Well known writer Jason Schreier broke the internet last Friday when he tweeted out his latest article. The article, “Sony’s Obsession With Blockbusters Is Stirring Unrest Within PlayStation Empire“, dropped so many bombshells that I don’t think I can even process what was said.
Schreier goes into detail about the story of Sony’s hidden studio, at least hidden to me, Visual Arts Service Group. VASG, since I’m too lazy to type out the name, was Sony’s cleanup crew. They worked on plenty of their big titles polishing them in many areas. They’ve apparently been working at this for awhile, and for what’s it’s worth they’ve earned their chance at a making their own titles. Right?
So you’d think.
Okay maybe I’m just trolling. VASG looked to “expand upon some of the company’s most successful franchises” so they brought up the idea of a remake of The Last of Us for the PlayStation 5. Rather than give them the full reins to the project, Sony moved the development of the remake back to Naughty Dog, which peeved many members of the group and made them leave.
The article goes on to talk about how un-coincidentally a lot of Sony’s focus has been on big games. 2018’s God of War, 2020’s The Last of Us Part 2 are those VIPs mentioned, and this idea is feeding into the idea that Sony indeed only cares about the big games that will make them the most money.
The next part of the article is actually mind blowing. Sony Bend, the creators of 2019’s Days Gone (which I actually liked) pitched an idea for a sequel to the game. Just a bit of backdrop, Days Gone released to mixed reviews; a lot of them being focused on the game’s state, characters, and style. Despite all that, the game went on to being the 19th best selling game of 2019 (shout out Wikipedia for that stat, but I promise it did sell well) because despite all the critical reviews, fans seemingly loved it.
Fast forward… Sony denied the pitch for a sequel, the reasoning being the lengthy development and critical reception.
Going back to the Last of Us remake, it was originally supposed to be sort of a package deal where you’d get a remake and The Last of Us Part 2. By Spring of 2019, the team working on it actually had a portion done and was set to showcase it to management. Leading up to this moment, Herman Hulst, former head of Guerilla Games’, got promoted to head of PlayStation’s Worldwide Studios. He wasn’t impressed citing financial costs despite the fact that a small team was working on a remake of a title for a new console. Naughty Dog fell behind of The Last of Us Part 2 and needed help picking up the pieces putting a hold on the remake. Provided thy manage to pull off a successful remake, the team would most likely be green lit a chance to remake Uncharted.
Okay summary aside, I’m shocked. A remake of a game that’s only 8 years old and has been remastered 100 times is mind blowing. I have my feelings on The Last of Us, and while it seems like the safer game to remake, there are so many other titles that people would love remade. Sly Cooper, Jak & Daxter, Resistance series, inFamous and more are all viable options and what Sony built it’s brand off of.
Secondly, DAYS GONE??? REALLY SONY??????
Again, I get critical reception for the game wasn’t solid, but the game as more than profitable enough to warrant a second outing. It was that game that you know a second entry would’ve improved upon everything the first failed at. My thing here is Sony’s reasoning of “lengthy development” is null. It took years for a sequel to God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn released 4 years ago. There were ideas for co-op/multiplayer styled universe former game director Jeff Ross spoke about on a podcast on April 11th. That might’ve been cool.
The overall elephant in the room is Sony’s attitude. Who am I to tell them what to do, but not every title has to be a blockbuster. Not every title has to take a page out of Michael Bay’s playbook. Not every title has to be a balls to the wall experience. Look at all the smaller titles that are hits (I can’t think of any right now, but there’s a bunch). I hope this isn’t their mindset going forward.
Bend Studios is supposedly working on their own brand new IP, which is sad but good to hear. Days Gone is coming to PC in the near future to compete with Microsoft’s dominance in titles in the PC market. Maybe, if Days Gone does good enough on PC, we’ll see a future for it?
Who knows anymore? I’m going to bed.