For Housemarque, Returnal serves as some kind of catharsis. The developer famously proclaimed the death of the arcade genre after titles like Nex Machina and Matterfall failed to generate any real sales buzz. It also briefly veered into developing a battle royale title with Stormdivers (which was subsequently put on hold for developing Returnal).
But after the positive reception to Returnal, the studio feels that it’s more than just a “Resogun-studio.” Marketing director Mikael Haveri spoke a bit about the future to GameReactor, noting that, “Yes, we’ve been working on two projects previously, and now with Returnal we have of course only one project. It’s hard to say if we will continue with one or two projects in the future, but the idea of us now being able to establish ourselves with Returnal will be defining the future type of titles we want to make.
“The idea is that we now want to show we’re not just a ‘Resogun-studio.’ We can do all kinds of things, and from our studio’s perspective that means that we want to go for these bigger types of experiences. Now, we still love arcade. We still love smaller games as well. Who knows? Maybe 26 years in the future we’ll do more of that as well. But that really depends on how successful we are able to build ourselves with the types of experiences that Returnal now is representing.”
This doesn’t necessarily have to mean a sequel or another rogue-lite, though Housemarque has expressed interest in developing additional content and updates for Returnal. And though it hasn’t completely sworn off smaller budget games, we can likely expect its next big title to have higher production values. Time will tell though so stay tuned for more details.
Returnal is currently available for PS5. Check out our official review for it here.