Shawn Layden

Former Sony Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden has voiced his disappointment over the closure of Concrete Genie developer PixelOpus. The first-party developer will be shuttered on 2nd June 2023, to which Layden responded: "This is a deep cut. So loved working with this team and watching them level up to deliver the genre busting, Concrete Genie, all while maintaining a culture of support, inclusion, challenge."

Concrete Genie released on PS4 shortly after Shawn Layden stepped away from his role at PlayStation, so the title was in development for much of his tenure. He wished every employee at PixelOpus the very best for the future since "a new adventure awaits".

Also responsible for the beautiful PS4 indie game Entwined, the San Mateo studio will close its doors for good at the start of June. As for why PixelOpus is shutting down, Sony said: 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."

The team did have a PS5 game in development, as job listings pointed towards a title produced in Unreal Engine 5 in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation. Many PlayStation fans yearned for a Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spin-off experience, but even if that was what the studio was cooking up, it appears it won't see the light of day anymore.

In a September 2021 interview, Shawn Layden explained he left his position at PlayStation as he became burnt out with the industry. After helping bring to market PS4 exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War, he felt it was "a good time to step off on top and allow another generation to take the PlayStation 5 to market". Shawn Layden now works at Tencent as a strategic advisor.