"Lackluster" sales of the brilliant Nex Machina were the icing on the cake for Finnish developer Housemarque - from here on out it will no longer make arcade games.

"For more than 20 years we've been carrying the torch for arcade," wrote CEO Ilari Kuittinen in an open letter to fans. "However, despite critical success and numerous awards, our games just haven't sold in significant numbers.

"Now it's time to move on to new genres. 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.

"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."

The next games from Housemarque will be something "totally different than what you might expect of us", although the core values of "gameplay first with first class execution" will remain. "We are really excited about our new projects and look forward to unveiling our first game from the new era of Housemarque," Kuittinen said.

Housemarque has been making games since 1995, but it wasn't until the release of Super Stardust HD as one of the first PlayStation Store games it really hit the headlines. Resogun provided a similar starring turn at the launch of PlayStation 4.

Alienation spread far and wide as a PlayStation Plus tie-in title last year, but as Kuittinen remarked, "this unfortunately doesn't help pay for development, which gets costly for high production quality".

It all built to the release of Nex Machina this summer, "the game of Housemarque's career", Christian Donlan wrote in his review. But unfortunately a critical pinnacle wasn't matched by a commercial pinnacle.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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