Why PlayStation London Studio is leaving VR to create a fantasy online combat game

jm89

Member

PlayStation's London Studio has always been one of Sony's most experimental teams

From SingStar to EyeToy, Wonderbook to PlayStation Home, and most recently VR, London Studio has a reputation for working with and often defining new technologies.

Not all those projects succeeded, but the ones that did would go on to inspire the entire industry.

Today, London Studio has announced its next game: a currently untitled online co-op combat game set in a fantasy London. There's no plastic microphone or VR headset in sight. It's certainly unique for the company, but it's hardly the leap into the unknown that it is famous for.

"We are proud of the history and innovation that we've done over the years, supporting all sorts of PlayStation technology, whether that's VR, or AR, or microphones, or whatever," says co-studio head Stuart Whyte.

"With this project, we really wanted to explore some new avenues and set ourselves some new challenges. We definitely wanted to try something a little bit different, and I think this new project really channels our 'brave' value and allows us to push ourselves on the 'curious' front, too. It's an exciting future, it really is."

Whyte is referencing the developer's key values of 'brave', 'team-spirited', 'empowered', 'inclusivity', 'curious' and 'balance'. They're values that are not a million miles from the ones that Team Asobi – a PlayStation developer led by former London Studio alumni Nicolas Doucet – told us about in August. One of Asobi's values was 'innovation', which is a word that could have previously been associated with London Studio. And Whyte insists that innovation remains in the DNA of the team.
 

Bojanglez

The Amiga Brotherhood
Singstar, EyeToy, Wonderbook and PS Home.

I will never understand how these guys escaped the axe from Jim Ryan but Japan Studios couldn't. Best of luck to them though. Definitely sounds like this might be their last chance to try something new and potentially more commercially viable.
Pretty sure Singstar (maybe EyeToy as well) were very successful, at least in Europe.
 

tmlDan

Member
im really intrigued by the image tease of their game , looks right up my alley tbh

 

TheTony316

Member
Singstar, EyeToy, Wonderbook and PS Home.

I will never understand how these guys escaped the axe from Jim Ryan but Japan Studios couldn't. Best of luck to them though. Definitely sounds like this might be their last chance to try something new and potentially more commercially viable.

Because Singstar and Eye Toy were more successful than anything Japan Studio has ever produced.
 
Singstar, EyeToy, Wonderbook and PS Home.

I will never understand how these guys escaped the axe from Jim Ryan but Japan Studios couldn't. Best of luck to them though. Definitely sounds like this might be their last chance to try something new and potentially more commercially viable.
From your list i see 3 hits and one flop. Sounds great in my opinion. Why would they close?

Also I won’t allow any PS Home draggings in here. That thing was way ahead of its time and i say this in the best way possible. :messenger_weary:
 
From your list i see 3 hits and one flop. Sounds great in my opinion. Why would they close?

Also I won’t allow any PS Home draggings in here. That thing was way ahead of its time and i say this in the best way possible. :messenger_weary:

Yeah, pllus Getaway and Blood & Truth. Theres no way Sony would axe one of their most diverse studios in a big gaming dev hub like London. They can still do VR projects

It’s ok sometimes for people to just say they don’t know something and ask questions.
 
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CamHostage

Member
Pretty sure Singstar (maybe EyeToy as well) were very successful, at least in Europe.

Massively successful. The brands eventually all fell off (which is kind of sad IMO; the Party and Family and Novelty Accessory game genre has for some reason gone away, in some cases for good reason but there was great stuff in the mix too back when that stuff was popular,) however Singstar was still continuing support and song additions until 2020. Singstar moved 20 million units in its first 5 years.

Sony London Studio also does a lot of work behind the scenes for PlayStation, and they're leaders/incubators of a lot of the physical tech projects Sony releases. EyeToy/PlayStation Eye was theirs (they also made many of the best PS Eye games.) They were also a primary studio in developing PlayStation VR (which also led to a lot of game support too, including the launch PlayStation VR Worlds app plus internally-developed as well as contracted games.) I believe PlayStation Classic was theirs (I'm not sure if the 50Hz ISOs included was due to UK's build or licensing efficiency, or possibly both?) and the PlayStation 1 emulator was I believe also theirs (which somehow led to the same game issues, unfortunately.) They're even involved in PlayStation hardware UI design/development (the PS4/5 interface might even be entirely theirs? PS3's XMB was Japanese but I seem to remember London doing the replacement Orbis OS?)

London Studio has been integral to the PlayStation experience for decades, whether or not people buy the games they make. That said, their bankable franchises have dried up, and it's been a long while since they've done a "non-novelty game" (no offense intended in lumping their VR games into their Novelty Accessory release streak; whatever your opinion is of PS camera projects or VR is, the lineage between PS Eye and PS VR is clear,) so it'd be nice if they came up with a hit.
 
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CamHostage

Member
BTW... weird that they'd just announce a game like this. "Hi, you want to tour our studio and interview a couple of us for the corporate blog which mainly posts about ASPCA pet charity or workplace inclusion programs? Sure, why don't we unveil first details of our game while we're at it..."

Bizarre moment we're in right now where Sony doesn't hold a 2022 showcase, stuff just gets known about one way or another.
 
im slightly more ok with these service games if they have good PVE and story elements tied to them. I’m sure sony are gonna use their strength in single player and big set pieces to set the standard for their multiplayer stuff. I also assume they will be using them in other media as well so it makes sense for them to have their own unique identities.

I think i had a whiff of dread thinking sony were gonna try and recreate their ps3 multiplayer line up with a bunch of drab military shooters again.

Also, i know a lot of peopel think a lot of these games will ‘fail’ but the hardcore enthusiast market of gaming pundits are usually pretty off the mark with these type of things. Games can be successful without being Apex, PUBG or Fortnite level successes. Stuff like Fall Guys, Rocket League, Sea of Thieves, fallout76, Among Us, are still fairly popular even if they aren’t the center of conversation. If this game can average like 4-6 million a day on a steam and another 2-3 million on playstation thats really good.

I think a lot of sonys multiplayer games will find success in that realm, with maybe a couple being more explosive like Bungies new game or Factions.
BTW... weird that they'd just announce a game like this. "Hi, you want to tour our studio and interview a couple of us for the corporate blog which mainly posts about ASPCA pet charity or workplace inclusion programs? Sure, why don't we unveil first details of our game while we're at it..."

Bizarre moment we're in right now where Sony doesn't hold a 2022 showcase, stuff just gets known about one way or another.

They’ve been doing it a lot. They did it for Team Asobi and Bend studio also….they are doing it for hiring purposes, talk about the studio culture, talk about the projects they’re working on, and the city they’re located in.
 
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tmlDan

Member
They’ve been doing it a lot. They did it for Team Asobi and Bend studio also….they are doing it for hiring purposes, talk about the studio culture, talk about the projects they’re working on, and the city they’re located in.
Honestly, I think its better than a CG trailer at a conference which insinuates to consumers that the game is coming relatively soon.
 
Honestly, I think its better than a CG trailer at a conference which insinuates to consumers that the game is coming relatively soon.

Yeah, the logo/cg trailers are the equivalent t to gaming blue balls. Look how long ago elder scrolls 6 or Metroid Prime 4 was announced already. They can reintroduce us to this game with an official name reveal and gameplay when its ready
 
BTW... weird that they'd just announce a game like this. "Hi, you want to tour our studio and interview a couple of us for the corporate blog which mainly posts about ASPCA pet charity or workplace inclusion programs? Sure, why don't we unveil first details of our game while we're at it..."

Bizarre moment we're in right now where Sony doesn't hold a 2022 showcase, stuff just gets known about one way or another.
Why would this show up at a conference?
"Hey, here's a game with no title or anything...but here, take a look at this concept art"
 

CamHostage

Member
Why would this show up at a conference?
"Hey, here's a game with no title or anything...but here, take a look at this concept art"

It wouldn't. These days, you most often wouldn't announce a game until you've got a teaser/trailer. (TLoU Factions is a relatively rare case, because it's so danged late and has been leaked or mentioned so many times over the years.)

They’ve been doing it a lot. They did it for Team Asobi and Bend studio also….they are doing it for hiring purposes, talk about the studio culture, talk about the projects they’re working on, and the city they’re located in.

Sort of. There's been some of this social buzz approach to marketing the actual studios. Sony's done it here and there, EA's done it a few times, probably there are other cases not coming to mind. (And Jade Raymond and Ember Labs got public studio project announcements, instead of that info just being quietly confirmed in industry reports and not mentioned in public to gamers until a big unveiling of the actual game.) Studios have been showing themselves seeding the fields since timelines are so long, but it's uncommon where they show the buds before they flower.

It's still unusual to come right out and confirm the title and show a graphic of it so early (assuming it's early.) This is sort of their "20th Anniversary" London Studio profile blog, so there's that too I guess.

Still, the general PR strategy these days is later-is-better, and that the product should have a total package ready when interest is focused upon it. (Some games even stealth launch.) But those strategies don't always work either, so I guess it makes sense that big corporations are giving their units a bit of latitude in how and when to expose their projects.
 
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Fbh

Member
Could be fun, the concept art is interesting.
A shame it's probably going to be modern coop (a.k.a play the same missions over and over to grind for loot) instead of just a fun 10-15 campaign to play through.
 
I would be STUNNED if PS Home didn't return and if it wasn't supported by PS VR2.

Sony already had its metaverse and I wouldn't be stunned if Sony brings back Phil Harrison to lead it and their streaming efforts.
 
Singstar, EyeToy, Wonderbook and PS Home.

I will never understand how these guys escaped the axe from Jim Ryan but Japan Studios couldn't. Best of luck to them though. Definitely sounds like this might be their last chance to try something new and potentially more commercially viable.
This does this thread hype up StudioJapan, as if they didn’t produce failure upon failure.

They literally escaped the axe for a decade.

They didn’t even get axed. Now they have a french dude (after leading the only successful micro-studio that was under japanstudio) making “Nintendo”-like titles in a efficient matter. And the support group within studiojapan got renamed Xdev Japan.
 

ParaSeoul

Member
Singstar, EyeToy, Wonderbook and PS Home.

I will never understand how these guys escaped the axe from Jim Ryan but Japan Studios couldn't. Best of luck to them though. Definitely sounds like this might be their last chance to try something new and potentially more commercially viable.
Japan Studio couldn't meet deadlines iirc
 

EDMIX

Member
Singstar, EyeToy, Wonderbook and PS Home.

I will never understand how these guys escaped the axe from Jim Ryan but Japan Studios couldn't. Best of luck to them though. Definitely sounds like this might be their last chance to try something new and potentially more commercially viable.
it might be because those concepts were to support certain hardware applications...mic, eye toy, move, vr etc. They are experimental so risk is moot, they are known to be doing something that is risky and it not working out can't really be the fault of the developer solely as clearly their task was to make some title using new hardware.

So unlikely they'd be axed for any of that as I'm sure they are given much more leeway them most teams.

So Japan Studio wasn't just solely on some VR thing as some excuse. They had lots of issues and the cost for some of those titles doesn't make sense to delay, after delay etc. Consider Sony literally fucking has other studios in Japan that are actually growing and hiring more.
 
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This does this thread hype up StudioJapan, as if they didn’t produce failure upon failure.

They literally escaped the axe for a decade.

They didn’t even get axed. Now they have a french dude (after leading the only successful micro-studio that was under japanstudio) making “Nintendo”-like titles in a efficient matter. And the support group within studiojapan got renamed Xdev Japan.

Lol right.

If people wanted Japan Studio games they would have bought them. I dont think any of their game even sold half a million copies last gen
 
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