Many have been wondering about the game Sony Bend has been working on in the past few years. It was teased at the launch ceremony of the PS4, and the only things we know is that it’s for Sony’s new console and that it’s being developer in Unreal Engine 4.
Many have been hoping a return for to Syphon Filter, that brought the studio to fame when it still was named Eidetic, but according to Reddit user athey, who mentions having worked at the studio for 8 years (and who appears to be former Sony Bend Artist Athey Moravetz), the new game definitely isn’t part of the old and glorious PlayStation franchise.
Here’s what she responded to another user that hoped for a new Syphon Filter:
Hah. No. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
Source: worked at Sony Bend for 8 yrs
She also explained the reason why we won’t see Gabriel Logan return in a new game:
John Garvin got burned out on Syphon Filter. He wanted to make something different. People seem to like to ignore that Gabe Logan died at the end of Logan’s Shadow. Garvin literally killed off the main character so he wouldn’t have to make any more SF games. Plus, despite all the praise, they didn’t sell. Very low sales all around.
Apparently, she knows what they’re currently working on, but she didn’t provide specifics:
I know what they’re doing, but even if I don’t work there anymore, I don’t think it would be kosher to go running my mouth off.
Hard to say if you should be excited. There’s a group of super talented guys there, and pretty much every project has been chaos till the last 6 mo when they usually work super hard to pull it together.
But there’s a lot of burnout right now. Lots of talent has left over the last year.
On the other hand, she talked about several made before the current one was geenlit, including another Uncharted and an Infamous game on PS Vita:
It was going to be another Uncharted game but naughty dog was worried about franchise burnout with so many games coming out so close together, so they nixed it. We spent like a whole year dicking around with different ideas and pitches after that before I left the studio. We started and threw away so many demos during that year.
Sony really wanted another Uncharted from us and tried to convince Naughty Dog to let us do it. They wanted more content for Vita.
And we did make an infamous pitch at one point, too. I think that was the first pitch and demo we made after the uncharted project was canned. The infamous game would have been a vita title too.
We did a couple new IP pitches. One was steampunk but that didn’t make it very far. There was a really awesome futuristic sci if one that I really liked. We had an amazing future scifi city and a character that could run around and scale buildings with these jet boots, and it was awesome. We had a lot of assets done for that demo when it was canned. I was really bummed when that one got binned.
I left the studio about 2 years ago and that was when they were making the switch to Unreal 4 and PS4, instead of Vita. It was a bit of a waste since we’d put so much time and resources into making a vita engine and then only used it on one title. But a couple other first party studios used versions of our engine and we lent them support, so it didn’t totally go to waste.
I think Unit 13 from Zipper Interactive used our engine. Don’t remember who else did though.
I think the shift to PS4 was a desperate bid to get something greenlit. When you go through so many pitches and get one after another tossed out for various reasons, you start trying anything.
Athey also expressed her point of view on why those projects were not greenlit:
I recall it was always upper management, demographic, genre saturation kinda crap. Like, ‘someone is already making a game something along those lines that would come out 5mo prior to your GM date’, or ‘we’ve had too many games of that sort that didn’t sell well enough’, or projections for that kind of blah blah blah…
Also, kind of like the complaints about Hollywood only making generic formula action hits because they make money, rather than take a risk on something different that might not make money.
Same thing exists in games, obviously.
It’s interesting to hear about projects that were pitched but never made them to the actual design table. The futuristic new IP actually sounds like an interesting open world game, but most probably we’ll never know.
Of course, despite the source, we should remember that this is not information released officially, and as such it needs to be taken with the customary grain of salt.