While chatter continues to circulate around Microsoft’s ambitions in regards to its future plans leading forward this console generation, a new report from Bloomberg elaborates on the matters regarding to Sony Interactive Entertainment. Namely, the shift of priority internally for the coming releases for PlayStation 5. Although the PlayStation company in the past is evident to support smaller teams, that does not appear to be the case.
In that, Jason Schreier pens an example of the power move through discussing the events that followed now-closed developer, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Visual Arts Service Group. While formed more than a decade ago to assist in touching up published work from other recognized teams at PlayStation, the small scale team in 2018 decided to lead a new project, The Last of Us Remake.
Codenamed ‘TX1’, the team recruited about 30 additional employees to commence development. Schreier goes on to issue that the project was a replacement for a previous Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Remake which was deemed too expensive to produce. The team was kept under wraps even after creating a build for the game to showcase – that also lead to the group facing a limited budget and cap on hirings for the endeavor.
In 2019 with the appointment of Hermen Hulst as head of Sony Interactive Entertainment World Wide Studios, he went on to deem TX1 alike the previous Naught Dog remake: expensive. Incorporating a new proprietary engine, Hulst did not agree with the pursuit. So following the delay of The Last of Us Part II, Hulst tasked Visual Arts Service Group to assist in polishing alongside Naughty Dog.
But following the completion for development on the sequel, employees from Naughty Dog were handed to work on TX1 which simultaneously burdened the team of no longer being an independent studio. Visual Arts Service Group was soon found to be merged into Naughty Dog and later resulted with leaving of game director and studio founder, Michael Mumbauer, by the end of 2020.
Given the circumstance of the restraints that were placed upon Mumbauer and the Visual Arts Service Group staff resulted with majority of that sector to depart following the team’s merge into Naughty Dog. Similarly, the story is also told to be the outcome for leadership at Bend Studio as well. While the team managed to show success in profitability with Days Gone, the prolonged development and below average reception left a follow-up to be denied.
Schreier goes on to indicate that Bend Studio is involved in a new Uncharted title under the eye of Naughty Dog. However, the team just recently abandoned the game in fear of the same fate at Visual Arts Service Group and asked to be removed from development. Bend Stuido is currently working on its own IP as of writing.
Due to the handling of development under the hand of Sony Interactive Entertainment, the is also implicated to be the answer for the closing of Japan Studio as well. Most recently, Demon’s Souls Remake director Gavin Moore announced his departure from the team on the last day of operating. Team Asobi is said to be the remaining staff at the venture. You can read the full report by heading here.
What are your thoughts on the report regarding Sony Interactive Entertainment?