Sony to Close First-party Manchester Studio Making ‘AAA’ PSVR Games – Road to VR



Sony is closing its Manchester, UK-based studio, the exact same that was opened in 2015 to supply ‘AAA’ PSVR exclusives.

Whereas no video games got here from Manchester Studio all through its five-year existence, it’s clear the staff was engaged on VR up till very not too long ago.

Sony had posted job vacancies for his or her Manchester Studio up till its closure, with one such itemizing introduced final month for UI Artist. Candidates have been instructed to look ahead to an “thrilling and uncommon alternative to affix an bold new studio to create authentic video games completely for PlayStation’s VR platform.”

GamesIndustry.biz confirmed the information with Sony, reporting that the transfer was “a part of [Sony’s] efforts to enhance effectivity and operational effectiveness.”

Initially based as ‘North West Studio’ and later modified to Manchester Studio, the staff was described in job postings as a “small, extremely skilled staff, keen about creating the perfect AAA VR experiences.”

On the identical time, Sony not too long ago promoted the inventive director behind PSVR unique Astro Bot Rescue Mission (2018), Nicolas Doucet, to guide SIE JAPAN Studio.

Wholesome hypothesis: it’s attainable Sony is concentrating its VR-producing studios in effort to amass recent unique content material for the second iteration of PSVR, which is reportedly arriving someday after PlayStation 5 launches this yr. It might be that Manchester Studio merely hadn’t carried out rapidly sufficient to maintain up, as VR sport growth has modified considerably for the reason that studio was based 5 years in the past.

As we all know from Highwire Video games’ PSVR unique Golem (2019), which was delayed for practically 5 years, ‘Growth Hell’ can overtake even essentially the most skilled and bold groups. Golem suffers from a few of the identical sport design parts that might have been thought-about acceptably experimental within the early days of VR, however grew to become much less fascinating because the trade at massive established finest practices for VR sport design. Though totally unsubstantiated by Sony or in any other case, it’s attainable Manchester Studio discovered themselves in the identical boat, and was summarily closed for comparable causes.