‘That series is dead.’
Sony Bend released the excellent Syphon Filter games on the PSP, as well as the great Resistance: Retribution. They followed up on all of this with Uncharted: Golden Abyss, one of the standout launch titles for the PlayStation Vita that remains the system’s highest selling game to this day. They were widely expected to follow up on this success with another PlayStation Vita game, but that never happened. An ex-employee, verified to be former Sony Bend artist Athey Moravetz, spoke on Reddit about why the studio has been missing in action for the last four years.
“It was going to be another Uncharted game but naughty dog (sic) was worried about franchise burnout with so many games coming out so close together, so they nixed it,” she said. “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 (sic) 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 (sic) 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,” she said, finishing somberly.
As for the PS4 game? What about this PS4 game? Is it at least something that everyone can get behind and be excited about? Like, for instance, a brand new Syphon Filter? As for that, well, don’t hold your breath. Spoilers follow for the Syphon Filter series.
“Hah. No. Don’t hold your breath on that one. Source: worked at Sony Bend for 8 yrs,” she said, shooting down any hopes of that game, before elaborating.
“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.”
Spoilers end here.
Okay, so what exactly is this new PS4 game, then?
“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,” she added. “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.”
It sounds like the studio is a mess, and honestly, it doesn’t sound like their new game is going to turn out too well- she doesn’t sound too hot on it. For some reason, I am getting big The Order/Sony Santa Monica vibes here- I can only hope the studio survives all of this unscathed.