other kids in his town. But when he discovers a magical paintbrush that can summon adorable, neon beasts, he’s able to thwart their bullying attempts and eventually target the root cause of their dissatisfaction: a growing, supernatural darkness. Within this shadowy tale, Ash fights to recover a world of goodness, and his warmth is reflected in every inch of the game’s story.
The charm instilled by PixelOpus elevated the entire journey.
‘I like to think that with Concrete Genie – we made the world an ever-so-slightly better place,’ Bob Archibald, PixelOpus Senior Environment Artist said on Twitter. ‘Not too many games these days have the chance to try and do that.’
Per IGN, Sony has not announced whether PixelOpus’ closure will result in the studio’s staff being laid off. Reportedly, the company was working on a project with Sony Pictures Animation at the time of its announced closure.