Days Gone director Jeff Ross says co-op was “one of the things that we had in our pitch” for a sequel.
If reports are to be believed, Sony’s strategy has gone through a notable change. PlayStation’s first parties are now seemingly focused exclusively on blockbuster AAA releases, with the company no longer willing to invest in smaller or more experimental games, and one of the franchises that’s suffered as a result of that change is Days Gone. It’s been reported that a sequel to Days Gone was pitched by developer SIE Bend Studio to Sony, and even though the first game had been profitable in its sales, its lukewarm critical reception led to Sony turning the pitch down.
Days Gone game director Jeff Ross – who recently left Bend Studio and is currently at Mortal Kombat studio NetherRealm – recently joined God of War and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe in a livestream for an interview. Among they many things they spoke about, Ross also commented on Days Gone 2, and while he was unable to confirm or deny several details about the development, he did share some tidbits about what Bend had planned for the game.
According to Ross, co-op was something that the developer had originally wanted to include in Days Gone 1, and though it didn’t make the cut, it was intended to be part of the sequel. As per Ross, it wouldn’t have been integrated in the main campaign, but would have been its own separate mode. A co-op experience where players build up “a clubhouse or a crew” and survive in the game’s open world was, Ross says, part of the sequel pitch that was made to Sony.
“We wanted co-op from the beginning [in Days Gone 1], but obviously you have to make concessions for what you’re not going to be able to do,” Ross said (transcribed by VGC). “It would’ve been a secondary mode if we’d have done it in the first one, or even in another one. I wouldn’t have complicated the main narrative… because that’s really what we’re good at. That was the strength of the first title, so build on that and make it better.
“But then take this world that you’ve built, and all these assets and systems, and repurpose them for some sort of similarly themed multiplayer version of this universe. So [it] would be with guys like Deacon trying to survive, building up a clubhouse or a crew. I think it would be fun to be in that world cooperatively and see what horde battles could be like.”
“It’s one of the things that we had in our pitch,” he added. “It was the idea of a shared universe with co-op play.”
According to the Bloomberg report that lifted the lid on the cancelled Days Gone sequel, SIE Bend Studio is currently working on a new IP, while also assisting Naughty Dog with a multiplayer game’s development. The report also revealed other details, such as a remake of The Last of Us being in development at Naughty Dog. Read more on that through here.