Bend Studio, the team responsible for PS4 open-world zombie game Days Gone, has revealed a few details about its upcoming project, alongside a studio rebranding, and call for talent. The most notable tidbit is that the upcoming game is going to include multiplayer – a first for the studio, which has primarily focussed on single-player action experiences. We assume the title will be for PS5 and eventually PC, given Sony’s recent software strategy.
In a new PlayStation Blog post which reflects on the history of the studio, Community Manager Kevin McAllister shared the following:
‘We are currently working on a new IP that includes multiplayer and builds upon the open-world systems of Days Gone, but brings you a whole new world that we are extremely excited to craft for you. We cannot wait to reveal it to you when the time is right.’
Bend Studio has previously been responsible for the long-running Syphon Filter series, before moving to build games for Sony’s portable consoles: Resistance: Retribution for the PSP, and Uncharted Golden Abyss for the PS Vita. Days Gone was its first wholly original title, released after a long gap between shipped titles, and an even longer gap between home console projects.
Days Gone was an impressive technical feat for the PS4, and was later given a PS5 upgrade and PC release. It also sold well commercially. However, it didn’t quite reach the level of critical acclaim that first-party PlayStation Studios titles usually receive. It’s reported that plans for a sequel were shelved, quashing many of the ambitions of the studio, according to a USA Today interview with director Jeff Ross.
Bloomberg also reported in 2021 that much of Bend Studio’s team was relegated to assist other Sony studios on blockbuster projects – including a multiplayer game from Uncharted and The Last of Us studio Naughty Dog.
Hopefully, this studio identity refresh marks a new lease on life for Bend Studio, and a fresh new project for it to focus its growing ambitions on. Days Gone felt very much like a bold first step back into the home console space for the studio, and there’s lots it can improve with a second chance.
Bend Studio is currently recruiting for a number of roles, including many remote roles.