MPC Vancouver, the visual effects studio that played a key role in redesigning Sonic The Hedgehog for his upcoming movie, is no more.

First reported by Cartoon Brew then later confirmed by the CBC, the studio (a branch of the Moving Picture Company) was suddenly shut down on Wednesday, just a month after the curtain was pulled back on its efforts to give SEGA’s mascot a look that ran more in line with how he has appeared in games and other media.

According to the CBC, staff received an email announcing the studio’s immediate closure due to “increasing external market pressures.” There is no word on how many have lost their jobs as a result of the shutdown.

Led by artist Tyson Hesse, MPC Vancouver, along with its fellow studios in Los Angeles and London, took on the task of redesigning Sonic after his look in the initial trailer drew heavy criticism.

The film, directed by Jeff Fowler and produced by Paramount Pictures, was delayed several months from November 2019 to February 14, 2020 in order to give the artists enough time to complete the job without having to crunch. However, a since-deleted Reddit post from a user claiming to be an employee effected by the closure, signaled that long days and toxic working conditions had become the norm at the studio over the past couple of months.

The Motion Picture Company has several other studios established across the world, with a portfolio that includes work on movies such as The Lion King and Detective Pikachu.

SOURCES: Cartoon Brew, CBC

About The Author

Nick T
Jr. Staff Writer

Nick is a junior staff writer at GAW who loves hockey and a good RPG. The first game he played was Ice Hockey on a hand-me-down NES, and having grown up with the PS1, he knows the first three Crash Bandicoot games like the back of his hand and can recite every track from PaRappa the Rapper on the spot if you ask him to. Along with writing for GAW, Nick also works on the sports desk at the Philadelphia Inquirer. If he isn't on skates in his free time, he's probably trying to cycle through several 60-plus hour games at once.