In case you've somehow missed the big news but wound up here first, Sony has just announced its acquisition of Housemarque. The studio behind the rather excellent PlayStation 5 title Returnal is now among Sony's fleet of first party teams, meaning it'll be making games exclusively for Sony from now on. It was more or less doing that anyway, so it all makes sense.
Anyway, Housemarque co-founder Ilari Kuittinen has been speaking with GQ about the deal in a new interview. It's an interesting read overall, but one quote sticks out. Asked whether the studio's days of making smaller titles are over, Kuittinen's comments suggest things will be growing in scale. "Well, at least initially, I think we're looking into what we've done now and building upon it," he says. "Certainly Returnal is kind of a stepping stone for us. When we’re thinking about the future titles, they’ll maybe be even bigger and even more ambitious."
So, by the sound of it, Housemarque isn't going to be putting out games on the scale of Resogun or Nex Machina anymore. If the studio views Returnal as a stepping stone, we should expect any new games to be at least on the same scale. With Sony's full backing, we're super excited for Housemarque's future output.
I just wish I could get past the second boss in Returnal
Hopefully now they can grow their team and have multiple games on the go!
I mean it wouldn’t be hard to make a game bigger than Returnal. I liked it but it was very like an old NES or Mega Drive game in that it used difficulty to disguise the lack of content. I didn’t even know there were level 3 traits because there’s nothing to use them on. Definitely a game that needs end-game DLC.
@Stragen8 just be sure you’re always strafing and dashing!
I sure hope they can still make arcade games from times to time
Bigger isn't better. I'd prefer a 10 hour awesome game every two years than a 30 hour game every four or five.
maybe an online mulitplayer live service game that lacks sonys first party line up
It may not necessarily be the end of their smaller scale games. Look at Obsidian, their games are getting bigger and bigger, but then they just randomly threw out Grounded last year, which was basically made by a handful of employees.
@arra1213 That’s what Jade Raymond is working on. Plus there’s all those weird studios with the announcements that they exist from the Bungie and Treyarch lot.
What's even bigger than Returnal?
@arra1213 There's also the DEVIATION game coming up.
@nessisonett @13Kidfried ok lol thats good to hear, one more thing sony should also focus on rpg since the next 2 years xbox will be assaulting them with rpg, santa monica and sucker punch are good candidates on developing rpg
Good for them, but not earth shattering. Housemarqe and Bluepoint were close collaborators already.
@Stragen8 I wish I could get past the first boss!
@Steel76 @TuckNorris85 Actually, if memory serves, there was an interview a couple years ago with Housemarque’s lead and he basically said they have come to the conclusion that arcade games are essentially dead, that although people praise and enjoy their previous games, they just don’t sell. That’s why they basically abandoned the smaller style arcade games and developed Returnal. Perhaps with Sony’s full 1st party backing they will change their tune, but it seems they realized they needed to evolve to survive, for better or worse.
Edit: here’s a few links with the quotes:
And from their own website:
A game doesn't have to be big to make it good and Returnal shows that. I've actually sunk loads more hours into that game than I have some much bigger games just because it's been so much fun to play. What Housemarque did with it was take those elements that made the arcade games what they were and delivered them in a much more modern package. If they can carry over that gameplay into their next projects and those are even bigger in scope then I'm up for that as well.
I want 3D megaman x like shooter metroidvania with returnal gameplay, also more interesting protag 😃
@Th3solution Yes that is all true but that was also due to financial struggles of funding and selling Arcade style games and keeping people employed.
Now they've acquired by Sony they may be able to make some smaller games similar to Obisidians Grounded with a smaller team.
We're over half way through the year now, and as much as I love Ratchet & Clank, Returnal is still my GOTY so far.
Well done Housemarque!!
I wouldn't be surprised if this gives them the opportunity to revisit their multiplayer concept that I think they put on hold to make Returnal (or maybe that became Returnal?).
As long as they are not 'even harder' then I don't mind
@Stragen8 I wish i had a PS5. 🤣
I'm sure they will do good as they are a talented studio but after playing Nex Machina we just dont get games of that style anymore, certainly not of that level of polish anyway. I wish they would do smaller projects or for Sony at least to have a major studio thats focused on smaller games since not everything needs to be a sprawling 30 hour endeavor
@themightyant Yeah, I noticed that the interview was from 2017 I think. A lot has changed since then and especially today, since Sony’s full backing makes it all a different story and maybe they can go back and experiment with the arcade scene again.
It’s ironic too that at the time of the interview that the CEO said had an online multiplayer GAAS game in development: (from the article)
“That also leads us to another kind of model: games as a service, and getting more in touch with the community, before the game is even half-finished. It’s totally the opposite of what we have been doing. It’s quite exciting, and scary at the same time.”
And that appears to have (thankfully) been quickly abandoned for Returnal. It seems that in 2017 they were just tying to figure things out; a lot of talent there clearly, and just need to be focused in the right direction.
@johncalmc It is not that hard to imagine "something bigger than Returnal" as their next project could be more elaborated in multiple aspects of a game. For example: multiple characters design, consistent open world/setting design instead of random generated levels, main quest and side quests design, a good and large narrative that uses the characters and make the player feel part of that world. Think of The Witcher 3 or Horizon Zero Dawn, they are bigger games than Returnal, at least in those aspects.
@Stragen8 if you can’t get past the second boss I don’t know if you’ll even survive 10 minutes in the third biome
@theMEGAniggle my third run I made it all the way to the second boss and had such confidence. Now I can barely get anywhere in biome 2. I suck at this game lol.
@Th3solution completely agree. Reading between the lines that article is clearly from the voice of a relatively desperate man who is trying to help his studio, and all the staff, survive. Things have turned around since and with the full backing of Sony they are in a very different position.
To be clear that is not to say they will do own thing or another, simply they now have some choice. Looking forward to what they do next.
@Stragen8 if you’ve made it to the second boss before, you can go straight there from clearing the outdoors section on biome two, just keep trying. All you need is patience and timing, the second boss is a real bitch and I’m stuck in the third biome but I feel you brother
@Stragen8 @theMEGAniggle Hi there friends.
A few tips for Returnal, if I may:
Some weapons work better than others with ceertain enemies and Bosses, so keep experimenting by trying them out;
If you are still enjoying the game, than just keep at it.
It´s a super fun game, with very thight and responsive controls, very cool Biomes and a mysterious and interesting story.
You´ll get there. We all do eventualy.
Hope it helps 👍
Cheers, stay safe and happy gaming to us all
@RaZieLDaNtE happy gaming !
Tap here to load 32 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...