In a new Sony Interactive Entertainment blog, a wide-ranging interview was conducted with the heads of PlayStation’s London Studio, Stuart Whyte and Tara Saunders.
The interview details aspects of their creative process, what inspires them, developing games in London, and more. We highly recommend reading the full interview as it’s enlightening.
Of particular note, however, is that a few new details were shared about their next game. Here are the specifics including a teaser image that was shared.
Let’s talk about the current project that you’re working on. To whatever extent that you’re able, I’d love to hear from both of you about what it is you’re doing right now: what it looks like and what it feels like.
T: Our next project is an online co-op combat game, which as you can see here, is set in a modern fantasy London. The key thing about this is that it’s a PlayStation 5 title—it’s not a VR game like our last title was. And it’s our most ambitious project to date.
There are some important aspects communicated in this image. It’s a modern fantasy London, it’s cooperative action. And what we really love about this project is that it’s giving us an opportunity to showcase a lot of wonder and magic. So we’re really excited.
You mentioned that this project is a little different from what you’ve previously worked on at London Studios. What led you to move into not just a more magical direction, but also a different direction in terms of gameplay?
S: The original game idea resulted from an ideation process we did within the team. We created a thorough briefing document that gave high-level guidelines on the types of titles that we were looking for, but it was still very loose, and had a lot of room for creativity. Actually, it was akin to the process that Guerrilla used when they created Horizon Zero Dawn, which inspired us to use a very similar process.
So we put this process out there and over a period of months, the team came up with about 60 or so different ideas which we refined, and then refined again. Eventually we were able to finalize the decision, which is exactly what Tara just described.
There was so much variation in the many concepts we discussed, but for us it was about creating something that the team as a whole was really passionate about. We did a lot of surveys with the team about what ideas they were drawn to the most, and also which ideas the wider PlayStation Studios leadership team felt most passionate about.
We reached out to some sister studios for their input, and finally, we actually did some proper market research. We polled hundreds of gamers in the UK and the US for their feedback as well—and all of these different inputs and perspectives all culminated in the project we’re working on now.
T: We love that this one was based in London, as well. It’s our home city, and the idea of bringing fantasy into a believable, modern London world fills us with a lot of excitement.
As PlayStation drives towards broadening their portfolio and expanding their reach into live-service, we’ll continue to learn more about projects like this. London Studio’s project sounds very interesting and we’re certainly excited to see more.
In case you missed it I previously released a video looking at the future of PlayStation and where some of their studios are driving. I mentioned keeping an eye on London Studio and now you know why!