Despite a relatively well-received run of games from 1999 to 2007, the Syphon Filter series has seemingly vanished, with no reboot in sight. But Sony appears to have had one on the mind recently, and even pitched it as a project for one of its studios: Bend, which made Days Gone.
On a stream yesterday with Twisted Metal director David Jaffe, former Bend Studio director and writer John Garvin and game director Jeff Ross talked about Bend’s struggle to get a green light for a Days Gone sequel as the studio’s next project. While former Sony head Shawn Layden had apparently championed the game, Ross said that “as soon as Shawn was gone, Days Gone was dead.”
“It was very obvious that we shouldn’t be talking about Days Gone while we were working on the pitch and generating it. It was clear that it was a non-starter. And there was nothing in the pitch that made the local manager and his boss feel good about it. That’s probably a failure of the creative group, but it was just an uphill battle the whole time.”
Ross went on to say that in the process of figuring out what Bend Studio would work on instead, Sony asked them if there were any other Sony IPs they would be willing to use for a pitch, including Bend’s old project, Syphon Filter. But Bend turned them down, Ross said. “I have zero ideas on how to reboot Syphon Filter.”
He added later that he was unsure if the pitch was ever serious, however, and that it seemed mostly like an idea to keep them busy while Sony figured out Bend’s actual next project.
With neither Syphon Filter nor Days Gone 2 on the table, Ross added that the team had also pitched an open-world Resistance game, with Bend having worked on Resistance: Retribution back in 2009. However, with 2011’s Resistance 3 largely a commercial failure, Sony didn’t seem interested in a new Resistance title, either.
Ross and Garvin’s interview with Jaffe follows a tweet from Ross earlier this week about how Days Gone likely sold about as well as Ghost of Tsushima, but was treated by Sony management as a disappointment.
Days Gone had a mixed critical reception, with our review finding it bloated, messy, and confused despite genuinely thrilling encounters with zombie hordes. Bend Studio has since spent some time working to support Naughty Dog before moving onto a new IP that builds on the open-world systems of Days Gone.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.