We think Finnish developer Housemarque has already proven it can create games on a big scale through Returnal, but it appears the team may not quite agree. Marketing director Mikael Haveri claims the studio wants to rid itself of the idea that it's just the "Resogun studio" by continuing to create bigger titles in the same vein as Selene's debut outing. Haveri says the team still loves those arcadey games it has made in the past (Dead Nation, Nex Machina, Matterfall), but now certainly seems to be the right time to go big.
Courtesy of Game Reactor, the quote reads: "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."
Mikael Haveri doesn't completely rule out the idea of Housemarque returning to the smaller style of titles it has made in the past, but for now, it really wants to grow in stature off the back of Returnal. "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."
Sales of Returnal will have a large impact on whether that happens or not, and in that field, there are reasons to be both hopeful and somewhat worried. As far as physical sales are concerned, the PS5 rogue-like got off to a slow start in the UK sales charts and has recently slipped as low as 26th place. It's doing better on the digital PS Store, however. The sales chart for April 2021 puts Returnal in third across the USA and Canada, and fourth in Europe. And that was after just one day on the market. It's not immediately obvious whether Housemarque will have the opportunity to capitalise on its ambitions to make even bigger titles, but maybe it could do so under Sony's wing as a first-party studio?