A Sony employee’s LinkedIn profile recently revealed that the company has a secretive San Diego Studio that is working to expand existing PlayStation franchises. Today, Sony teased more information on the studio and its potential projects in a job listing for a creative animator who will work on “the next chapter of cinematic storytelling.”
Details on the mysterious studio first came to light in 2018 when Sony posted a job listing for a position that would work closely with the company’s Visual Arts Service Group, a San Diego-based support team that specializes in animation and motion capture. Insiders have since speculated that the secret team was working on the next installment in the Uncharted series. The studio was highlighted again yesterday when the LinkedIn profile of Michael Mumbauer, Senior Director of Visual Arts, revealed that that the company had established a “brand new, all-star, AAA Action/Adventure development team.”
Sony further added to the speculation today when it posted a job listing for a creative animator who would join the Visual Arts team. The listing says that the team is responsible for the motion capture performances in franchises such as The Last of Us, Uncharted, and Killzone. Perhaps more interesting is the untitled project that the team is currently working on, which the listing reveals is a third-person action adventure game that will use a proprietary engine and feature complex gameplay scenarios.
The listing and the information revealed by Mumbauer’s LinkedIn page seems to confirm that there is indeed a secret studio working to expand PlayStation’s biggest IPs, but Sony has yet to officially confirm the existence of the studio. Last year Sony CEO and President Jim Ryan said that the company plans to organically develop first-party development teams, and it seems likely that secret studio is one of those teams.
The new information only adds more speculation to what existing franchise the secret studio could be working to expand. The job posting confirms that it is an action adventure game, which hints that it may very well be another installment in the Uncharted franchise. In October 2020 the studio also hired environment artists Zak Oliver, best known for his work on Uncharted and The Last of Us, lending more credence to this possibility.
Sony has an impressive line of first-party games planned to release in the next year. It is already confirmed that Guerrilla Studios is working on Horizon: Forbidden West. Santa Monica Studio is currently working on the next God of War installment, while Insomniac is finishing development on Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. There is also evidence that Sucker Punch is working on a Ghost of Tsushima -related project. Along with the secret San Diego studio, Sony will be pumping out first-party developed games for years to come.
The PlayStation 5 is a new piece of hardware, and Sony is likely to tweak and update the console to enhance its user experience. Finding out what users like, and trying out different interactive elements, is part of the process with a console like the PS5. A recently filed patent seemingly looks to add in-game notes to the experience.
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