Samurai Punk, the Melbourne-based games studio behind games like Screencheat, Justice Sucks, Feather, and more, will close its doors. The news came in a statement on social media from the studio’s directors Winston Tang and Nicholas McDonnell.
“After a wild 10 years we have made the tough decision to cease development at Samurai Punk, marking the end of our journey together,” reads the announcement post. “Samurai Punk started in 2014 during a situation in Australia where jobs were short and the only route forward for us was to either found a company or move over seas to find work. We banded together with the shared goal of creating exciting and fresh game experiences, and we’re incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve together.
“Since then we’ve grown a lot as developers and learnt a lot about what we want as artists making video games. This introspection has led us to the conclusion that it’s the right time for us to part ways and embark on new adventures.”
The announcement also featured a plea to the wider industry on behalf of its wider staff, who will now be out of work, along with an offer to connect interested parties directly to the right people.
Kotaku Australia has reached out to director Winston Tang for comment, and we’ll update this piece if we hear back.
Screencheat, which launched in 2014, was a breakout hit for the studio. It replicated the 4-player split-screen style of multiplayer shooters like GoldenEye 007 and the practice of screen cheating, the reviled tactic of looking at other players’ squares to gain an advantage. What Screencheat did differently was it made every character model invisible. You needed to look at your opponents’ squares specifically because it was the only way to know where they were.
The studio would also work with other Aussie studios like Tin Man Games on Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown, released in 2019 and with Mountains on Florence, released in 2020.
Its most recent titles included Justice Sucks, the stealth-action comedy sequel to its earlier title, Roombo: First Blood. At PAX Aus 2022, Tang told Kotaku Australia about the way the death of Queen Elizabeth II occurred at the precise moment of that game’s launch.
Its most recent title was a new frenetic, endless arena shooter called Killbug, which launched in May this year.
Image: Samurai Punk, Kotaku Australia