PS4 Developer Moves Away From Arcade Shooters, Citing Industry Focus On Multiplayer Games

Arcade is dead, long live arcade.

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The era of Housemarque's high-octane, chaotic arcade shooters is over. The developer, best known for its work on games such as Resogun, Nex Machina, and Alienation, is setting its arcade-style days behind it and moving onto new things.

In a blog post today, Housemarque CEO Ilari Kuittinen reminisced on the studio's 20-year history of working in the arcade-shooter genre. Even though they were all generally well-received critically--especially Nex Machina, which came out over the summer--Kuittinen explained that they just weren't selling that well. The studio realized that it wasn't sustainable to keep making games in the genre.

"Lackluster sales of Nex Machina have led us to the thinking that it is time to bring our longstanding commitment to the arcade genre to an end," he wrote. "While this genre will always hold a special place in our hearts, the industry is moving more toward multiplayer experiences with strong, robust communities, and it's time for Housemarque to move forward with the industry. Hence Nex Machina and Matterfall will be the last of their kind coming out of our studio."

Interestingly, Kuttinen doesn't actually announce that Housemarque will be working on multiplayer-focused experiences in the future. Rather, he simply promises, "We are exploring something totally different than what you might expect of us, but we believe this will lead to the creation of even more engaging gaming experiences."

Housemarque's pivot comes in the wake of EA's decision to shut down Visceral Studios and its singleplayer Star Wars project for similar reasons, specifically the market shift toward social, multiplayer-driven games. It'll be interesting to see what Housemarque comes up with in the future.

In the meantime, if you haven't already, it's definitely worth checking out Resogun and Nex Machina, two of Housemarque's best games. You can read Nex Machina's 9/10 review here.

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