Exclusive: Sony Bend Studio’s Next Project Is An Open World Action Game With Next-Gen Lighting
After the departure of the two senior developers at Sony Bend Studio, Twisted Voxel decided to take a look at the state of the next project at Sony Bend Studio.
The news that two of the lead senior developers have left Sony Bend Studio might have led to the misunderstanding that trouble is brewing at the studio, but this is not the case. The studio is working on its next unannounced project, which is going to be a high-profile AAA budget game just like Days Gone.
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We previously broke the news about Sony Bend Studio working on a new project that would target “Cinematic-Quality” Facial Animation, 3D Audio, and possible online multiplayer, and now we have uncovered some more information after digging around.
First, from what we can gather, work on the project begin immediately after the launch of Days Gone back in April 2019. This is based on the Linkedin profile of various Sony Bend Studio employees as seen below.
One of the Senior Staff Technical Artist, James Sathre mentions integrating Shotgun-Jira in their development pipeline and working on next-generation lighting workflow tools. This started back in June 2019.
Shotgun-Jira integration, for those who are not aware, was announced back in March 2019. According to the official blog, this helps “connect game development art and engineering workflows to foster better collaboration, communication and faster iteration.”
The idea that this is not something related to Days Gone but a new unannounced project that started in 2019 is clear if we take a look at the profiles of one of the programmers, Silas Baker, at Sony Bend Studio who mentions working on a new project in September 2019.
As for the game being open world, Sony Bend Studio has apparently assigned a senior lead designer, Ron Allen, to work specifically on the Open World and Mission Design for their new project. Again, the timeline of his new project seems to align with the release of Days Gone in 2019.
This brings us to the two new job openings at Sony Bend Studio. One is for an animation intern to “help create gameplay and narrative animated sequences for an action title, utilizing motion capture and hand keyed animation.”
The other job opening is for a Lead FX artist that asks for experience in Unreal Engine development. Keep in mind that Days Gone runs on Unreal Engine so there is a good chance that this new project by Sony Bend Studio will use the same engine for their next project.
We are not sure if this is a Days Gone sequel or a new IP. One of the lead devs, Jeff Ross, who left the studio recently, did imply it could be a sequel to Days Gone but there is no way to know for now.