Though Sony’s first party efforts have always been admirable, they really came into their own during the PS4 generation, to the extent that now, the exclusive games put out by PlayStation Studios are without a doubt the biggest reason to own a PlayStation console. It’s always exciting to take a look at the Sony first party as a whole and talk about what they’ve got up their sleeves, and here, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing, as we round up all the first party PlayStation games that are currently confirmed or rumoured to be in development. Sony apparently currently has over 25 games in development, over half of which are supposed to be new IPs. Clearly, there’s plenty to look forward to.
The next big PlayStation exclusive we’re going to play is Horizon Forbidden West, and there’s no shortage of people who’re waiting with bated breath for this one. Guerrilla Games surprised the industry at large with Zero Dawn, a game so completely different from the sort of stuff they’d been known for and yet somehow so confidently spectacular- so of course, a sequel that promises major improvements is an exciting prospect. Beyond that, it’s recently come to light that the studio has been working on a secret unannounced project for over three years now as well, being directed by Simon Larouche, who was game director on Rainbow Six Siege, and during a previous stint at Guerrilla years ago, was heavily involved in Killzone 2’s multiplayer as well. Given Larouche’s history, it might be safe to assume that this new game is going to be multiplayer-focused, while hopeful fans have their fingers crossed for a Killzone revival. Then again, Guerrilla retired the official Killzone website earlier this year, so maybe it’s not Killzone after all.
SIE SANTA MONICA STUDIO
SIE Santa Monica is, of course, hard at work on God of War: Ragnarok – or whatever they end up actually calling the game – which is supposedly due out some time in 2022. Rumours have suggested that we’ll be seeing gameplay footage soon, so there’s definitely plenty for the God of War faithful to look forward to. Interestingly enough, the developer has other irons in the fire as well. God of War as a whole is, of course, their magnum opus, but job listings spotted over the last few months have suggested that SIE Santa Monica is developing a new IP as well. Very little is known about it right now, but it’s likely that it’s going to have a fantasy setting.
Polyphony Digital drew the ire of quite a few fans with the direction they took with Gran Turismo Sport, and even though the racing sim surely recovered from a less than stellar launch to become a genuinely good game over time, it’s still a little surprising that it’s been nearly a decade since the last traditional mainline GT game came out. Thankfully, the developer is currently working on Gran Turismo 7, which is promising to deliver more of what the series has always been known for. In the works for PS5 and PS4, Gran Turismo 7 is currently slated for a 2022 launch.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call Naughty Dog Sony’s biggest and most valuable studio. The Last of Us Part 2 is barely a year old at this point, and though there’s no official word on what the developer is working on next, there’s plenty of leaks and speculation. There is, of course, a standalone multiplayer game that is almost definitely The Last of Us: Factions. On top of that, leaks have claimed that a full remake of the original The Last of Us is also in the works for the PS5. Beyond that? Well, that’s anyone’s best guess. Last year, Neil Druckmann said that Naughty Dog could move on to either a third Last of Us game or a new IP following Part 2’s launch, and honestly, either one of those would be an exciting prospect.
Insomniac Games is Sony’s workhorse studio, and a rare example of a developer excelling with both quality and quantity in terms of output. With Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, they’ve put out four excellent products in the space of less than three years- and it’s unlikely that they’re going to slow down any time soon. They are, of course, working on the unannounced but inevitable Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, while recent job ads have suggested that they also have a a multiplayer projects in the works. Meanwhile, there are many who’re hoping for a Sunset Overdrive revival, and with game director Drew Murray recently having rejoined Insomniac and creative director Marcus Smith saying that he would love to go back to the IP, perhaps there’s hope for a new Sunset Overdrive game down the line after all.
Much like Guerrilla Games did with Horizon Zero Dawn, Sucker Punch hit the big time with last year’s Ghost of Tsushima, a game that enjoyed far greater critical and commercial success than even Sony could have imagined. With a Ghost of Tsushima film adaptation in the works, Sony obviously wants to keep investing in the IP, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that a sequel is being made. Before that, however, in less than two months, Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is also releasing for PS5 and PS4, which, on top of all the technical enhancements you’d expect, will also be adding a full-fledged Iki Island expansion to the game to bridge the gap between the first game and its sequel.
SIE BEND STUDIO
SIE Bend Studio’s inner workings have been fascinating to see these last few months. A pitch for Days Gone 2 was apparently rejected by Sony, following which they were tasked with developing a new Uncharted game under Naughty Dog’s own supervision. At Bend’s own behest, however, that project was shut down as well, and as Sony recently confirmed, the studio recently started working on a new open world IP. Very little is known about the game right now, and it’s probably in early development, but job ads do suggest that it’s going to have some sort of a multiplayer component. Regardless, it’s probably going to be a while before we hear much about it.
SIE LONDON STUDIO
SIE London Studio may not have the sort of pedigree that the likes of Naughty Dog or Guerrilla Games do, but if their VR-exclusive shooter Blood and Truth was any indication, they’re definitely worth keeping an eye on. While not much is known about their next game right now, some details have still emerged over the last few months. Apparently, the PS5 game is going to be a brand new IP, and it’s going to have some sort of a multiplayer component. Given the fact that the studio has previously said it wants to keep investing in VR, it might be safe to assume that they’re working on a game for the upcoming PSVR 2, or whatever that new headset will be called. Meanwhile, SIE London Studio itself seems to be very excited about the game’s potential, saying that it’s going to “show the exciting potential” of the PS5.
SIE SAN DIEGO STUDIO
Well, this one is sort of obvious. SIE San Diego Studio has been focused exclusively on yearly MLB The Show games for a long, long time (barring a few non-baseball releases here and there), so it wouldn’t exactly take a genius to figure out what they’re working on next. It’s MLB. They’re working on MLB The Show 22. It won’t be announced for a few months, but it obviously is being developed right now. This year’s game was a major landmark for series, being the first multiplatform title in the series (and a PlayStation game that was not only published on Xbox, but was also available on Game Pass at launch), so it should be interesting to see how they improve things even further with next year’s game.
PixelOpus is one of PlayStation’s smaller, less high profile studios, but as anyone who’s played Concrete Genie will tell you, they definitely deserve your attention. So what are they working on next? Well, there’s been no official announcement so far, but job ads have confirmed that a new PS5 game is currently in the works at PixelOpus, and that they’re working on it in collaboration with Sony Pictures Animation- which might tell us something about what kind of a game to expect. Additionally, it’s also been confirmed that this new game, whatever it ends up being, is going to be built on Unreal Engine 5.
The newest addition to the PlayStation Studios family, Housemarque has always been an excellent developer, having put out beloved games such as Resogun, Super Stardust HD, and Nex Machina, but with Returnal, they announced themselves to the world as a major AAA force to be reckoned with. Given the fact that Returnal only just launched, we obviously don’t know much about what the studio has planned for the future. They have, however, said that they want to keep making AAA games, while recently, they also said that their next game is probably going to be even bigger than Returnal was- which makes sense, of course. Returnal was an excellent first foray into AAA development, so we’re excited to see what Housemarque does with whatever it’s working on next.
Media Molecule really just loves down its own thing- while PlayStation’s other first party studios love their sad dad games and cinematic story-focused adventure, Media Molecule is all about stuffing its experiences full of charm, creativity, and ingenuity. Dreams is the perfect example of that- but what else have they got going on? Well, it’s hard to be sure at this point. There’s been no indication that they’ve got something new in the works, while obviously, they intend to keep supporting Dreams for a long time to come. Does that mean that’s all they’re going to be focused on for the foreseeable future? Who knows. Let’s hope not- a new Media Molecule game is always cause for celebration.
The death of SIE Japan Studio definitely hurts- from Gravity Rush to Shadow of the Colossus to collaborative efforts like Demon’s Souls and BloodBorne, they made some of the best and most memorable games from across PlayStation history. But PlayStation Japan isn’t completely gone- there’s Team Asobi now, the studio that made Astro Bot Rescue Mission and Astro’s Playroom, both of which were absolutely excellent games. Clearly, Sony plans to keep investing in the Astro Bot IP, and the studio itself has talked about the future of Astro in the past as well. Recently, it was confirmed that they’re working on a game for audiences of all ages, which definitely sounds like more Astro– and more Astro is always a good thing.
Sony has got plenty of deals in place with external non-PlayStation studios for first party published PlayStation-exclusive games as well. For starters, there’s Death Stranding Director’s Cut for the PS5, which we don’t know much about, but could prove to be an interesting expansion of the game. Beyond that, there’s whatever’s being developed by Haven Studios, a team formed by former Ubisoft veteran Jade Raymond. That game is going to have multiplayer and live service elements, apparently, but not much else is know about it. Then there’s Firewalk Studios, a new indie team comprised of developers who’ve previously worked on the likes of Mass Effect, Halo, Destiny, Call of Duty, and Apex Legends, who’re also working on a new original IP for PlayStation. Looking at that list of games, it might be safe to assume that it’s going to be a shooter of some sort, but it’s too early to say anything right now. Finally, there’s Deviation Games, formed by former Treyarch and Call of Duty veterans, who are working on a brand new AAA IP, which allegedly has “innovation” at its heart. That’s pretty much the only thing we know about it right now, but we’re definitely curious to learn more.