Sony’s veritable army of developers are working on a new slate of games for the PlayStation 5.
The PlayStation 4 generation was an interesting one for Sony Worldwide Studios. It saw internal teams double down on blockbuster, cinematic games while also retaining experimentation from the smaller groups. U.K. developers at Evolution Studios and Guerrilla Cambridge were shut down, while Insomniac Games — longtime associate and partner of PlayStation — was finally acquired.
With a new generation comes new games. This is a list of everything we know Sony Worldwide Studios is currently working on, or are at least fairly certain to be developing for the PlayStation 5.
- SIE Bend Studio
- Guerrilla Games
- Insomniac Games
- SIE Japan Studio
- SIE London Studio
- Manchester Studio
- Media Molecule
- Naughty Dog
- Polyphony Digital
- SIE San Diego Studio
- SIE San Mateo Studio
- SIE Santa Monica Studio
- Sucker Punch Productions
- SIE XDev Europe
What is SIE Bend Studio working on?
SIE Bend Studio is located in Bend, Oregon. Acquired by Sony in 2000, the studio has worked on games like the Syphon Filter series, Uncharted: Golden Abyss, and Days Gone. Over the course of several years developing Days Gone, Bend Studio has grown to over 130 developers.
In April 2019, Bend Studio shipped Days Gone, a game about bikers surviving the apocalypse while hordes of mutants called Freakers roam the highways. While Days Gone wasn’t a hit with critics, it did sell well, staying in the top 10 games sold in North America for several months, per NPD charts. Given this success, it’s extremely likely that Bend is now working on a follow-up, though it will probably be some time before we see an announcement.
One of the game directors, Jeff Ross, has told fans to “stay tuned” and wait for more information.
What is ForwardWorks working on?
ForwardWorks, established by Sony in 2016, develops mobile games in Japan. Some of these draw on PlayStation games, like Everybody’s Golf.
Unless something changes, it’s unlikely ForwardWorks will be developing any games that hit PlayStation 5, or will even be available in countries outside of Asia.
What is Guerrilla Games working on?
Guerrilla Games, based in Amsterdam and acquired by Sony in 2005, has been responsible for the development of the Killzone games and Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla also maintains and improves the Decima engine and has grown to over 300 staff.
Horizon Zero Dawn released in February 2017, with The Frozen Wilds expansion coming a few months later. Horizon Zero Dawn was well-received critically and has sold over 10 million copies (and we called it one of our games of the decade). Job listings indicate that work is taking place on another project in that game’s universe. Combined with the success Horizon Zero Dawn has seen, a PlayStation 5 sequel is overwhelmingly likely.
In 2019, Guerrilla also hired Simon Larouche, who previously directed Rainbow Six Siege. At the time, Guerrilla also had job listings asking for multiplayer experience. The studio could be working on a new Killzone game, or another multiplayer shooter in addition to the Horizon Zero Dawn series.
What is Insomniac Games working on?
With a main office in Burbank, Calif. and a satellite studio in Durham, N.C., Insomniac Games has worked with Sony for over two decades on many classic games like Spyro, Ratchet and Clank, Resistance and as of late, Marvel’s Spider-Man. It was finally acquired in Aug. 2019.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is, quite frankly, one of the most successful PlayStation exclusives of all time, having sold over 13 million copies since release in Sept. 2018. It’s safe to say it’s now hard at work on Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Since it has so many other successful IPs under its belt, it wouldn’t shock us if sequels to any of them were also in the works.
What is SIE Japan Studio working on?
Founded in 1993 by Sony in Tokyo, this studio, which is composed of several different teams, has worked on myriad titles in multiple genres. One major success story was this studio’s collaboration with FromSoftware on Bloodborne. As of late, Japan Studio released Astro Bot Rescue Mission on PlayStation VR in 2018 to critical acclaim. Another team released Everybody’s Golf VR in 2019.
While we really don’t know what the different groups at this studio are up to, it’s likely that it will be one of the internal studios continuing to provide PlayStation VR owners with new games. With Knack launching alongside the PlayStation 4 and Knack 2 arriving in 2017, maybe Knack 3 will grace the PlayStation 5’s launch.
What is SIE London Studio working on?
London Studio, founded in 2002 after merging the remaining teams at Team Soho and Camden Studio, works on a variety of technology and games. The team has more recently pioneered tech for PlayStation VR, releasing some experiences in PlayStation VR Worlds. This tech was put to further use in 2019’s shooter Blood & Truth, while a change of pace brought Erica to PlayStation 4 later in the year.
Having recently released a game, we shouldn’t look for London Studio to make any announcements soon. Whenever the studio does pipe up again, it’ll likely be with a new PlayStation VR title.
What is Manchester Studio working on?
This studio in Manchester, U.K. was first established in early 2015 as North West Studio to work on PlayStation VR (then known as Project Morpheus) games. Nowadays, it’s an odder addition to Sony’s roster, as PlayStation is wobbly on even acknowledging its existence. The studio is not listed on the official website for Sony Worldwide Studios, while as far back as 2015, PlayStation spokespeople said the studio was in “early planning stages” and that more news would be coming soon.
There are a small handful of open positions as recent as 2020 that indicate Manchester Studio is still building a “small team.” The job listings also re-confirm that it’s working on a VR title — or as it’s worded, a “visually impressive” game “within the confines of VR.” We’ll have to wait and see what project this team is working on but we know it’ll be a PlayStation VR game.
What is Media Molecule working on?
In Guildford, U.K. sits small creator Media Molecule. This studio has worked on the LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway games, and was purchased in 2010 after years of collaboration with Sony. More recently, the team worked on Dreams. It’s one of the smaller studios within Sony Worldwide Studios, with around 60 developers.
After several years of development, the ambitious Dreams is finally set to release on Feb. 14, 2020. Dreams is essentially a game engine turned into a game, allowing players to create whatever worlds or games they wish and share them with other players.
With Dreams finally nearing completion after seven years of development, don’t expect Media Molecule to announce anything else anytime soon.
What is Naughty Dog working on?
Naughty Dog, which was bought by Sony in 2001 with headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., has a long history in the video game industry. It was responsible for the Crash Bandicoot series, Jak and Daxter, the Uncharted games, and of course, The Last of Us. Naughty Dog is viewed by many PlayStation fans and the gaming industry at large as one of the most premiere studios in existence, with a focus on cinematic storytelling, charismatic characters, and strong art direction.
Right now, Naughty Dog is working away at finishing development on The Last of Us Part II, which is set to release on May 29, 2020. This is described as the largest game the studio has ever worked on, having been in development for six years. Despite initially planning to ship the game with the Factions multiplayer the first title had, Naughty Dog has confirmed that The Last of Us Part II will be a single-player-only game. With that said, Naughty Dog is also planning to revisit Factions at some point.
Given that it is releasing a few months before the PlayStation 5, it’s reasonable that The Last of Us Part II will receive some sort of enhancement on Sony’s next-generation console. Naughty Dog also houses the ICE team at Sony (Initiative for a Common Engine), which works to provide custom technology to different Sony studios.
There are also rumors that PlayStation is expanding Naughty Dog with a satellite studio or additional team to resume work on the Uncharted franchise under Naughty Dog veteran Quentin Cobb. At this time however, these are just rumors.
What is PixelOpus working on?
PixelOpus, which is an extremely small studio that was created mainly by students and first-timers at San Mateo in 2014, released Entwined in 2015 and, more recently, Concrete Genie in 2019. The latter game was overall seen by critics as a step forward from Entwined, despite only a little over a dozen developers working on the game.
We don’t know what PixelOpus’ next project is but it will likely retain the artistic style found in both the studio’s games so far.
What is Polyphony Digital working on?
Founded by Sony in 1998, Polyphony Digital has over 130 staff across four different studios in Amsterdam, Fukuoka, Japan, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. Polyphony is most well-known for the Gran Turismo series, the most recent of which is GT Sport, which launched in 2017 and has received a steady clip of updates ever since.
While a PlayStation 5 enhancement for GT Sport is somewhat likely, Polyphony is probably working on the next Gran Turismo game by now. In the past, Polyphony operated on a 3-4-year cycle, so we could even see the next Gran Turismo game in late 2020 or 2021.
What is SIE San Diego Studio working on?
The “MLB studio,” as it is now known, was founded by Sony in 2001 in San Diego, Calif. While Sony San Diego has developed or collaborated on a handful of other games, such The Mark of Kri, High Velocity Bowling, LittleBigPlanet Karting, and Drawn to Death, it’s best known for the yearly MLB series of licensed baseball games.
MLB The Show 20 was announced and is currently scheduled to release on March 17, 2020. In an unprecedented move for a Sony studio, however, MLB The Show 20 will be the last exclusive game in the franchise. Late in 2019, the MLB organization announced that starting in 2021, the games will be developed and released on other console platforms, with Twitter posts from Xbox and Nintendo making it clear which platforms those were.
With this studio continuing to ship a yearly game and soon beginning to develop for platforms outside of PlayStation, we shouldn’t expect them to do anything except continue to deliver MLB games.
What is SIE San Mateo Studio working on?
This studio, located in San Mateo, Calif. and formerly known as SIE Foster City, provides support to external developers (or second-party games) in the U.S. Past collaborations include support on the SOCOM series, the Resistance franchise, and Marvel’s Spider-Man. This is part of the headquarters for PlayStation and includes a support team of animators and artists to help oversee development of different games.
What is SIE Santa Monica Studio working on?
Sony Santa Monica, which was founded by Sony in 1999 and based in Los Angeles (no, they aren’t actually in Santa Monica, amusingly enough), has been “the God of War studio” for over the past decade. After having a new IP canceled a couple of years back, the studio released God of War (2018) to absolute critical acclaim, with the game going on to sell over 10 million copies a little over a year after release. In 2014, as a result of cancelling a new sci-fi IP, it laid off the production team that worked with other studios, such as Ready at Dawn on The Order 1886. Since rebounding with the development of God of War (2018) under Creative Director Cory Barlog, the studio now has over 200 staff.
With God of War’s incredible sales and reception (as well as its cliffhanger ending) a sequel is all but guaranteed. At this time, it’s not clear who the director is, or if the game is official.
What is Sucker Punch Productions working on?
This studio, located in Bellevue, Wash., was purchased in 2011, making it Sony’s most recent acquisition prior to Insomniac Games. Sucker Punch is responsible for the Sly Cooper games and the Infamous series. More recently, the studio’s 200-something staff have been hard at work on Ghost of Tsushima.
This new IP was announced in 2017. Players take on the role of Jin, a samurai who has to embrace the ways of ninjas to survive the Mongol invasion of Tsushima island. Ghost of Tsushima has a tentative release window in Summer 2020.
What is SIE XDev Europe working on?
This team, based in Liverpool, U.K. and founded in 2000 by Sony, works with European studios on PlayStation titles. Occasionally, XDev Europe also supports internal European studios. It has assisted the development of games such as Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Tearaway, Until Dawn, and Detroit: Become Human.
Since XDev Europe is a support group, it’s unlikely it is working on any fully internal games at the moment. When future collaborations with European developers are unveiled, XDev Europe will likely have a hand in things.
More blockbusters incoming
While there have been multiple leadership changes at the top of SIE near the end of the PlayStation 4’s lifecycle, PlayStation owners shouldn’t be too concerned about what is in the pipeline. Hermen Hulst, the new Head of Sony Worldwide Studios, has gone on record to say that “big, spectacular experiences” are a huge part of PlayStation and will still be coming in the future.
We’ll be updating this as we learn more about the lineup for the PlayStation 5.