Housemarque was one of the many teams Sony has picked up in its recent acquisition spree, likely due to the critical success of its PlayStation 5 game Returnal. It was already the studio’s biggest project and now Housemarque can “go even wilder” because of the stability and backing Sony can now provide.
Senior Narrative Designer Eevi Korhonen spoke about this in an interview with Video Games Chronicle. Korhonen had previously told the outlet that she wanted the developer to further explore narrative and gave an update in this most recent interview, stating that Sony’s money and support will help facilitate that growth.
“We grew so much as a team,” she said. “We didn’t quite know what Returnal was going to be when we started building it. Now that we have figured it out and that the formula worked so well, we’re looking at what’s next. Now that we’ve been bought by Sony, we have a runway to go even wilder, with all that financial backing and stability.”
She didn’t elaborate on what Housemarque’s mysterious next game would be. However, it won’t be a Returnal sequel, as Housemarque CEO and Co-Founder Ilari Kuittinen told VentureBeat that the studio is working on a new IP and said they will “see what comes with that.” Game Director Harry Krueger said the studio is “trying to hold on to [its] identity,” so this title will likely be some sort of arcadey game at its core. Korhonen didn’t rule out returning to Selene’s story in future, though.
Korhonen also told VGC that Returnal was so ambitious game that Housemarque had to cut some things out in order to ship it. However, those ideas might not be truly dead and that the team will be able to “get to start off stronger” because of how it grew making Returnal.
“Returnal was so ambitious,” said Korhonen. “We dreamt super big, but we still had to leave so much on the cutting room floor. All of these ideas and narrative systems. I’m super excited to pick up those pieces and see how those fit our new IP story.”
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