Days Gone 2 Pitch Rejected By Sony in 2019

Days Gone 2 Pitch Rejected By Sony in 2019

Written by on | OpenCritic

It sounds like Days Gone fans won't be riding the Broken Road for the foreseeable future.  A new report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier says Sony's hyperfocus on only its biggest and best-received games is leading some, like top talent at Sony Bend, to exit the PlayStation Studios structure.

"Oregon-based Sony Bend, best known for the 2019 open-world action game Days Gone, tried unsuccessfully to pitch a sequel that year, according to people familiar with the proposal," said Schreier. "Although the first game had been profitable, its development had been lengthy and critical reception was mixed, so a Days Gone 2 wasn’t seen as a viable option." Days Gone averaged a "Fair" 71 on OpenCritic, still putting it higher than some recent Xbox hits such as Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2, but not in the same universe as games like God of War  (95) or Horizon: Zero Dawn (89).

Instead, Sony assigned one team at the studio to help Naughty Dog with a multiplayer game, while another was tasked with creating the next Uncharted, which would be supervised by the IP's creator, Naughty Dog. Those decisions disappointed some of Sony Bend's leadership and is alleged to be partly why the team has lost some of those folks at the top in the last year. Most recently, the team still at Sony Bend requested to be moved off of the Uncharted project, which Sony is said to have obliged. The team is now working on a new game, though no details on what that is were shared.

Schreier's reporting always seems reliable, but for that reason, it also seems like it comes from a bizarro world where Microsoft didn't suffer from this same top-heavy approach for the better part of the last 15 years. For a long time, players and journalists criticized Microsoft's three-pronged first-party view - Halo/Forza/Gears - which lacked variety or the excitement of new experiences, hurting the Xbox's first-party reputation for a long time. It's a reputation Microsoft has sought to rebuild to the price of billions, buying up well-regarded teams such as Ninja Theory, Bethesda, and Double Fine, while growing its first-party team to more than 20 diverse studios today. Sony's apparent focus on only its biggest games, such as The Last of Us, Uncharted, and God of War feels like a play from the wrong playbook, and Schreier says it's alienating some well-respected talent across the brand.

With a full remake of The Last of Us now reportedly in the works at Naughty Dog, likely to coincide with the HBO series, it seems even a beloved game less than a decade old is riper for a big budget than something new and unseen in Sony's collective eyes. This is surely a years-long story, but it will be fascinating along the way to see how this reshapes the console market as Sony banks on perhaps fewer but more secure games.

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