This week Ghost of Tsushima hit a major milestone, having sold 8 million units, and an event that was met with lots of praise across the industry and especially with Sony and other studios in the PlayStation family. Where this news hit a sour note was with Days Gone Developer Bend Studio, or at least one person therein.
According to studio Director Jeff Ross, Days Gone hit 8 million in sales but was treated more like a burden as opposed to being celebrated in the way Ghost of Tsushima has been. It was later clarified that this number was not based on sales and instead was through trophy data collected, meaning that most likely his number was high, but last year we learned that in part he had a right to be upset. A sequel to the game was pitched earlier only to be rejected and despite the game performing well, Sony felt it was too expensive, with too little a return for a new IP to warrant more games.
Unfortunately, this led Bend Studio to a bit of a dilemma, as they did not have a clear direction as to what their next project would be. Thanks to a video chat between Ross and Twisted Metal developer David Jaffe, we now have some more clarity about what the team’s plans were following that, and they revolved around reviving the Insomniac Games franchise Resistance.
The plan was to create a new game in the Resistance franchise, with the catch being that this one was going to be open-world. According to Ross:
The pitch I was making was: ‘open-world Resistance would be f-ing rad’. [We had] all these open world loops that we figured out. It almost wrote itself with Resistance, there’s so many aspects of that property that lends itself to open-world gameplay. But they weren’t interested in that either, and I don’t know how well it sold. They were interested in almost anything except for a Days Gone 2.
With the success of Halo Infinite, which took their formula and made it open-world, for Microsoft it is possible Sony will rethink either Resistance or even Killzone as an open-world game in the future. At present, however, they do not seem interested in it. It should also be noted that Days Gone 2 was pitched in a period where Sony was heavily reducing studios to focus on a few triple-A games, see the closure of Japan Studio.
Bend Studio is currently developing a new IP so it is possible one of their pitches got through. The rumor currently is that their IP is based on the Men in Black film franchise, though it is unclear at this time if that is accurate. They are also helping with the long-awaited Naughty Dog multiplayer game, believed to be an expanded Last of Us II factions mode.