The Bloomberg Report
The ever-popular Jason Schreier has once again delved into the world of game development in his latest Bloomberg Business article about Sony's "fixation on teams that churn out hits".
There's a lot to unpack in his report, but one interesting segment of it is the fact that Bend Studios' Days Gone doesn't look like it will be getting a sequel.
This is despite efforts from the developers to pitch Days Gone 2 to Sony.
" Oregon-based Sony Bend, best known for the 2019 open-world action game Days Gone, tried unsuccessfully to pitch a sequel that year, according to people familiar with the proposal. Although the first game had been profitable, its development had been lengthy and critical reception was mixed, so a Days Gone 2 wasn’t seen as a viable option."
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It seems as though, to put it bluntly, that Sony doesn't want to take as many risks anymore. Schreier goes on to discuss how a team from Bend Studios were working with Naughty Dog for a time, but this was an unpopular decision that led to a few staff leaving the studio.
Days Gone's Reception
We can see where Sony is coming from though, in a way. Initially, Days Gone received pretty mixed results and it sits at 71 on Metacritic.
A lot of the critics criticised the lack of development, on the whole, from most aspects of the game. The gameplay and world design were solid, but many felt they were underused with a flat narrative and poor character development.
At least everyone liked Sam Witwer's performance as Deacon St. John, though, right?
Perhaps that was the only reason it sold so well. As Bloomberg reports, it was a profitable game and it holds the 7th-highest debut in sales for a Sony-published title.
When you consider that this is a single-player IP, 7th isn't actually that bad? It won PlayStation Game of the Year and Best Storytelling at the Golden Joystick Awards in 2019. However, it seems that all of these positives don't outweigh the negatives.
Days Gone has recently seen a resurgence in popularity, being included in the PS Plus Collection, and PS Now, with an optimised release for PS5 consoles and now being a PS Plus title for April 2021. Could this be enough to sway Sony back?