PlayStation Studios game news: Hermen Hulst gives an update on upcoming changes Published on 06/02/2021 at 8:33 PM Hermen Hulst, who previously headed Guerrilla Games, was promoted to Director of PlayStation Studios in 2019, responsible for creating the Roadmap to first-party productions for the PS4, PS5, and now PC.
The importance of solo games and partner studios
So that the public can see a little more clearly, especially after a year 2020 that was marked by the pandemic and the release of the PS5, Hermen Hulst entrusted the editorial team of the PlayStation blog. The key information has been transcribed in writing, but a full 20-minute interview is available as a podcast. First, the director of the Playstation Studios returned to the importance of single-player experiences: narrative single-player games are in our DNA. Personally, I think PlayStation Studios are the source for some of the most memorable storytelling experiences in gaming. We love making these games, and as long as players enjoy them, we will keep making new ones. (…) We also want to create varied experiences for our different target groups, between established franchises and new licenses, AAA games, smaller and more innovative games, single-player stories and multiplayer games. Just because a game is multiplayer doesn’t mean it can’t have an interesting story! ”Then the subject of external partnerships came up, such as the contract between Sony and Haven, Jade Raymond’s new studio. On this subject, Hermen Hulst points out that a distinction must be made between the first-party studios (Santa Monica, Naughty Dogs …) and the partner studios, which for him all form the PlayStation Studios group. Let us not forget that our organization is first and foremost directed by creators. That’s why we choose the best development studios in the world and passionately help them bring their ideas to life. It is important to me that creators come to PlayStation Studios and know that they can produce works of exceptional quality there. That really motivates me. He adds, and then confirms, that Bend Studio, likely denied creating a Days Gone 2, is doing well on a new license that is considered “very promising” and that uses the open-world mechanics that were designed for days went. This information is not brand new as it was mentioned recently by developers or ex-developers of the studio.
Back to the difficulties caused by Covid-19
Video game production is often an iterative process. In other words, the projects regularly evolve according to the discussions between the developers, the tests, and the ideas proposed. In addition, modern games often require motion capture, which means putting actors into studios designed for this type of performance. All of this has been undermined by the pandemic, which has forced teams to work from home, at least at times. This is what Hermen Hulst says in an interview: Our greatest challenge was without a doubt to find certain places, often physical places. It was essentially about doing the motion recordings and the audio work there. We therefore had to show ingenuity, especially by creating tiny recording studios in private homes. But for the motion capture of many cutscenes that involve many actors, that’s a different story. In this case we have two options: postpone this work until a later date, which can be a problem; or compromise the final quality by doing it differently. I can assure you that we don’t compromise on quality. We want to offer games of very high quality that are really successful, of course without pushing our teams to their limits.
The pc and Japan at the center of the questions
With an installed base of more than 110 million consoles, the PS4 still counts a lot to Sony, all the more so since it struggled to meet demand for PS5. Hulst reminds of this by pointing out that “leaving it in the dark” is out of the question because it will disappoint players and would not be interesting from a commercial point of view. The case of the PC is also mentioned as PlayStation Studios titles are starting to wear out. Death Stranding, Days Gone, Horizon: Zero Dawn and soon to be Uncharted 4 are all titles that have opened a new chapter in the marketing of first-party games. Regarding this new horizon, Hulst says: We are only at the beginning of our PC strategy. Horizon Zero Dawn was very successful. This proves that players who don’t own a PlayStation want to take advantage of the incredible portfolio of games that PlayStation fans have been offering for years. But be careful, when PlayStation Studio games hit the market, PlayStation consoles will remain your best bet to enjoy them. This does not prevent us from giving a lot of thought to PC gamers and we will continue to examine the opportune time for each game to be released (…) The aim is of course to breathe new life into sales but also to “bring PC” . Gamers to discover Sony productions. Eventually, the head of PlayStation Studios returned to the Japan case. For a few months now, the publisher seems to have lost interest in his homeland, even if he claims the opposite. The speech doesn’t change an iota in the mouth of Hermen Hulst, who says: Be careful, Japanese games and talents remain extremely important to (us). Japan and Asia are an integral part of our heritage. The success of Sony, the PlayStation brand, and many of our largest PlayStation franchises were born there. (…) I was impressed by the ubiquity of Japanese influence in games. It’s really an important part of the PlayStation DNA. I am convinced that this is one of the things that makes the PlayStation so different and unique. I know Japan and Asia know how to make really high quality games and a lot of the talented developers are based there. You have innovation, ability, pride and team spirit in your blood. There is no question of abandoning these traditions, he concludes by recalling that Polyphony Digital, which is currently developing Gran Turismo 7, is a Japanese studio and that Sony is in the process of structuring the Asobi team in Tokyo. He also states that external partnerships are being established with Japanese studios. His last sentence is for Astro Bot, whom he “worships” and whom he hopes to see again.
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By MalloDelic, journalist jeuxvideo.com MP