The animation studio responsible for one of the biggest glow ups of the year in the Sonic redesign has reportedly been closed.According to CBC Canada, the Vancouver-based studio Moving Picture Company which was also behind the Academy Award-winning effects and animation in Life of Pie has shut down.
An email sent to staff at the Vancouver branch on Wednesday reportedly announced the immediate close citing “increasing external market pressures” specifically in Vancouver compared to other places.Nintendo Wire goes on to explain this studio also played a “significant role” alongside Sonic Mania Artist Tyson Hesse, in turning Sonic from the version that drew considerable ire in the movie’s first trailer to the much more true to the source image we’ve recently become familiar with. You can get a good comparison of the two here. This redesign was reportedly the subject of extreme crunch according to an alleged former employee on Reddit.
The number of staff out of work so close to Christmas is currently unknown but the Vancouver branch of MPC housed over 800 artists during its peak back in 2013. It is not yet known if any of the other studios across Montreal, London, Los Angeles, and Bangalore have been affected.
Sadly, staff and their families aren’t the only ones who will feel the loss. According to CBC Canada, executive director of the Digital Media Association of B.C. Brenda Bailey stated that the MPC was very involved with the community and helped to educate students about the industry.